Celebrating the first 5 years of CENTREX joint activity

CENTREX International Exhibition Statistics Union, leading co-operation body of Central East European exhibition industry has held her jubilary Board of Directors meeting on February 11, 2003 in Budapest, celebrating the first 5 years of CENTREX joint activity.

At this meeting further two leading exhibition companies have joined additionally to the 10 members till 2002. The now 12-member union represents more than 75 p.c. of the exhibition industry of the region. The new members are Agrokomplex Nitra from Slovakia and Kyiv International Contract Fair from Ukraine. With this enlargement now CENTREX has in both respective countries the two major exhibition companies as active members opting for the transparent exhibition data and enhanced professional co-operation.

It was highlighted at the Board meeting that successful joint efforts and events in 2002 have been major steps to contribute to the promotion of trade fairs as effective marketing instrument and to perspectives for developing exhibition industry. Both events in Poznan and Budapest last year had been fully reflecting the responsibility CENTREX feels to take with open initiatives towards non-member exhibition organisers and marketing specialists.

In Poznan 60 p.c. of the participants while in Budapest over 70 p.c. of the foreign participants at the workshop had come from non-CENTREX member exhibition organisations (in Budapest attracting experts from 12 countries). As main theme of discussion in Poznan the perspectives, future demands toward exhibitions and organisers were at the table. In Budapest the focus was set at the very exchange of experience in staging building trade fairs having grown at fast pace in recent years. (More on this 2 events at www.centrexstat.org/ news/press)

In the framework of promoting exhibitions as very efficient marketing instrument CENTREX collects, analyse and publish opinions, testimonials, case studies of exhibition partners in the Central East European region. They plausibly prove that having made due preparations, having set measurable targets, being dedicated participation at trade fairs can be very efficient and successful marketing instrument. CENTREX web site now presents over 100 such exhibitor/partner testimonials. (www.centrexstat.org/ref_index.html)

In 2002 institutional collaboration and exchange of trade information was started with AUMA and other international organisations. Through them CENTREX members and whole CEE exhibition community have access to both geographically and thematically wider range of exhibition industry information, studies and analyses on trends etc.

The 2 new members of CENTREX Union are in their own capacities significant business promotion organisations in their respective countries:

  • AGROKOMPLEX Nitra being 30 years old, in 2002 they organised 26 exhibitions, where 446,000 visitors, 2,633 exhibitors took part, the fairs occupied net 117,000 sq.m. space. With these data they have become No. 1. in Slovakia.
  • Kyiv International Contract Fair Joint Stock Company started her activity in 1995 (the Fair itself has over 200 years history) and by now they have reached top position in the very dispersed Ukrainian exhibition market. In 2002 they staged 16 fairs, attended by 104,000 visitors, 2,076 exhibitors and occupied 25,000 sq.m. space.

In Kyiv new era has begun on February 7, 2003 with opening the first venue of modern times dedicated to exhibitions. The first stage of KyivExpoPlaza, a multipurpose exhibition centre has doubled the so far maximum space capacity of 5,000 sq.m. This exhibition centre has net 11,000 sq.m. indoor and 5,000 sq.m. outdoor exhibition space. This could be exploited fully from the very beginning thus contributing to the even faster growth of Ukrainian exhibition business.

Among the inventors and investors of KyivExpoPlaza both Ukrainian CENTREX member have played important role, together with a few marketing communication companies and banks. The Plaza was completed in 5 months!.

In 2003 CENTREX continues her efforts to become the professional hub of Central East European exhibition business, to be the central institution of collaboration. In its framework the Union beyond being the information and knowledge centre she is to transform into a point of reference, a strong platform of professional debates, exchange of information, lobby-organisation, research institute of the future and relation management of the exhibition industry in the region.

First occasion this year of this exchange of experience was the Board meeting itself: members have exchanged their information on and discussed foreseen consequences, changes, development and expectations towards their countries and business communities joining the European Union. The probable and consequential changes, challenges and opportunities of being part of the single market, becoming the eastern border of EU will definitely bring along new chances. The members discussed the expected changes in practical procedures, opportunities and needed preparations, future collaboration and competition.

The next issue of comprehensive Central East European Exhibition Statistics Yearbook will be published this year with the now enhanced membership of 12 organisers and they will be integral part of the pan-European yearbook as well. This publication is expected to come out in April 2003 and will be distributed among economic and export promotion bodies, trade associations, business chambers, economic press in the respective countries. With special reference to the EU accession extraordinary attention is paid at informing the EU organisations, European institutions, trade associations and obtaining their views as well.

The events of Central East European Exhibition Forum (CEEEF) - launched in 2002 - is also set forth to continue. Date and place of the next open forum to discuss present and future trends and practice of organising food trade fairs.