“We want to encourage other governments and policymakers to offer the same in their respective markets“

The European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA), which is a partnership between UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and EMECA, the European Major Exhibition Centres Association, is today releasing documentation that lists support from the EU and national governments in Europe for businesses in general, and the exhibition industry in particular.

“By gathering and sharing examples of general financial measures and dedicated support for the exhibition industry already implemented across Europe, we want to encourage other governments and policymakers to offer the same in their respective markets“, says Barbara Weizsäcker, Secretary-General of EEIA and EMECA. Positive actions have already been implemented by the EU, as requested and communicated from EEIA, UFI and EMECA, whereby the three EU institutions collaborated to approve and put in place a such financial support swiftly. Additional EU funding will be made available to the EU Member States. The documentation may serve to the exhibition industry across Europe for their respective national advocacy efforts.

The exhibition and business events were the first to be shut down and will open with delay due to the longer planning and preparation time for such events. Therefore, the industry is specifically concerned by the effects of coronavirus measures. Nonetheless, exhibitions and trade fairs are a fast-track to economic recovery once the coronavirus crisis has passed and will deliver the best return on investment for companies to access markets again.

The report also lists examples from across Europe of how the exhibition industry is providing support in this crisis, with initiatives such as converting exhibition halls to temporary COVID-19 emergency hospitals. “This shows how our industry is linked to their local communities, putting concrete actions in place with dedicated staff during crisis situations like the pandemic now“, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI MD/CEO.