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20.09.2017

AEFI ECONOMIC OBSERVATORY ON THE TRADE FAIR SECTOR

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A positive second quarter of 2017, thanks to foreign operators. Additional improvement to the development of turnover. More conservative forecast for the third quarter.

The 33rd quarterly survey on trends in the trade fair sector conducted by the AEFI Economic Observatory for the April–June 2017 period confirms the development of the first quarter of the year. The overall situation is positive, even if the growth trend is more limited.

The qualitative survey – which involved 28 AEFI-member Italian trade fair districts – through the positive and egative balances defined on the basis of responses from members who took part in the analysis - shows growth in relation to all the indicators considered.
The favourable trend is also reflected in a positive balance as far as turnover is concerned, both with respect to the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

The number of exhibitions continues to grow. The balance of +14% is slightly lower both with respect to the first quarter of the year and compared to the same period last year (+20%).

The number of exhibitors is increasing constantly: 50% of the 28 members who took part in the survey reported an increase; 25% reported a static situation and another 25% a downturn.

The balance of +25% – the difference between those who foresee an increase and those who foresee a decrease – confirms the positive trend of the previous quarter, and is an improvement compared to the second quarter of 2016, when the balance was +12%.
Analysis of the cross section of where exhibitors came from shows a greater increase in Europeans, with a balance of +36%, followed by non-EU exhibitors (balance 32%). The Italians were less dynamic, with a balance of +11%.

The trend in exhibitions and exhibitors is also reflected in the space taken: 42.84% of those who took part in the analysis recorded an increase. The balance, of +14%, is in line with the end of June 2016 when it was +12%.
The greatest contribution to the total space taken overall was made by foreign exhibitors, by Europeans in particular, with a balance of +39%, followed by non-EU exhibitors with a balance of +32%. The balance of space taken by Italian exhibitors, on the other hand, is +21%.

The data on visitor intake was also positive: increasing for 50% of respondents, unvarying for 18% and decreasing for 32%.  The balance of +18%, net of the static component, is in line with the figure for the first quarter of 2017, but half of the same period in the previous year (balance +36%).
With regard to where visitors came from, the results highlight greater dynamism among those from non-EU countries, with a balance of +29%, followed by Europeans (balance +25%) and by Italians (balance +14%).

The development of turnover was particularly significant: growth for 60.83% of the districts that took part in the survey and a downturn for 25%. The balance of +36% indicates an improvement both with respect to the first quarter of 2017 (balance +24%) and compared to the same period last year (balance +20%).

The forecast for the third quarter is positive, yet conservative, for most of the members involved in the analysis for all the indicators considered: number of exhibitions, of exhibitors, of visitors and space taken.


AEFI - Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane, a private non-profit Association, was established in 1983 with the goal of 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 Committee, Legal-Administrative Committee, Internationalisation Committee and Trade Fairs Network Committee.
On the internationalization front, AEFI supports members thanks to agreements with strategic markets. To date, partnerships have been agreed with Iran, Taiwan, Lebanon and India, with AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, and with CENTREX, the International Exhibition Statistics Union. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with SACE and SIMEST.
AEFI has promoted the foundation of ISFCert, the Certification Institute for Exhibition Industry Statistics which, through rigorous methodologies, enables Italian organisers to present and recognise standardised data, in the name of transparency and reliability.
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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