EMECA Members invest billions of Euros into fairgrounds and event premises within next 10 years

Posted on Tuesday 10th June 2014

EMECA Members invest billions of Euros into fairgrounds and event premises within next 10 years

EMECA adopts Digital Business declaration

New EMECA Member Amsterdam RAI

The European Major Exhibitions Centres Association estimates that over the next ten years up to EUR 3.5 billion will be invested into venue infrastructure in Europe. “During EMECA’s General Assembly recently held in Moscow it became obvious that – 10 to 15 years after the last important investment phase - we now witness a new trend to upgrade and reshape the exhibition infrastructure in Europe. These major investments secure the outstanding standard of European exhibition premises and make them fit perfectly for the ambitious requirements of the world leading trade fairs and events. They set the marks as to quality, smart, sustainable as well as efficient operation and architectural shape while becoming multifunctional and suitable for a great range of event formats including conferences or concerts,” explains EMECA President Andreas Gruchow. What is more, experience from the past shows that such investments typically trigger more investments – other venues follow the pace and upgrade or adapt their premises to the new standards.

Coming from the 2009 crisis, these projected investments are a significant indicator of optimism. EMECA Members report that business is robust or even strong in most countries; in the southern European states the first positive signs of recovery have become visible and tangible, while competition is strong and still growing all over Europe and worldwide.

The digitisation of business processes is a consolidated trend globally, and at the same time it is becoming more and more a business model. Customers require high speed and high quality digital solutions and services, therefore the digital infrastructure and technology is being upgraded at all exhibition premises as a must-have offer. But beyond venue services, Digital Business is increasingly a core growth opportunity for the trade fair and event industry. The EMECA Digital Business Working Group is fully dedicated to everything digital. Its Members have discussed different definitions of digital business and worked on identifying products and services that can generate additional revenue and profit in the industry. The group has come forward with a declaration which the recent EMECA General Assembly has approved:

Digital Business declaration of EMECA

The world is going digital. Exhibition companies are facing an increasingly digital environment.

If we don’t embrace this, we are out of business.

To continue serving our industries’ customers, we have to securely digitise our offerings.

EMECA defines that Digital Business of Exhibition/Event Companies is about increasing revenues by using or adopting digital technologies.

In addition, the digitisation of the business environment will also result in decreasing costs and improving processes.”

“This is the first general declaration about a digital strategy by a leading association in the exhibition world. It is meant to guide the way EMECA’s Members will develop and invest into digitisation”, says Kai Hattendorf, Head of the EMECA Digital Business Working Group.

At its General Assembly, EMECA has approved Amsterdam RAI as a new Member. Amsterdam RAI has the required venue size, holds a relevant position in the market and has an outstanding innovative orientation. Hans Bakker, CEO of Amsterdam RAI explains: “I am convinced that EMECA is the right platform to focus attention on the economic impact that the exhibition industry achieves inside and outside Europe.” Amsterdam RAI as an international exhibition and conference company organises events in the Netherlands and abroad. It runs the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre that annually hosts some 500 events attracting around 1.5 million visitors. Its two shareholders are the RAI Association (75%) and the City of Amsterdam (25%). “We are proud to welcome the second Dutch Member to the EMECA family, especially as I feel that Amsterdam  RAI fits ideally into EMECAs profile and shares our common approach as to quality, strategy and leading position in the market”, resumes EMECA President Andreas Gruchow.


The 22 EMECA venues organize over 2,100 exhibitions a year with nearly 410,000 exhibitors and over 40 million visitors on a gross rented display area of over 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:
Amsterdam RAI, Royal Dutch Jaarbeurs Utrecht

Poland :
Poznan International Fair

Feira Internacional de Lisboa

Expocentre Moscow

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

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

Press and media contact

EMECA Secretary General
Mrs Barbara Weizsäcker
Rue de l'Amazone 2
B-1050 Brussels
Tel +32 2 535 72 50