EMECA Members forecast revenue growth for 2018 Maurits van der Sluis, COO of RAI Amsterdam, elected EMECA President 2019-2020

Posted on Wednesday 24th October 2018


2018 will again be a very good year for the major exhibition centres in Europe with revenue growth for nearly all Members. At the recent EMECA General Assembly held at Fira Barcelona, members gave positive feedback about their trade fairs in 2018, many even prepare for record results.  EMECA President Claude Membrez (CEO Palexpo Geneva) explains: “This is a general trend, even for those with weaker years in 2018 due to the cycle of their exhibitions. What may be highlighted is that both Italy and Spain are fully back to normal business and are successfully implementing and hosting trade fairs and other events.” In addition, innovation continues with a solid number of new exhibitions planned 2019 both at the home venues and abroad. These include own developments, partnerships as well as m&a. On the other hand, external challenges by trade conflicts, tariffs, political insecurities and currency volatility increase and may become a risk to the very international business of the EMECA Members – both at home and in the respective regions in the world.

The investment level stays high. Maintenance works, refurbishments of halls, parking and logistics as well as upgrading the IT infrastructure is going on at all venues while some plan additional exhibition or conference space with important investments over several years. This confirms the worldwide leading quality level of European venues.

During the General Assembly, important discussions focussed on the variety of business models within the exhibition industry as they become more and more diverse. As currently all business indicators are on green, EMECA Members look ahead and prepare for profound changes by implementing internal adaptions, looking out for further diversification and testing of new formats and services.

Maurits van der Sluis, COO of Rai Amsterdam, was elected EMECA President for the period 2019-2020. New Members of the EMECA Board as of 2019 will be Ricard Zapatero, CEO of Fira Barcelona, who will be responsible for Technical Affairs


The 22 EMECA venues host and organise 1.900 trade fairs a year globally, out of which more than 1.500 in Europe on a gross rented space of nearly 38 mio sqm. They welcome roughly 360.000 exhibitors and over 41,6 mio visitors in Europe.

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