EMECA exhibition companies strengthen their leading position

Posted on Tuesday 14th May 2013

EMECA exhibition companies strengthen their leading position

Investments in technology, services and innovation deliver positive results for 2012 and account for a stable outlook for 2013

“All EMECA Members allocate efforts and investments into quality, innovation and diversification”, EMECA President Andreas Gruchow resumes the major findings of last week’s EMECA General Assembly celebrated in Brussels and hosted by Brussels Expo.

With investments of up to 785 mio EUR into upgrading their venue infrastructure along the latest requirements in technology, energy efficiency and accessibility, EMECA Members underline their venues’ leading position. In most fair grounds, existing halls are being enhanced or sometimes replaced, only in a few venues new pavilions are being built resulting in additional exhibition space. Lately, the greatest proportion of these investments was made by MCH Switzerland) with the construction of an exceptional new hall overarching a public place in the city centre of Basel.

All EMECA Members are developing new programmes and services in order to support their exhibitors and visitors with tailor-made offers. Among others, targeted matchmaking programmes or visitor promotion attracting buyers from outside EU countries are being intensified.

In relation to innovations and new services, EMECA conducted a survey about the relevance of digital business for their Members’ activities. The survey reports a major shift in strategic priorities concerning future business potentials towards more digital products and services. The vast majority of Members stated that within the next three years, digital business will be “very relevant” for them. Moreover, some Members expect it to provide a significant share in their turnover. The survey reports that digital products and services such as smartphone apps for shows, online versions of exhibitor catalogues and online advertising on show websites are offered today by almost every trade fair. With some EMECA Members having set up specific divisions to strategically develop their digital potentials, European exhibition companies are looking into monetising this new business. EMECA will closely monitor developments in this field.

In 2012/2013, the EMECA Members add again more than 100 shows to their portfolio.About one third of these take place outside of Europe. These are either spinoffs of well established European brands or newly created or acquired shows.

In general, EMECA Members continue to internationalise and in some regions, international activity by EMECA Members is growing strongly. Investments continue to go mainly to Asia, Russia, Turkey, Brazil. Furthermore, other Latin American countries, North America and South Africa are now being targeted in a more intensive way. Rupert Schlegelmilch, Director at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade, presented the latest international trade figures and the EU’s trade strategies together with an overview on free trade negotiations between the EU and other countries. Exhibitions and exhibition activity level clearly reflect the situation of the global market with the European Union being the world’s biggest trader, accounting for 20% of global imports and exports. Schlegelmilch reminded that the EU is the top trading partner for 80 countries and the world’s largest trader of manufactured goods and services. He confirmed the EMECA Members: ”Your industry is one of the reasons why many EU industries are so successful in world trade.”

The EMECA General Assembly agreed upon the admission of Kölnmesse (Germany) as a new Member. “The German exhibition market holds an important position in Europe, therefore we are proud to count another major German player among the EMECA Members”, states EMECA President Andreas Gruchow. Kölnmesse is located at the heart of Cologne offering 286.000 square metres of indoor space and a total of 386.000 square metres of exhibition space. The KölnBonn airport is nearby, road traffic connections are easy and its premises can be accessed directly by long distance trains and public transport. KölnMesse organises almost 90 trade fairs per year, out of which about two third are held at its premises, one third abroad. Among their renowned leading events are ANUGA, IMM Cologne and ART Cologne.

Newly elected to the EMECA Board was Enrico Pazzali, CEO of Fiera Milano, and from now on EMECA Vice President responsible for strategy. Board Members retaining their mandates are EMECA President Andreas Gruchow (Deutsche Messe, Hanover), EMECA Vice President Treasurer María Martínez (IFEMA, Madrid), Vice President Relations with the EU Wolfgang Marzin (Messe Frankfurt), Vice President Communications Peter Ottmann (NürnbergMesse), Vice President Infrastructure and Technical Affairs Giovanni Mantovani (VeronaFiere) and Vice President Membership Piero Venturelli (Rimini Fiera).

Press and media contact:
Barbara Weizsäcker
Tel.: +32 25 35 72 50

May 14, 2013