Italian exhibitions are a very important tool for our economy. Every year the Italian sector involves around 200,000 exhibitors and 20 million visitors, generating business worth 60 billion euro and giving rise to 50% of the exports of the companies participating in them. Significant numbers that grow if we also consider the peripherals such as transport, accommodation and food service.

Globally, according to UFI data, in 2018 the 32,000 exhibitions generated an economic impact of 275 billion euro, contributing 167.2 billion to world GDP. A context in which our country ranks in fourth place, with a major role in the Italian economy.
With the ongoing health crisis, it is currently impossible to estimate the economic impact that the coronavirus epidemic will have, in that the Government’s measures have been in place for two days and those of the Regions are constantly changing. It is very difficult to predict how the situation will evolve and how long it will last, and it is difficult to predict the effects on an international level because we must not forget that the problem is not only confined to Italy.

As an Association, we are clearly aware of how essential it is to adopt all the necessary measures to protect public health and we are ready to implement them. All our Associates are carefully following the health regulations of local and national authorities.
Despite organisational difficulties, we hope that most of the events currently cancelled or postponed can be rescheduled in the coming months, so as to contribute to limiting the economic damage. In due course, we will work in conjunction with all the other stakeholders involved for a new “calendar”.

We have opened a dialogue with the Institutions to understand how to best manage this emergency also on the economic front.

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. It currently includes 36 member exhibition districts, which organise over 1000 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.