EMECA exhibitions deliver sound performance - between records and tough times

Posted on Thursday 24th October 2013

Brussels: The EMECA General Assembly hosted by IFEMA Madrid mid-October 2013 revealed a stable and sound picture of the leading exhibition companies in Europe although operating in a challenging economic environment. Some Members even report record results while few others, mostly in the Southern European Members States, are affected in their daily operations by the tough business environment. The trend to innovate and diversify continues among EMECA Members. “All EMECA companies offer a variety of initiatives to increase international visitor numbers and quality, thus generating a higher lead rate, lead quality and opening up additional business opportunities. Furthermore, new services enhancing information, contacts and tailor-made offers up to full-service packages play an increasing role for the success of the leading European Exhibitions”, summarises EMECA-President Andreas Gruchow.

A cautious but positive outlook for the Spanish economy was presented by Professor Gonzalo Gómez Bengoechea (ICADE) to the EMECA General Assembly. He offered a history view on various economic indicators and policy areas, showing where Spain had tackled reforms that lead to an end of the recession, and which issues are still pending. “Spain suffers economic cycles as every other country, this time it lasts a bit longer, but it is a normal v-shaped recession”, summarises Gonzalo Gómez Bengoechea.

Innovation and internationalisation EMECA Members continue to expand their product lines announcing over 110 new exhibitions for 2013/2014. Around two third of the new trade fairs will be held at the EMECA Members’ home venues whereas about one third are planned outside Europe. “The high innovation rate of the EMECA exhibition companies underlines their leading role and the strength of the European based business. At the same time, they intensify their international activities and invest further into growth markets abroad”, emphasizes Andreas Gruchow. Most of the new exhibitions outside Europe will take place in Asia and Latin America. “The future of Europe’s exhibition business will depend to a great extent on its internationality. We need to adopt a two-way approach: going international with our exhibitions and bringing more inbound business into Europe. Under the current economic situation in some EURO zone countries, many SMEs cannot afford to travel to the growth regions in the world. We need to attract even more international buyers to our existing European events to deliver targeted global business opportunities to our European exhibitors right here in Europe”, outlines the EMECA President. According to EMECA estimations, around 80% of exhibitors and 90 % of visitors on European trade fairs come from EU countries. EMECA’s participation in the EU-funded AL-Invest Programme supporting economic cooperation between the EU and Latin America and bringing Latin American exhibitors and visitors to European exhibitions was a successful measure in this context.

Digital Working Group started

Growing emphasis is being put on the digital evolution of the trade fair industry, as the record attendance in the newly established EMECA Digital Business Working Group showed. Messe Frankfurt as chair of the committee welcomed participants from eleven EMECA Members for a full day session on the current digital state of the industry. In 2014, EMECA will focus on developing frameworks for digital products and services while also monitoring the revision of data security and privacy policies and rules by the European Institutions. “There is no doubt that digitization will impact the trade fair industry in the years to come. The Working Group will help EMECA and its Members to reap the benefits from this development”, says Wolfgang Marzin, Vice President Digital Business at EMECA.

Poznan International Fair new EMECA Member, new EMECA Vice Presidents

EMECA broadens its Membership: the EMECA General Assembly agreed upon the admission of Poznan International Fair (Poland) as new Member from 2014. “The Polish exhibition market holds an important position in Eastern Europe, therefore we are proud to welcome its leading player among the EMECA Members”, states EMECA President Andreas Gruchow. Poznan International Fair offers 84.860 square metres of indoor space in 16 halls and a total of 114.377 square metres of exhibition space. Poznan International Fair organises over 100 trade fairs per year. It is also Poland’s largest stand designer and constructor as well as its major conference venue and organiser.

Newly elected to the EMECA Board were David Boon, Director at Brussels EXPO, from now on EMECA Vice President Relations with the EU, Claude Membrez, General Director at Geneva Palexpo, now EMECA Vice President Infrastructure and Technical Affairs and Ettore Riello, Chairman VeronaFiere, Vice President Membership.Wolfgang Marzin (Messe Frankfurt) took over the newly created Vice Presidency Digital Business. Board Members retaining their mandates are EMECA PresidentAndreas Gruchow(Deutsche Messe, Hanover), EMECA Vice President Treasurer María Martínez (IFEMA, Madrid), Vice President Communications Peter Ottmann(NürnbergMesse) and Vice President responsible for Strategy Enrico Pazzali (Fiera Milano).

Piero Venturelli, General Director of Riminifiera and former EMECA President, was honoured by EMECA President Andreas Gruchow and received recognition from all EMECA colleagues for his long-standing engagement in EMECA and his important achievements during his Presidency. “The exchange with EMECA colleagues during the past 12 years in EMECA was incredibly valuable to me. During these years, the economic scenario has changed completely. I wish all EMECA Members the ability to develop in a way to maintain the leadership of our trade fair business in Europe and I wish EMECA every possible success.” says Piero Venturelli. He will leave Riminifiera as he will retire at the end of the year.

About EMECA The 20 EMECA venues organize over 1.500 exhibitions a year with more than 391.000 exhibitors and 39 million visitors on a gross rented display area of about 37 million square meters. According to their own estimates, the exhibiting companies generate a turnover of some 800 billion Euros through exhibitions.

The EMECA members:
Brussels Expo

Deutsche Messe (Hanover), KoelnMesse, 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