EMECA: Europe's major exhibiton centres "sound and stable in difficult times for the economy"

Posted on Wednesday 10th October 2012

Europe’s major exhibition centres “sound and stable in difficult times for the economy” 

20 years of European Major Exhibition Centres Association EMECA – “Europe has become a common exhibition market”

October, 2012: Stuttgart. The 19 European major exhibition centres that are members of EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centres Association) are also proving to be a pillar of stability in Europe in difficult times for the economy. The European exhibition industry is “sound and stable”, said EMECA President, Piero Venturelli, after the association’s two-day General Assembly in Stuttgart. 

Although the recession and credit squeeze continue to affect individual regional exhibition markets on the continent, most of the operators of the major European exhibition centres are certainly still looking optimistically to the near future. Especially Germany together with Switzerland is proving to be a “strong pillar of stability”. 

According to Venturelli, this year’s revenues are also developing steadily in the Southern European countries: “Many exhibition organizers and site operators, such as those in Italy and Spain, have done their homework and made their structures and processes leaner over the past years. This means they now have the financial scope for investing more in exhibitor and visitor acquisition. At the end of the day, this enables them to maintain stable revenues.” There is, however, a trend throughout Europe that the companies must make more effort for the same return.

At the meeting in Stuttgart, the association also celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding in 1992. “Today there are no more national exhibition markets in Europe, but only a common European exhibition market, which is the leader in global competition, for example with Asia and the Americas,” said Venturelli. The goal formulated in the founding charter was to develop the potential of the European Single Market.

A KMPG study shows that the economic effects initiated by exhibitions at the EMECA venues amount to some 16 billion euros and secure more than 360,000 jobs in Europe. The figures for visitors are also impressive. 37.7 million visitors attended the major European exhibitions in 2011. If smaller events are included, every fourth EU citizen visits an exhibition at least once a year, trend rising.

The EMECA members are not only growing in their home market, but also and increasingly outside Europe. New cooperations are being initiated particularly in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Digital services and other services are the new growth driver in the industry. The major exhibition centres that are members of EMECA are increasingly extending exhibition business on the Internet and with the aid of mobile applications. The fact that Europe is also the worldwide innovation leader in this field is confirmed by current awards by the international exhibition association UFI to the exhibition companies in Madrid and Frankfurt.

EMECA President Venturelli sums up: “The world meets at Europe’s exhibitions, despite financial and euro crises.” Europe has not only maintained its position as world-leading exhibition venue over the past years, but has even improved it.

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About EMECA:

The 19 EMECA venues organize over 1,200 exhibitions a year with around 37.7 million visitors on a gross rented display area of about 32 million square metres. According to their own estimates, the exhibiting companies generate revenues of some 800 billion euros through exhibitions. A KMPG study shows that the economic effects initiated by exhibitions at the EMECA venues amount to some 16 billion euros and secure more than 360,000 jobs in Europe.

The EMECA members:


Brussels Expo

Deutsche Messe (Hanover), Messe Frankfurt, NürnbergMesse, Landesmesse Stuttgart

EUREXPO – Centre de Conventions et d’Expositions de Lyon, VIPARIS, Paris

BolognaFiere, Fiera Milano, Rimini Fiera, VeronaFiere

The Netherlands:
Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs Utrecht

Feira Internacional de Lisboa

Expocentre Zao, Moscow

MCH Group (Basel, Zurich, Lausanne), Geneva Palexpo

Fira de Barcelona, IFEMA – Feria de Madrid, Feria Valencia

Press and media contact:
Ms Barbara Weizsäcker
EMECA Secretary General
Rue de l'Amazone 2 
1050 Bruxelles, Belgium 
Tel.: +32 2 535 72 50 

October 10, 2012