A successful exhibition is more than just a showcase for innovations and R&D; it not only reflects current trends but anticipates and discusses developments in economy, society and research; it creates a platform for innovation and new ideas across cultures or national borders. Important criteria for success are the ability to integrate these trends into events’ concepts: to showcase innovations, to provide transparency and comparability and to offer orientation; to discover and cater to exhibitors’ and visitors’ interests, to facilitate valuable contacts, exchange and synergy effects, and last but not least to offer an attractive cost-performance ratio.
Next to large international leading events, specialised and niche sector exhibitions are very successful. New forms of business events or public shows are being developed in close cooperation with their clients, including hybrids between conferences, exhibitions, trainings or others, such as large scale dealer trainings and networking events lasting several weeks which can find their home at exhibitions grounds.
Development of new services and digital products
The integration of additional services into the business portfolio of exhibition companies is increasingly important, be they physical or digital. Customers demand a high level of services tailored to their individual needs. While the sustainable venue management is beneficial from an economic and environmental point of view, exhibitors and visitors expect precise information and a choice of sustainable offers next to conventional products and services.
The traditional currency of the exhibition industry “square metres” is being complemented by other parameters such as “contacts”. New technologies enable more precise matching of interests with the aim of maximising business opportunities during exhibitions, but also all year round. Digital catalogues, more flexible and efficient ordering or systems, advertising or other services are being offered in a digital way.
Outlook of the European exhibition industry
Internationalisation of exhibition brands, establishing new exhibitions or cooperation with partners in emerging economies will increase as well as other forms of European engagement abroad including e.g. the management of exhibition centres outside Europe.
Already now, competition is tough and will be increasing further among exhibitions venues and organisers for exhibitions and sectors in Europe and worldwide, especially for international shows. Cooperation among players from within the exhibition industry and with outside partners may increase, and in parallel, a consolidation process can be witnessed: the 20 largest exhibition companies dominate 50 % of the world market in exhibitions.
For the future, European venues and exhibitions compete with growth markets where huge modern exhibition grounds are built. Globally, we witness a high capacity increase, especially in Asia. The European venues invest permanently in enhancing their facilities according to the latest logistical and technological state of the art in order to secure the attractiveness of the European exhibition location and its important role within the global economy.
European exhibition companies work hard on their productivity and invest in skills and talents. They focus on opportunities, move in a proactive way and target new customers in order to generate new revenues. Their overall aim is to maintain exhibitions and live events most relevant and attractive by offering targeted added value.