On March 19, the general assembly of Aefi 2022 – Italian Exhibition and Fair Association – took place in Veronafiere, where the state of the art of the sector was outlined, after two difficult years.
In 2019, the last statistically useful year for detecting the scope of the exhibition tool for Made in Italy, the system generated business for 60 billion euros a year, compared to a turnover in the sector of one billion euros.
According to the association, which represents 96% of the international events taking place in Italy, in the 4 years preceding the emergency, the second largest industry in Europe, and fourth in the world, had taken decisive steps, in particular in favor of internationalization.
The increase in b2b events and the investments of the associates of Aefi 2022, who over the years have transformed themselves into direct organizers, have numerically and qualitatively increased the global reach of the events, exceeding 200.
In particular, from 2016 to 2018 the number of international events grew by 11%. At the same time, the trend in the number of exhibitors, which increased by 49% in the period considered, representing the champion sectors of Italian exports. A double thread, that between exports and trade fairs, which can be seen in the geography of the districts where major international events are held, capable of attracting around 10 million operators a year, of which 1.6 million foreigners, given – this last – up 44%.
The goals for the next few years
According to the president of Aefi 2022 Maurizio Danese it is necessary for the Italian trade fair system, but also for the made in Italy, to return within the next two years to the numbers achieved before Covid, “when for every euro invested by companies, 60 business were generated and 23 of induced. A multiplier effect recognized by the Government and Parliament, with which we have formed a relationship of true alliance during the emergency. It is no coincidence that today, thanks to the refreshments and the overcoming of the de minimis regime, the minus sign of the EBITDA has been largely filled, even if in relation to the total losses, 100 million euros are still missing from the appeal “.
But the refreshments were a valid defense tool but not for growth. Therefore, there are two priorities for the relaunch: the remodeling of the NRP funds destined for tourism with an exclusive expenditure chapter in favor of the green renewal of the fairs; the revision, which can no longer be postponed, of the cadastral classification of the fairgrounds for IMU purposes. “We ask in summary – concluded Danese – that the exhibition halls can be considered real estate units that perform a clear function of general interest and therefore be excluded from taxation”.
The responses of Minister Massimo Garavaglia to Aefi 2022
The Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, present at the assembly, said “If half of Italian exports go through the trade fair system, we must necessarily support trade fairs because Italy’s competitiveness passes from there. For this reason, the resources deployed amount to approximately 500 million euros. Of these, 63% of the first 350 million has already been disbursed, while the remaining 150 million euros have been disbursed at 84% “. With regard to the priorities of the sector illustrated by the Aefi president, the minister has shown himself to be a possibility in terms of IMU and PNRR funds dedicated exclusively to the exhibition industry.