Trade Fairs: On a Roll
August 29, 2014
Andrzej Mochoń, CEO of Targi Kielce, talks to the Voice.
In an audit of Central and Eastern European trade fair organizers by the Centrex International exhibition Statistics Union, Targi Kielce scored a big success in 2013. Can you tell us more?
For the first time in history we have moved up from third to second place in terms of rented space and we have maintained our runner-up position in terms of exhibitor numbers. The amount of rented exhibition space is the most important indicator of an exhibition organizer’s position on the market. Thanks to our good results, we overtook the Brno trade fair company, which had practically taken up permanent residence at the no. 2 spot. The audit shows that we rented out over 70,000 square meters more than the Czech company. That’s no mean feat. Targi Kielce is also a leading trade fair organizer when you consider the number of exhibitors. More than 6,000 companies, which means 10-percent growth, put us in second place in this category once again. Everyone in Central and Eastern Europe was strongly affected by the economic downturn. But Poland proved decidedly much more resistant to the slowdown.
Does this mean that trade fairs are still a popular marketing tool despite the development of “virtual” business?
Fears were voiced at the start of the century that face-to-face meetings would be supplanted by the omnipresent internet. That didn’t happen, and trade fairs with B2B meetings are an excellent complement to online business. A trade fair brings all the leading figures in a given sector together in one place. The point of exhibitions is to enable vendors to reach their prospective customers directly. Unlike the internet, trade fairs allow many vendors personal contact with many buyers. In addition, face-to-face meetings usually lead to better deals being signed. Trade fairs promote innovations, show off companies and their products to advantage, help establish or uphold contacts with market partners, and lead to signing or concluding business contracts. Observing what the competition is doing is also important, as is identifying new trends in a given market as an inspiration for one’s own future operations. At events like our Plastpol International Fair of Plastics and Rubber Processing, transaction values total millions of zlotys. I can therefore definitely say that the trade fair business is on a roll.
A year ago, Targi Kielce expanded in a big way...
We focus on professionalism, expertise and continual development, including in terms of changing the format of our trade fairs. This is mostly decided by the sector, exhibitors and visitors. For example, B2B events are characterized by a growing number of conferences and training courses. This is an opportunity to bring almost the entire community of a given sector to one venue, making it an opportunity for exhibitors to get carefully-selected visitors interested in their products. This makes a fully professional trade fair infrastructure essential in order to meet exhibitors’ expectations. A year ago Targi Kielce opened its modern Congress Center. Thanks to this expansion, we now offer our guests a total of 19 multifunctional conference rooms. That includes a congress room for almost 1,000 people and a room at the top of an observation tower that is visible from over 20 kilometers away. We have completed a project that not only transforms Targi Kielce from a business exhibition organizer into a trade fair and conference center. It also allows us to attract may new visitors to Kielce. The facility has become very popular. Apart from conferences and corporate meetings, events have included medical congresses, sector meetings, concerts, the well-known Off Fashion show and even qualifiers for bodybuilding and keep-fit world championships. This proves that the new facility is multifunctional and that its space and rooms can be adapted to suit even the most demanding events. Furthermore, in the entertainment/congress hall we hold events for up to 4,500 people, for example an Ennio Morricone concert.
Targi Kielce enjoys the second part of Poland’s trade fair market. Among all Central and Eastern Europe’s expo organisers, Targi Kielce is ranked also second with regards to the number of exhibitors and to exhibition space leased. This result puts Targi Kielce ahead of HUNGEXPO Budapest, Brno in Czech Republic or Kyiv International Contract Fair. The Targi Kielce calendar comprises more than 70 exhibitions and 600 conferences, including PLASTPOL – Poland’s most international trade show, the world famous MSPO which is ranked third among Europe’s defence industry expos, AUTOSTRADA-POLSKA – Europe’s only fair of this type, SACROEXPO – Europe’s largest church and devotional articles fair and AGROTECH – the agricultural fair which enjoys greatest attendance.
Everything for Road Construction
The four trade exhibitions focusing on the road construction industry that for 20 years have occupied a leading place in the Targi Kielce exhibition calendar constitute the most important and largest meeting of the road construction and building machinery sector in Poland. The 20th Autostrada Polska Fair of the Road Construction Industry, the 16th Maszbud International Construction Equipment and Special Vehicles Fair, the 10th Traffic Expo-TIL International Fair of Infrastructure, Airport Technologies and Infrastructure Exhibition, and the 6th Rotra International Fair for Road Transport–Commercial Vehicles this year brought together 485 companies from 21 countries across the world. The exhibitions, held on an area of 11,000 square meters, were seen by more than 15,000 visitors. These fairs take in more than just road construction equipment. The three exhibitions accompanying the Autostrada Polska fair offer a an extensive range of resources for the entire industry. Each year visitors to the stands can find everything needed for building roads and freeways and maintaining existing highways, including advanced equipment, technologies and complete road infrastructure. This is a venue visited every year by thousands of guests, prospective customers and business partners. The next fair is scheduled for May 13-15, 2015.
Elevator to Success
The Euro-Lift International Lifts Exhibition presents all the latest products linked to elevators. The range is extensive, from elevator equipment and components for elevators, drives, cars, cabins, doors and cables, through drivers, control and safety equipment, operation elements and indicators, hydraulic equipment, accessories and fittings, all the way to specialist periodicals. The attractiveness of the Polish market to the international industry is proved by the 60-percent share of foreign companies in this trade fair. This year the majority of exhibitors will also be international companies. As well as a strong showing by Polish businesses, participation has been confirmed, for example, by companies from Italy, Turkey, China and—for the first time—South Korea. The biggest group, however, will be companies from Germany. The fair is accompanied by specialist meetings and conferences. This year the Polish Association of Lift Manufacturers is inviting everyone to a discussion on EU subsidies in financing the redevelopment of multi-family buildings and disabled access to properties. The next fair is scheduled for Oct. 22-24, 2014.
There is just one event in Poland at which leading companies and organizations from the foundry sector, including the sector’s Polish and global leaders, have been meeting for 20 years. This is the Metal “International Fair of Technologies for Foundry,” whose special 20th jubilee edition will be held at Targi Kielce Sept. 16-18, 2014—the biggest event of its kind in Poland. Last year under one roof, on an area of more than 1,600 square meters, this trade fair brought together over 130 exhibitors from 13 countries, including China, the United States, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, India, Latvia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Macedonia, Germany and Italy. The fair attracted almost 2,000 visitors. During last year’s event in Kielce, the greatest number of companies came from Italy—21 well-known Italian brands presented their products. Another large group was formed by companies from Germany (12 businesses), Poland’s biggest and most important trade partner. As usual, the trade fair will be held simultaneously with the Aluminium & Nonfermet International Fair of Aluminium and Technology, Materials and Non-Ferrous Metal Products and the Recycling of Non-Ferrous Metals fair that debuted at Targi Kielce last year.
Plastics Market Leaders
The Plastpol International Fair of Plastics and Rubber Processing brings together companies from all over the world. This is the most international trade fair in Poland and the sector’s largest in Central and Eastern Europe. Every year the exhibitors include over 700 companies from more than 30 countries from all over the world. At Targi Kielce, every year 17,000 specialists can review the latest technologies. Contracts for the sale of equipment worth millions of euros are signed here. All this confirms that Plastpol in Kielce is a not-to-be-missed event for any professional company from the processing sector on almost all continents. A large group of distribution and plastics businesses takes part in the event, but in recent years there has been a growing number of manufacturers of technologically advanced machinery as well. Company stands present machines and equipment for plastics processing, molds and tools used in the industry, plastics, components, recycling technologies and IT applications for plastics processing, technologies and finished products. Visitors can review whole process lines and product processing. Be sure to be there in 2015 from May 26 to 29.
Spring for Sheet and Metal Processing
In March, Targi Kielce will host the most important trade events for companies involved in innovation in sheet and metal processing, welding, laser technologies, process visualization, pneumatics, hydraulics, anti-corrosive technology and measuring techniques. Stom-Blech, Stom-Tool, Spawalnictwo, Stom-Laser, Wirtoprocesy, Pneumaticon, Expo-Surface and Control-Stom are events that every year bring together hundreds of businesses from over 20 countries all over the world and 6,500 visiting professionals. Apart from reviewing the products on offer, including machines, tools, technical instrumentation and cutting-edge materials, participants can also take part in specialist training courses and conferences. In 2015, these events will be held March 10-12.