EMECA’s 25th Anniversary marked by high performance of its Members’ venues

Posted on Friday 26th May 2017


In its 25th Anniversary year (celebrated at Euroexpo in Lyon, France), the European Major Exhibitions Centres Association (EMECA) is reporting a strong performance by its members, with growth in Europe, and due to their expansion efforts, outside Europe.

As a result of a successful and growing exhibitions sector in Europe, investment levels by EMECA members to secure the long-term success are equally encouraging. This investment is being made in the context of two key areas.

Firstly, exhibition space in Europe is growing again. In addition to their continuing refurbishment and modernisation programmes, many EMECA venues are investing in new halls. Some of these will replace older halls, but many EMECA Members are adding additional indoor exhibition space to their premises. Growing trade shows trigger this long term investment into floor space. The new halls are being built to very high quality standards – architectural design quality and energy efficiency standards.

Secondly, state of the art technology continues to be installed, not only into the newly built halls, but right across all infrastructure and service application areas. This includes:

  • digital equipment, such as digital signage and wayfinding
  • electronic ticketing services
  • new entrance solutions.

Improving logistics is a high priority for all members, and key solutions here include digital access and delivery controls, steering of traffic and parking. The ever-increasing pressures to shorten set-up and dismantling times mean that more traffic has to be handled more quickly; transport logistics are critical to delivering smooth flows of trucks, material, and people.

“In our Working Groups on Digital Business and Technical Affairs, we deal with the most urgent and most challenging issues, exchange best practice and work on delivering highest quality to our customers – exhibition organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike”, says Claude Membrez, EMECA President (and CEO of Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland).

After 25 years, we can say that in every phase of its existence, EMECA has tackled the most relevant and current industry developments. The Members of this extraordinary network have achieved impressive growth in both venue quality and international business. This is largely thanks to their combined efforts to increase quality standards, along with the positive business environment, which has been marked by the implementation of the EU Internal Market and much business expansion through globalisation during these last 25 years”, he adds.

To mark the occasion of the 25th year of the association’s foundation, EMECA will be conducting a new and comprehensive Economic Impact Study. This important project will be completed in the next few months and results will be available for the next General Assembly, to be held in Bologna, Italy, on 12th-13th October 2017.

As a result of EMECA’s continuous engagement with the European Institutions in Brussels (since 2012 under the umbrella of the European Exhibition Industry Alliance), EMECA is proud to be part of the Business Beyond Borders project, a European Commission-funded initiative which helps EU businesses to expand regionally and globally. By facilitating a series of B2B matchmaking events at international trade fairs around the world, this initiative aims for new international business partnerships to be formed and deals to be brokered. The first two events – at Genera in Madrid (Feb/March 2017) and at African Utility Week in Cape Town (mid May 2017) – have already taken place. The next BBB matchmaking event will be held on 18th - 21st September 2017 at TEXWORLD, Paris, and will target companies operating in the textile and apparel industry.


The European Major Exhibitions Centres Association was founded in 1992 by 13 Members with two principal aims - to contribute to the general development of the exhibition industry and to improve the management of exhibition centres and services. Today, it unites 22 EMECA venues that host and organize 1.769 trade fairs a year on a gross rented space of nearly 38,5 million sqm. They welcome roughly 350.000 exhibitors and over 41,5 million visitors. According to their own estimates, the exhibiting companies generate a turnover of some 800 billion Euros through exhibitions. www.emeca.eu

Business Beyond Borders

BBB is a European Commission-funded initiative which helps EU businesses to expand regionally and globally. By implementing matchmaking events at international trade fairs around the world, European businesses can benefit from this opportunity to grow across borders with a complete package of professional support. To find out more visit the Business Beyond Borders website at www.businessbeyondborders.info