In the MICE industry, Italy and Rome have the right recipe for success: when the goal is Rome – it was said among other things in a press conference – the adhesions to the events exceed the average of the other capitals by 20%. But what do leaders think of the coronavirus effect on the industry?
Rome is a silent power for economic development. Both Rome
and Lazio have unique characteristics. In particular, Rome is not only
welcoming and exciting, but it actually improves the results of events held
there. This is what Mary Larkin, UFI president, the global association of the
trade fair industry said. UFI held its Global CEO Summit in Rome for a limited
number of 100 men and women at the top of the top companies from 37 countries which
ended today, February 7, 2020.
“If Europe is the most international market for world
fairs, Italy,” said Larkin, “is certainly an essential component, and I am sure
that following our event in Rome, which brings together the most influential
decision-makers of the system world fair, it will be a useful moment of
comparison and sharing of strategies to maintain high sector performances.”
Larkin has not hidden the concerns about the coronavirus effect that will inevitably affect the tourism and trade fair sector, but the orientation of the Chinese organizers, she said, is to postpone and not cancel trade fair events that were scheduled for February and March.
“The exhibition flywheel does not lose its power despite the
digital revolution and virtual relationships,” said Pietro Piccinetti, sole
admin and GM of Fiera Roma. “The figures confirm this: in 2018 over 4.5 million
companies took part in fairs around the world for a total of 303 million
visitors (only in Europe the participants were 112 million and about 1.3
million exhibitors), for an economic impact estimated at around 275 billion
euros, contributing approximately 167 billion to world GDP.
These are the numbers disclosed by the top management of UFI,
which alone represents around 800 organizers from 86 countries around the
world. Fairs create jobs, generate business, and are the ideal marketplace to
create connections and generate wealth.
Kai Hattendorf A.D., UFI, thinks: “The choice of Rome
derives from the strong ties between Italy and the UFI, as demonstrated by our
2015 world congress held in Milan. Today then, your country relives a fair-congress
‘Renaissance’ that bodes well for the future.”
Onorio Rebecchini, president of the Convention Bureau in
Rome, said: “I believe that we have already demonstrated our know-how in
organizing. From 2017 to today, the sector has generated events for 15 million
euros in sales on the territory, with positive effects on all related
industries. We still have a lot of potentials to express and translate into
concrete contributions to the tourist-accommodation chain.”
“UFI is an event that makes us proud,” said Pietro
Piccinetti, the sole administrator and general manager of Fiera Roma, “because
it is proof of the strong appeal that Rome can boast in the meeting industry
and in the exhibition sector in general and know-how.”
Italy benefits from this. Currently, the Italian exhibition
industry has 43 exhibition poles of 2.3 million square meters of exhibition
space, which have hosted 913 events, of which over 200 of international appeal,
with around 200,000 exhibitors and a total of 22 million visitors, of which 13
million for international events, generating a turnover of around 60 billion
euros, giving rise to almost 50% of exports.
With these numbers, Italy firmly occupies the fourth
position in the ranking of the countries where fairs are held, after the USA,
China, and Germany.
300 million visitors for 4.5 million businesses
The latest statistics for 2018 show that 32,000 fairs are
held worldwide with 4.5 million exhibiting companies that meet over 300 million
visitors in approximately 1,200 structures, counting only those with at least 5,000
square meters of exhibition space.
It is an industry that generates 3.2 million jobs, both
direct and indirect, with exhibitors and visitors spending a total of 116
billion euros. Europe is the leading region for trade fairs, with 1.3 million
exhibitors in 2019 and 112 million visitors and exhibition spaces covering
almost 16 million square meters in 499 locations.
“Italy emerges in the world of trade fairs – said Kay
Hattendorf – for our summit we immediately had excellent support from the
institutions”. So the UFI Global Ceo Summit brought 100 specialists from
all over the world to Rome, including organizers and managers of structures,
all by invitation and for a fee. A return in fact, because UFI, The Global
Association of the Exhibition Industry, was born in Rome in 1995. It currently
represents over 800 organizations and companies from 86 countries and has its own
brand in a thousand fairs.