EMECA Members continue investing into infrastructure and new trade fairs - Claude Membrez, GM Palexpo Geneva, new EMECA President 2017-2018

Posted on Thursday 27th October 2016

EMECA Members are investing into upgrading their infrastructure and are planning to establish over 75 new trade fairs. This is the essence of this this autumn’s EMECA General Assembly hosted by Poznań International Fair (PIF, Poland).

After investing into new halls and restructuring existing space, PIF offers today a state-of-the-art venue in the city centre of Poznań. It has grown steadily in the last years and now hosts 80 exhibitions, 270 events like congresses, concerts etc. welcoming nearly 10.000 exhibitors and roughly 650.000 visitors in 2015. PIF had joined EMECA in 2013.

All EMECA Members continue their efforts to offer high quality infrastructure to their customers. This includes a few new halls and additional exhibition space but essentially focusses on replacing, refurbishments, upgrading and maintenance to offer customers the highest standards as to accessibility and parking, equipment and technology.  Most EMECA centres also focus on digital infrastructure for adequate connectivity, ticketing, entrances, displays, signage, advertising etc.

The second trend – which has also started quite some time ago – is the development of a high number of new trade fairs both at the home premises or at other venues in Europe and worldwide. These more than 75 new events planned for 2017 can be own developments, clones of existing exhibitions in regions with growth potential, as well as guest exhibitions or acquisitions.

“We see that our results are on an ascending track – with excellent figures for some of the members. All EMECA members together achieved a turnover of EUR 3.631 billion in 2015. Additionally, we observe that the hard work to keep up to date with our venues in terms of technology, additional exhibitions and new events, enhanced services and new business models pays off”, outlines María Martinez, EMECA President. “Complexity, international engagements and challenges have definitely grown and made our business more vulnerable. We have to react fast and adapt constantly to stay successful.”

Claude Membrez, General Manager of Palexpo Geneva (Switzerland), was elected as EMECA President for the upcoming two-year period 2017-2018. “I am delighted and honoured to accept this appointment. I look forward to working with my fellow Board Members on many strategic topics and especially for EMECA’s 25th Anniversary in 2017”, declares Claude Membrez. Maurits van der Sluis, COO of RAI Amsterdam (The Netherlands), was newly elected to the EMECA Board and will take over VP Technical Affairs position for the next 2 years. Giorgio Contini, International Director of BolognaFiere (Italy), also a new entry, will take over the Vice Presidency for Digital Business. Furthermore, current EMECA President María Martinez will continue in the EMECA Board as Vice President Strategy in 2017-2018 and Andreas Gruchow was confirmed for another two-year term as Vice President Treasurer. Peter Ottmann and David Boon will continue their current mandates throughout the year 2017.


The EMECA Board 2017

Claude Membrez, EMECA President (Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland)
Andreas Gruchow, Vice President Treasurer (Deutsche Messe AG, Hanover, Germany)
Peter Ottmann, Vice President Communication (NürnbergMesse, Germany)
David Boon, Vice President EU Relations (Brussels Expo, Belgium)
María Martinez, Vice President Strategy (IFEMA Madrid, Spain)
Maurits van der Sluis, Vice President Technical Affairs (RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Giorgio Contini, Vice President Digital Business (BolognaFiere, Italy)
Barbara Weizsäcker, EMECA Secretary General



The 22 EMECA venues host and organize 1.769 trade fairs a year on a gross rented space of nearly 38,5 mio sqm. They welcome roughly 350.000 exhibitors and over 41,5 mio visitors. According to their own estimates, the exhibiting companies generate a turnover of some 800 billion Euros through exhibitions.