EMECA Members show stable results with solid growth for many - Focus on Security, Digital Business and New Shows abroad

Posted on Thursday 2nd June 2016

During the latest EMECA General Assembly celebrated at RAI Amsterdam at the end of May 2016, EMECA Members reported solid figures for 2015 in countries in an economically and politically challenging climate. Excellent results were achieved in those countries showing a stable or positive economic development. Growth has been and will continue to be generated mainly through the attraction or acquisition of new exhibitions, at the home venue and in third countries. In Europe, B2C shows in highly fashionable sectors such as comics/fantasy are booming. For the professional fairs the focus lies on development and evolution in sectors already belonging to each Member’s portfolio. Regarding the expansion outside Europe, most EMECA Members invest into new shows rounding up their expertise and portfolio or they focus on strengthening the existing exhibitions with new partnerships. Services continue to play an important role and they are increasingly contributing to the revenue. Digital services and other services going beyond the classical core business are being successfully placed.

With the aim to offer a common guideline and to allow each Member to measure the share of turnover generated by Digital Business, EMECA has approved a joint definition. It reads as follows:

“Definition of Digital Business Turnover

Digital technology offers opportunities for new business models, using the main assets of an exhibition organiser, which are data and information about exhibitors, visitors, other attendees and the market. Digital Business focuses on:

  • transferring existing revenue streams into the digital world, upgrading and adding value due to digital technologies’ evolution (i.a. digital adverts, online media instead of print media)
  • generating new revenue streams by developing new products and services based on new digital capabilities.

Digital Business Turnover does not include revenue from the use of digital technologies to simplify processes and/or communication. Digital technologies are the basis for Digital Business.”

“With this distinction between digital means purely substituting traditional media or processes and real added value products and services created to function in the digital world and to enhance our core business, EMECA sets a standard for its industry. It will simplify discussions and enable all Members to analyse and measure results from Digital Business based on a common understanding”, explains María Martínez, EMECA President.

Moreover, EMECA has decided to set up a new Working Group focused on Security. Members’ venues have always offered excellent infrastructure and safe environments for trade fairs. Unfortunately, due to terrorist threats and the past events in Paris and Brussels, it was necessary to immediately reinforce security measures along the official security requirements and in cooperation with national authorities. On the medium and long run, security will be playing a vital role for our industry, in Europe and worldwide. EMECA Members’ security specialists will unite in the second half of 2016 under the lead of EMECA Vice President Infrastructure & Technical Affairs Claude Membrez.



The 22 EMECA venues organize over 1,800 exhibitions a year with more than 410,000 exhibitors and over 42 million visitors on a gross rented display area of roughly 37 million square meters. According to their own estimates, the exhibiting companies generate a turnover of some 800 billion Euros through exhibitions. In Europe they play an active part in the development of local trade and generate important social-economic effects.

EMECA is governed by a Board, has several Working Groups and is managed by its Office based in Brussels. EMECA is an international not-for-profit-association registered in Belgium.

The EMECA Board
President – María Martínez, IFEMA Feria de Madrid
Vice-President Treasurer – Dr. Andreas Gruchow, Deutsche Messe Hanover
Vice-President EU Relations – David Boon, Brussels Expo
Vice-President Digital Business – Wolfgang Marzin, Messe Frankfurt
Vice-President Infrastructure & Technical Affairs – Claude Membrez, Palexpo Geneva  
Vice-President Communication – Peter Ottmann, Nürnberg Messe
Vice-President Strategy – Corrado Peraboni, Fiera Milano
General Secretary – Barbara Weizsäcker