AEFI for Global Exhibitions Day 2020


Today is Global Exhibitions Day 2020 – #GED2020, the annual celebration of the industry worldwide.

To interpret the theme “Exhibitions are the key to rebuilding economies”, set by UFI – The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry – for the industry as a whole, on this 5th Global Exhibitions Day, AEFI- Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane has published a video – online from today – in which Italian exhibition centres recount the history of a country which has done extraordinary things. And, after the forced shutdown of the industry due to the pandemic, the industry is launching a message of hope and its own desire to start anew and be once more an ambassador for the Made in Italy brand worldwide.

Italian exhibitions are fully fledged multiplier of value and socio-economic wellbeing, a strategic tool capable of making a major contribution to the rebuilding of the economy and society at large, and creating optimism for the future.

This video is our way of giving voice to an industry which has been at a standstill since the end of February, but which has enormous faith and hope in the future of the country. We want to recall people’s attention to the role of exhibitions as a uniquely powerful component of industrial policy, and let the world know that the industry is ready to start again and be an active player in the rebuilding of our economy. Exhibition centres are ready to resume their role as ambassadors for Italy to the world, and of the world to Italy,” says Giovanni Laezza, President of AEFI.

Global Exhibitions Day is an occasion to focus the attention of our national institutions on the importance of the Italian exhibitions industry which, thanks to the contacts we generate at our events, is capable of generating trade worth 60 bn euro a year, and accounts for 50% of exports for participating businesses. Italian exhibitions are an extraordinary motor of development, a strategic asset which has been strongly impacted by Covid-19 and deserves special support.

Every year, worldwide, 32,000 exhibitions host more than 300 million visitors and 4.5 million exhibiting companies. This is a scenario in which Italy has always been an undisputed leader, ranking second in Europe and fourth in the world: with 200,000 exhibitors, over 20,000 professionals globally and around 1,000 events hosted every year, the industry is a major force in the Italian economy.

If the industry fails to take off again, there would a concrete risk of losing out to our foreign competitors and failing to fulfil our commitment to companies which have faithfully chosen to grow their businesses and showcase their goods and services at Italian trade fairs.

Exhibitions generate value for employment and their local territory. Worldwide, according to the UFI’s data for 2019, 116 billion euros are spent by exhibitors and visitors and 1.3 million people are employed by the industry, rising to 3.2 million when we consider allied industries such as transport, accommodation and food services.

To celebrate the 5th Global Exhibitions Day, AEFI has created a video in two episodes (the first, published on 1 May, garnered more than 1 million views on AEFI social channels, and the second will be online from today) which employ an iconographic narration to recount the success of the Italian exhibitions system in making the Made in Italy brand a worldwide success. The industry, with its people, is looking forward with enthusiasm to getting back to bringing Italy to the world and the world to Italy.

The second video recounts the values already expressed by the first, and highlights how Italy has always been a leading player in trade, opening the road to China and America, with basic inventions like Meucci’s telephone or the internal combustion engine invented by Barsanti and Matteucci, along with many other products and styles which are famous around the world.

From the distant past we can hear the call “WE ARE, WE MAKE” of a country whose exhibitions are a fundamentally important factor in its economy, as witnessed by the numbers generated by the industry every year.

Created by Facci & Pollini in Italian and English, and art directed by Riccardo Facci, the second video of the “GED2020” project is online from 3 June on the AEFI YouTube channel at:
It is also available on the AEFI website and all the Association’s social channels:

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 currently has 36 member exhibition districts, which organise over 1,000 events a year over an overall exhibition area of 4.2 million square metres. Nearly all international and national trade fairs which take place each year in Italy are held in AEFI-member exhibition districts.

AEFI is 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 internationalisation front, AEFI supports members thanks to agreements with strategic markets. To date, partnerships have been agreed with Iran, Taiwan, Lebanon, India, Thailand, South Africa and Poland, with AmCham, the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy, with CENTREX, the International Exhibition Statistics Union and with EUPIC-EU Project Innovation Center. A memorandum of understanding has 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.


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