Major European exhibition venues and organisers with positive results in 2014 - Economic and financial crisis overcome – new challenges

Posted on Thursday 21st May 2015

EMECA members report about 2014 being the best year since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis in Europe, some even had record results. EMECA held its recent General Assembly in Milan, hosted by Fiera Milano. “The economic and financial crisis seems to be ending and for most members clearly overcome” summarises EMECA President María Martínez. High numbers of new shows are being created, attracted or acquired, in Europe as well as in many new markets worldwide. The general economic environment with a helpful weak Euro, cheap energy prices and a strong US market certainly contributed to this success while economic slowdown in the BRICS and growing political crisis and instability in many regions are on the downside of the global economic climate creating new strategic challenges for both the exhibition business and the industries we serve.

Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano Spa, has been elected to the EMECA Board as Vice President Strategy. He succeeds Enrico Pazzali who had been Member of the EMECA Board since 2013 and has left Fiera Milano Spa by the end of April 2015. “We are honoured to welcome Corrado Peraboni within EMECA and the EMECA Board. He is highly qualified, experienced and well known in the exhibition business, therefore we are pleased to cooperate closely in the future. We also express our sincere thanks to Enrico Pazzali for his valuable contribution to EMECA in the past years”, declares María Martínez.

At the European venues, exhibition spaces are being upgraded and adapted to suit demands for flexible space for new formats of events, such as long-time public exhibitions, music and sport events, conferences with exhibitions or innovative B2C formats. Only in very few cases, this leads to an expansion of exhibition space. Often, entrance situations are being improved and a trend to better integrate venues with surrounding areas, even to open certain parts of the venue to the public all year round can be observed. EMECA President María Martínez explains: “In times of digital transformation, emotional experiences between humans and trust-building face-to-face meetings with business partners are especially valued and in high demand. We create the best platforms on all channels – our business is people’s business.”

New and enhanced services continue to be at the top of the agenda of all EMECA members, enabling customer tailored offers and additional revenue streams for the venues and organising companies. The EMECA Technical Working Group, lead by EMECA Vice President Infrastructure Claude Membrez, currently looks into different catering models. Yet, digital offers remain the main focus of attention, especially those creating leads, matchmaking and communities for the exhibitors and visitors, mostly all year round. EMECA members are leading the digital developments in the exhibitions business, a high level of implementation of must-have offers can be observed. In addition, EMECA members invest into and experiment with many new digital technologies. “Our 2015 Digital Business Survey shows that digital business’ relevance will again grow in the next three years and will be the most important by 2020, we will continue to augment our core business with outstanding digital added value services”, says Kai Hattendorf, Head of the EMECA Digital Business Working Group.

The EMECA General Assembly took place at Fiera Milano Spa, Italy. From May to October this year, Milan is host to the world exhibition EXPO 2015. “We believe that this global public showcase not only demonstrates the excellence of our industry to an international public but will also boost Europe as the place for innovation, business and trade”, states Barbara Weizsäcker, EMECA General Secretary. In the name of the European Exhibition Industry Alliance, she advocates the role exhibitions play to boost innovation, commerce, growth and jobs to the European Union institutions in Brussels. “We have achieved high awareness among the Brussels players and on a practical level more European support for SME internationalisation by trade fair participation in various EU-funded programmes”, adds David Boon, EMECA Vice President EU Relations.

EMECA members report about 2014 being the best year since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis in Europe, some even had record results. EMECA held its recent General Assembly in Milan, hosted by Fiera Milano. “The economic and financial crisis seems to be ending and for most members clearly overcome” summarises EMECA President María Martínez. High numbers of new shows are being created, attracted or acquired, in Europe as well as in many new markets worldwide. The general economic environment with a helpful weak Euro, cheap energy prices and a strong US market certainly contributed to this success while economic slowdown in the BRICS and growing political crisis and instability in many regions are on the downside of the global economic climate creating new strategic challenges for both the exhibition business and the industries we serve.

Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano Spa, has been elected to the EMECA Board as Vice President Strategy. He succeeds Enrico Pazzali who had been Member of the EMECA Board since 2013 and has left Fiera Milano Spa by the end of April 2015. “We are honoured to welcome Corrado Peraboni within EMECA and the EMECA Board. He is highly qualified, experienced and well known in the exhibition business, therefore we are pleased to cooperate closely in the future. We also express our sincere thanks to Enrico Pazzali for his valuable contribution to EMECA in the past years”, declares María Martínez.

At the European venues, exhibition spaces are being upgraded and adapted to suit demands for flexible space for new formats of events, such as long-time public exhibitions, music and sport events, conferences with exhibitions or innovative B2C formats. Only in very few cases, this leads to an expansion of exhibition space. Often, entrance situations are being improved and a trend to better integrate venues with surrounding areas, even to open certain parts of the venue to the public all year round can be observed. EMECA President María Martínez explains: “In times of digital transformation, emotional experiences between humans and trust-building face-to-face meetings with business partners are especially valued and in high demand. We create the best platforms on all channels – our business is people’s business.”

New and enhanced services continue to be at the top of the agenda of all EMECA members, enabling customer tailored offers and additional revenue streams for the venues and organising companies. The EMECA Technical Working Group, lead by EMECA Vice President Infrastructure Claude Membrez, currently looks into different catering models. Yet, digital offers remain the main focus of attention, especially those creating leads, matchmaking and communities for the exhibitors and visitors, mostly all year round. EMECA members are leading the digital developments in the exhibitions business, a high level of implementation of must-have offers can be observed. In addition, EMECA members invest into and experiment with many new digital technologies. “Our 2015 Digital Business Survey shows that digital business’ relevance will again grow in the next three years and will be the most important by 2020, we will continue to augment our core business with outstanding digital added value services”, says Kai Hattendorf, Head of the EMECA Digital Business Working Group.

The EMECA General Assembly took place at Fiera Milano Spa, Italy. From May to October this year, Milan is host to the world exhibition EXPO 2015. “We believe that this global public showcase not only demonstrates the excellence of our industry to an international public but will also boost Europe as the place for innovation, business and trade”, states Barbara Weizsäcker, EMECA General Secretary. In the name of the European Exhibition Industry Alliance, she advocates the role exhibitions play to boost innovation, commerce, growth and jobs to the European Union institutions in Brussels. “We have achieved high awareness among the Brussels players and on a practical level more European support for SME internationalisation by trade fair participation in various EU-funded programmes”, adds David Boon, EMECA Vice President EU Relations.