According data from UFI data – Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, which brings together the owners and national and international organizations of the exhibition industry, 20% of Italian companies closed in red. While more than one in 2 saw their profit halve.
Furthermore, at least one Italian company out of 5 is likely to close in the next 6 months if the fairs do not restart.
But what are the main obstacles preventing the reopening of trade fairs? According to the interviewees, the main one remains the willingness of businesses and visitors to participate in physical appointments (64%). This is followed by the attenuation of the current measures limiting travel (63%) and those relating to safety established at the local level (52%).
For Maurizio Cozzani, managing director of Eurostands, a historic company in the sector of fittings and temporary architecture: “Fairs are fundamental for the economy: they represent a real showcase that allows us to make known the refined products that are born in Italy to the rest of the world.
As soon as possible, we are ready to leave again, always putting safety at the center of all our set-ups. The situation in the sector is certainly very difficult, but Eurostands managed to resist by reinventing itself immediately, with new products and new markets.
The real strength? The ability to know how to build and design within their own factory. And we don’t stop: right now we want to relaunch our production skills on Made in Italy design, looking above all to the East where some events have been reopening for some time. The needs of the public have also changed: this is why we need to focus on new ways to involve visitors by making them feel safe in a welcoming environment. To do this, we have expanded our laboratory of ideas and entrusted designers and architects with the development of projects to make the spaces open to the public safe ».
According to UFI data, in fact, in the United Arab Emirates and China, confidence in the future seems to be greater. In particular in the first country, 7 out of 10 professionals think that normal activity will return from mid-2021. In China, no interviewee expects a June without fairs against 13% of the Italian sample, but for 47% the activity will necessarily be reduced.
In the Bel Paese, on the other hand, those who expect to return to a normal level of activity already in June are 37% and, in general, one in 2 believe that fairs will reopen their doors in the second half of 2021.