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Exhibition stand construction since 1961

The history of SYMA

The history of our company began in the 1950s in a factory for furniture construction. Marcel Strässle, the founder of SYMA, was at that time the internal representative for the trade fair appearances of the family-run company. How a practical idea of his developed into a large, international company in the trade fair industry is shown here in the form of our milestones.

The history of SYMA


How it all began

In 1961 Marcel Strässle developed the first components of the SYMA-SYSTEM in Kirchberg near St. Gallen in Switzerland. Based on a square, 30 x 30 mm extruded aluminium profile, which is still the most widely used SYMA profile today in a slightly modified form, and a patented profile connector, the SYMA success story began. The Kirchberg site, which today employs around 100 people, is still the headquarters of the globally active SYMA Group.


Furniture program K62/K63

Even before SYMA conquered the worldwide trade fair market with its profile systems, the unique K62/K63 furniture range was created. The programme was presented for the first time in 1962/63 at the furniture fair in Cologne. The legendary photos for the SYMA advertising campaign were taken at Zurich airport in front of a Swissair plane. The great interest of the trade fair visitors in the company’s own system trade fair stand, more than in the exhibited furniture collection, then meant the start of the systematic development of profiles and accessories for trade fair construction.


EuroShop, Düsseldorf

The first EuroShop was held in Düsseldorf in 1966. With 331 exhibitors and a stand area of 19,614 sqm, it attracted 28,762 visitors at the time. Since 1972 SYMA has continuously presented its products and services to an international trade audience from over 100 countries, which has grown to over 110,000 visitors. Even after participating in the trade fair 17 times in the meantime, the EuroShop, which takes place every 3 years, is still the most important platform worldwide for the SYMA Group with its international network to present itself to the professional world.


Start exhibition service

In 1971, SYMA made one of the most important strategic decisions in the company’s history. From this point onwards, the company no longer just stood for the development and marketing of uniquely innovative exhibition stand construction systems, but also participated in the market itself as an exhibition service provider. In the meantime SYMA with its international network looks after exhibitors around the globe.


SYMA goes Asia

Driven by Marcel Strässle’s pioneering spirit, SYMA invested in the Asian market in 1984 and founded SYMA Hong Kong Trend Design. After initial start-up difficulties, the Asian market developed into the most important hub of the group of companies. In the meantime, SYMA-Asia has production facilities in Shanghai, Beijing and Shunde and has become one of the most important exhibition stand builders in China with over 600 employees.



After SYMA had already developed and introduced numerous exhibition construction systems to the market since its foundation in 1961, the time was ripe in 1987 for a new, three-dimensional truss system. This is how SYMA-ORBIT came into being, with its unmistakable sphere and its patented closure technology as the most important components. Very large spans with high static load capacity characterize this system to this day. In the SYMA-ORBIT 40 version, the system is also ideally suited for the construction of multi-storey exhibition stands with maximum load-bearing capacity.


The pawl lock

Responding to the increasing pressure of deadlines from our exhibition stand construction customers, SYMA developed a special new locking technology for aluminium and wooden frames in 1991, the SYMA latch lock. This patented locking variant makes it possible to connect frames to grooved profiles simply, quickly and friction-locked from the front. However, before the closure, including its numerous size variants, had its present form and function, it was necessary to overcome numerous material-technical and static challenges. Only thanks to its development, system innovations such as SYMA-MOLTO became possible in the following years. The unique SYMA latch is very popular and is an essential part of the current SYMA range.



With the development of simple system exhibition stands to architecturally designed overall structures, SYMA-MOLTO was born. The well thought-out system, with a cube as the visually and statically connecting element, allows room structures with large self-supporting spans. Systematically conceived and developed, SYMA-MOLTO can of course also be combined with many other systems and accessories from SYMA. SYMA-MOLTO can be found for a long time on almost all exhibition places of this earth.

Since 1976

The SYMA Report

The SYMA Report has been an integral part of our communication strategy since 1976. Starting as a newsletter, our publication has developed into a trade fair magazine recognised by the industry, which focuses on SYMA technology, SYMA applications and the worldwide SYMA network.

Since 1967

The SYMA Network

With the increasing success of SYMA technology, the international interest in our innovative products also increased. Already in 1967 the first subsidiary was founded as SYMA-SYSTEM GmbH in Germany. In 1973 SYMA granted the first production license to Italy. Other licensees and distribution partners were quickly added. Today, the SYMA network includes numerous subsidiaries and partners in over 50 countries and on all continents. Every 3 years a big meeting of the SYMA network partners takes place at the EuroShop in Düsseldorf.