THE IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC POSTPONED AND CANCELLED EVENTS, THE IMPACT ON EXHIBITION CENTRES, TERRITORIES AND SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
AEFI demands action to obtain measures and resources in response to the negative impact which postponements and cancellations are having on Italian exhibition districts and their related industrial sectors
To reinforce the Plan for the Promotion of the Made in Italy brand by setting aside greater resources for the Italian exhibitions industry, to recover its image and draw international visitors to our events; to providing incentives for businesses, including tax credits for participation in Italian international exhibitions, and creating awareness of the rules provided by the Decreto Crescita (Growth Bill) and Budget Law; social safety nets for exhibition centre staff; a moratorium for mortgages; the option to reconfigure the payment of taxes and duties; facilitated access to credit and the resolution of structural problems like the property tax (IMU) on exhibition centres (which the industry has been denouncing as iniquitous for decades), and definitive clarification of the on-going problems resulting from the enactment of the Madia Law.
These are the demands made by AEFI-Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane to the Government, in support of exhibition centres, so heavily impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, on the occasion of the 3 March meeting at the Ministry of the Interior for the presentation of the Extraordinary Plan 2020 for the promotion of the Made in Italy brand,
“By the date of 29 February, 71 exhibitions have already been postponed, and this number will change over the next few weeks in relation to the development of the situation and the duration of the emergency; further events may well be cancelled due to the impossibility of scheduling them for the coming months. AEFI is therefore demanding urgent action to enable our industry to survive.”
Italian exhibitions are a strategic factor in Italian industrial policy: every year they attract around 200,000 exhibitors and 20 million visitors, generate a turnover of 60 bn euro, and account for 50% of exports for participating businesses. “We must not forget that, for 75.4% of Italian companies, exhibitions are an essential, low cost tool for promoting and creating awareness about their products, both domestically and internationally, and for the growth of their business,” Laezza added.
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.