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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 6, 2008
SPECIAL SECTION: TRADE FAIRS
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Poznań International Fair Sets up 1.5 Million Business Meetings
February 6, 2008   
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Przemysław Trawa, chairman of the Poznań International Fair, talks to Zofia Szelińska.

The new year is a good time to take stock and make plans and predictions for the coming year. How was 2007 for you?
Last year was hugely successful. I'm happy to say our fairs and exhibitions are generating increasing interest. The BUDMA International Construction Fair was the largest we held last year, bringing 1,300 exhibitors from 28 countries into an exhibition area of 38,000 square meters.

The Innovations-Technologies-Machines (ITM) exhibition expanded its exhibition area to 30,000 sq m last year. This compares with 15,000 sq m in 2003. This sector just keeps getting more and more popular. The DREMA International Trade Fair of Machines and Tools for the Wood and Furniture Industries had 25,000 sq m compared with 21,000 sq m in 2006.

The POLEKO International Trade Fair for Environmental Protection set another personal best with 1,000 exhibitors. The POLAGRA-Food International Trade Fair of Food Products and Catering was a big hit with the food industry with almost 600 exhibitors setting up camp. Figures like these can only spur us on to work even harder.

Some of our new attractions were also extremely popular and many exhibitors and visitors declared their intention to come back next year. Last year's additions include the Expopower International Exhibition of Power Industry, the Pakfood Fair of Packaging for Food Industry, the Polagra Premiery International Trade Fair of Agricultural Mechanization and the Farma International Trade Fair of Animal Breeding and Rural Development. Our fashion fair also had a few new faces including the Body-Style Exhibition of Lingerie and Beach Fashion, and the Special Days Exhibition of Wedding, First Communion and Evening Fashion.

We have been systematically expanding the range of services we have on offer. Last year, we organized fairs at other trade centers and we held the Dremasilesia-Mebelexpo Fair in conjunction with the Katowice International Fair. We organized the Bakepol Baking and Confectionery Industry Fair in Kielce to complement the Polagra-Food fair. Bakepol plugged a trade fair gap in that part of Poland.

Every year, we accommodate around 12,500 exhibitors, including 3,000 companies from 60 countries around the world. These attract 350,000 visitors.

What are your plans for this year? Are there any new events?
There will be a number biennial events like the Bumasz International Fair for Construction Machines, Vehicles and Equipment, which is an ancillary to the Budma fair. This area is so popular that we will have to set up an extra exhibition space to fit everyone in. Other fairs we hold on alternate years include the Instalacje International Trade Fair for Installation and Equipment, the Sawo International Fair of Work Protection, Fire-Fighting and Rescuing Equipment, the Securex International Security Exhibition, and the Taropak International Packaging Technology and Logistics Exhibition, which alternates with the Pakfood fair.

Organizing new fairs and events and holding them on a regular basis is an important part of the Poznań International Fair and every year brings new challenges. This year's new fairs include the Aquazoo Aquarium Fish, Plants and Accessories Exhibition, the Beautyvision Cosmetics and Solaria Forum, the Budma Interior Interior Finishing and Renovation Show, the Boatshow Fair of Sailing and Water Sports, the Glasstone Fair of Glass and Stone Production and Processing, the Komtechnika International Trade Fair for Municipal Technologies and the Tex-Style Trade Fair of Fabrics, Clothing and Accessories.

The 18th Central European Dental Exhibition CEDE and the accompanying 14th Congress of Dental Teams 4 is one of the major new events we'll be hosting this year. We made an agreement with a company called Exactus to bring this event to Poznań from ŁódĽ. Poznań has better conditions for exhibiting, more options for competitions, training and workshops and a more comfortable environment for dentists. We have also teamed up with the Sawo Bydgoszcz Fair to hold the Eko-Las Fair for Forest Economy, the Timber Industry and Environmental Protection in Tuchola Forest.

Are you planning to host the United Nations conference on climate change?
Yes we are. The Poznań International Fair will be hosting a session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Poland was chosen to host the 2008 conference and our venue was put forward as a candidate. After the Secretariat of the UN Convention carried out their technical inspections, they named the Poznań International Fair as the place which best met their technological, logistic and organizational requirements. Around 10,000 people will be attending the Poznań convention, and the Poznań International Fair will have the honor of being the first Polish venue to welcome governmental delegations from all UN member states. Prime ministers and heads of state will most likely be among the guests. The outcome will be crucial to determining the technical, legislative and financial means of combating global warming. The next conference will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, where delegates will be adopting the proposals and obligations devised in Poznań.

The Polish trade fair calendar has a new entry this year-Expo Silesia. What do you think about this new player?
The Katowice International Fair (Międzynarodowe Targi Katowickie) was Silesia's major trade fair until 2006.

Unfortunately, a disaster [when the roof of the exhibition hall collapsed, killing 67 people in January 2006] changed that situation. The Katowice fair has been having serious problems since then. This lack of a regional leader created a void crying out to be filled. Kolporter seized the opportunity and set up the new Expo Silesia trade fair center. We've long since moved on from industry monopolies and embraced the benefits that come from competition. This is what drives trade fair delegates to work better deals and gives customers more options to choose from.
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