Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2019 - Page 54

Country focus There is a significant relationship between the growth in foreign visitors (+17%) and the more than proportional increase in Italian exports (+22%) Italian exhibition elan Industry association AEFI tells EW about one version of ‘festivalisation’ and the power of the Fuori Salone The fact that tradefairs bring wealth to destinations is historically recognised, although the awareness that destinations can also be a source of great added value for the events they host is relatively more recent. This is particularly true in Italy, where the environmental, cultural and gastronomic values represent an important phenomenon illustrated well by Fuori Salone (events during Milan Design Week). The first Fuori Salone originated from the Salone del Mobile in Milan, and was born spontaneously in the early 1980s by companies in the furniture sector. Over time the event phenomenon has become international and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The project has expanded to become a creative showcase for both emerging and established design and architecture studios. In Verona, starting some years ago, Vinitaly enriched its offer to visitors with the Wine Fuori Salone, where wine, culture, meetings and entertainment come together for a unique experience in the most evocative places of Verona, making the city the world capital of oenology. In collaboration with the municipality, Arte Fiera Bologna every year promotes Art City, a programme dedicated to contemporary art with special projects and a selection of exhibitions and events. Since 2017 Macfrut has also seen a Fuori Salone: Strawberry Days, a great event along the Romagna coast dedicated to the strawberry. Assocation profile: AEFI AEFI - the Italian Exhibition and Tradefair Association - has 35 member exhibition centres organising 1,000 events which today cover a total area of 4.2m sqm. AEFI member exhibition centres host almost all the international and national 54 Issue 2 2019 tradefairs held in Italy and the association lobbies institutions on the importance of tradefairs as a component in Italy’s industrial policy. AEFI has a dedicated commission, which works in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to identify strategic markets and opportunities for growth. To date, partnerships have been agreed with Iran, Taiwan, Lebanon, India, Thailand and South Africa, with AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, and with CENTREX, the International Exhibition Statistics Union. This year, AEFI plans to reinforce its existing relations with Russia and China. In parallel, agreements with the ICE Agency, Simest and Sace contribute to finding new opportunities for industry operators. AEFI is actively engaged in promoting the certification of its members and provides effective instruments to enable exhibitors and visitors to decide which exhibitions to attend. In 2017, 79 Italian tradefairs obtained ISFCert certification pursuant to ISO 25639:2008. AEFI also is active in the annual Global Exhibitions Day and also promotes key sectors of the Made In Italy brand, with targeted events in Rome. AEFI appointed a new President a few months ago, Giovanni Laezza, the Managing Director of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi. Laezza served as Vice-President of the association for 12 years. www.aefi.it (Continuation from p.52) >>>>>>>>>>>> Rented exhibition space is also up. The balance of +27% is lower with respect to the previous quarter, but is definitely positive compared to the same period of the previous year (+19%). The greatest contribution to the total rented space was made by Italian exhibitors (up +23%), followed by other Europeans at +15%. The area booked by non-EU exhibitors remained largely unchanged. Data regarding the flow of visitors – up for 40% of respondents, down for 36% – reflects a less encouraging performance. The total growth of +4% is less than for the end of 2017 (+15%). There seems to be an optimism looking ahead into the year, with 38.44% of the districts that took part in the survey predicting an increase in the number of exhibitions, while around 54% predict an increase in exhibitors and space taken. The new AEFI Observatory figures are confirmed through comparison with the analysis performed by ISFCERT, the Certification Institute for Exhibition Industry Statistics, recognised by ACCREDIA for the tradefairs certified. If we compare the trend for the last two editions of 75 international Italian exhibitions (57 annual, 14 two-yearly and 4 three-yearly) - out of the total 94 ISFCERT-certified exhibitions held in 2018 - it is clear that the number of visitors is growing together with total rented space. Visitors increased by 3.7% in total, with foreign visitor numbers growing 12.5%. w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk