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14.07.2017

At Rimini Fiera, success for the sixth edition of the AEFI training seminar

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"How and where innovation is born: current situation and future of Italian trade fairs"

How and where innovation is born: current situation and future of Italian trade fairs” has reached its successful conclusion, the two days of work for the 6th edition of the annual training update seminar for members of the AEFI – Italian Exhibition and Trade Fair Association – held yesterday and today in Rimini, at the site of Rimini Fiera.

The seminar is part of the AEFI’s training activities, which this year too saw the Association engaged in many initiatives to allow trade fairs to keep pace with the development of the market and be competitive.

Opening the session, after the greeting from Rimini Fiera on the part of Patrizia Cecchi, IEG Italian Exhibitions Director , AEFI Vice Chairman Giovanni Laezza highlighted the strategic role of the AEFI in the Italian trade fair system and stressed the importance of innovation as a fundamental tool in the development of the sector: “In a continuously changing market, innovation is extremely important given the fact that trade fairs must be able to change and adapt in order to respond to the needs of operators and be a factor in growth for businesses and the area.

The first panel, “The future that awaits us and the role of innovation”, featured Giuseppe Schirone, economist at Prometeia, and Carlo Bagnoli, Full Professor of Strategic Innovation at the Department of Management, Cà Foscari University of Venice.
Schirone outlined recent dynamics and the medium-term prospects for AEFI’s reference Italian product sectors: technology, construction/furnishing, agri-food, leisure and fashion/beauty –which in total generate 30% of national output – contextualised with respect to recent macroeconomic, international and national forecasts. The analysis carried out by Prometeia highlighted the main changes that concern the global economy, where a process of consolidation is underway, with positive “surprises” for the EU area and some emerging economies.

Carlo Bagnoli on the other hand dwelt on the implementation of strategic innovation for all organisations that takes concrete form in the definition of a new business model.

Also among the fundamental issues of the two days were the case histories presented by the trade fair organisations in Bologna, Verona, Florence, Forlì, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi and Rome.

The afternoon session on the theme of “Changes in planning” saw the intervention of Antonio Bruzzone, General Manager of BolognaFiere; Annamaria Gimigliano, Human Resources, Planning and Development Manager for Veronafiere; Beatrice Simonetti, Firenze Fiera Marketing Department; Michele Tampieri, Project Manager for Fieravicola, International Department-Fiera di Forlì.
Of particular interest was the best practice presented by the individual fair organisations, like the Cosmoprof platform, an example of internationalisation; the digital transformation activity undertaken by Veronafiere; Firenze Fiera’s experience of international collaboration with the German association Didacta and the need for constructive relationships between the Institutions and companies underpinning the Fieravicola model.
The first day ended with the in-depth session on “Organisational and behavioural changes”. In particular, Roberta Bertoldi, Related Event Organisation at Riva del Garda Fieracongressi, illustrated the “Food for Good” case history, a concrete method for collaborating in the social field with the Trentino Banco Alimentare (food bank).

Karla Juegel, CEO of Messe Marketing Munich, focused on the value added of trade fairs as an opportunity for face-to-face contact and on the need to integrate tools for communicating with visitors in the pre- and post.exhibition stages.

Anty Pansera, Design Historian, and Carla Rosio, Project Manager, have illustrated the first Social Commerce Platform designed to bring digital natives into contact with the world of craftsmanship, uniting new technologies and historic knowledge.

Within the ever growing market of automated messaging systems, Marco Ricciuti, Web Architect & ICT Consultant at Gs Net Italia, ICT partner Fiera Roma and Massimo Spaggiari, Head of Innovation at Gs Net Italia, ICT partner Fiera Roma sketched out an overview of the ChatBot technology – an automated messaging system – used for the Blast event held in May at the Trade Fair in Rome.

The work on the second day of the seminar had the focus of “Changes in communication”.
Paolo Casati, Creative Director of Studiolabo, Milan presented  the Fuorisalone and Brera Design District projects, two examples of territorial marketing that extend places open to the public and to the city to the traditional trade fair.

The contribution from Giovanni Laezza, General Manager of Riva del Garda Fieracongressi and Vice Chairman of the AEFI, centred on the importance of training to convey and share new marketing and communication tools for trade fairs. Training generates contact with manufacturers in various markets, to bring them to trade fairs in Italy as exhibitors; it generates contact with buyers in Italy and abroad, to bring them to visit the fair; it provides the area with the specialist knowledge that the fair epitomises.

Valeria Tarasco, Lake Como Marketing, presented lakecomo.eu, the digital tourism promotion project for the Lago di Como brand,which represents the new paradigm with which Lariofiere responds to its mission to support the development and promotion of the local economy

The two AEFI training days concluded with the illustration of an example of an exhibition dedicated to environmental sustainability, Ecomondo, through the contribution of Cesare Trevisani, from Nuova Comunicazione Associati.

The seminar permitted a demonstration of how innovation, in its various fields, is the driver for Italian Trade Fairs. That’s why the AEFI will continue to work to support innovation, also establishing a permanent discussion group for the members so that they can share innovative ideas with stimuli both from within and from external bodies.
The AEFI will also pursue the programme of activities dedicated to training with a focus both on digital communication and on design.


The AEFI – Italian Exhibition and Trade Fair Association – a private non-profit, was set up in 1983 with a view to generating synergies between the most important Italian exhibition districts. AEFI would like to be seen as a privileged partner for operators and institutions alike, and its role is to support members through the development of activities and programmes in the sphere of training, marketing, promotion and research, as well as to provide services for trade fairs through the activities of its Committees: Exhibition Hub Technical, Legal-Administrative, Internationalisation and Trade Fairs Network.
On the internationalisation front, the AEFI supports members through agreements with strategic markets. To date, partnerships have been made with Iran, Taiwan, Lebanon and India as well as a memorandum of understanding with AmCham - American Chamber of Commerce in Italy and CENTREX - International Exhibition Statistics Union.
The AEFI promoted the foundation of ISFCERT, the Certification Institute for Exhibition Industry Statistics which, by means of rigorous methodology, enables Italian operators to present and recognise standardised data, in the name of transparency and reliability.
The AEFI represents Italian trade fairs in UFI - Union of International Fairs. Chaired by Ettore Riello, AEFI includes 35 member exhibition districts, which organise over 1,000 events a year over an overall exhibition area of 4.2 million square metres. 92% of international trade fairs, and 85% of all trade fairs, which take place each year in Italy, are held in AEFI-member exhibition districts.
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