2013-2023 Synergies for Internationalisation and Sustainability

At the start of the decade, the efforts of a sector tasked with representing the Italian economy were already clearly visible: the moment was complex but the sector had all the necessary technical and managerial qualities and the potential to overcome the various difficulties. However, the need for increased support from the institutions was increasingly evident.


It was precisely at this stage that AEFI strongly boosted its communication activities with the government and institutions to emphasise the role of exhibitions as a lever of the country’s economic policy.

The message got through and was finally embraced.

Exhibitions, all of them, each with their own specific features, can play a fundamental role in relaunching the country. The figures confirm this:

  • € 60 billion worth of deals are made during exhibitions
  • 15% of national exports are generated by exhibitions, which also promote the image of our country
  • Exhibitions are one of the main if not the only promotional tool for 75% of industrial concerns and for 88.5 % of SMEs.

It is acknowledged that exhibitions offer the country an excellent and tangible opportunity for growth, and that they must be given proper consideration so that they can contribute to the competitiveness of businesses and the growth of the industrial fabric.

At the beginning of the decade, AEFI witnessed positive results: strong synergies were created with the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), SACE, and SIMEST, and even the government included them in the Extraordinary Plan for the Promotion of Italian Manufacturing, highlighting the success of the sector, which received major incentives for the first time.

Promotion Road To Expo a Dubai

The great work of weaving relationships, in order to be included in the Steering Committee for Internationalisation, with the aim of contributing to outlining the future strategies of the sector and strengthening its competitiveness, was also rewarded in 2020.

The sector’s contribution to EXPO 2015 should not be overlooked as it was an outstanding challenge for our country, accepted and met in the interests of the country as a whole and not of individual organisations.

Global Exhibition Day 2016

Also worthy of note is AEFI’s success, as of 2016, with the organisation of GED, Global Exhibition Day, launched by UFI, which gave the sector the opportunity to attract international interest in exhibitions, promoting a sector that is an extraordinary driver of the economy worldwide.

Another strong involvement of AEFI during this period of tie concerned Sustainability, especially in the wake of the launch of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Fully aware of the importance of its role, AEFI embarked on a path in this direction, both as an association and via the activities of its individual members, whose goals concern:

  • the sustainable management of natural resources, the fight against climate change, the commitment towards clean energy (environmental sustainability);
  • the contribution to economic development to end poverty and hunger thanks to conscious consumption and production;
  • the desire to promote peace;
  • the collaboration to mobilise the necessary means and drive this agenda.

AEFI’s central representative role did not diminish even in 2020 and during the pandemic crisis that followed.

The Association promoted a regulatory protocol capable of providing organisational and operational guidelines aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the precautionary measures adopted to combat the COVID-19 epidemic at exhibitions and events. At the same time, AEFI successfully applied to the institutions for support for the exhibition sector, which was strongly affected by the pandemic.

Stati Generali Del Turismo

The decade closed with AEFI’s commitment:

Assemblea 2020 Passaggio di Consegne Laezza Danese
  • to create a strong new synergy with the Ministry of Tourism, starting from the evidence of how much exhibitions and tourism are two important players on the same scene and how connected the forces deployed must be so that one sector can act as a driver for the other;
  • strengthen the sector’s international presence in synergy with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy to provide even better support for the dissemination of excellence Made in Italy on the global market.

Ettore Riello was succeeded by the General Manager of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Giovanni Laezza, who was succeeded in July 2020 by Maurizio Danese, Chairman of Veronafiere.