International business Italy: Fair Place has a lot to offer

Von Stéphane Itasse

With 1000 trade fairs in a year, Italy stands at second position in Europa – after Germany. In addition to many consumer goods exhibitions, a number of important industry trade fairs are also organized, which the German companies should at least keep in mind.

The worldwide biggest machine tool exhibition EMO was organized at Milan Exhibition Centre in 2015.
The worldwide biggest machine tool exhibition EMO was organized at Milan Exhibition Centre in 2015.
(Photo: Sonnenberg)

For the year 2015, Italian industry trade fairs showed an increase according to the statistics. The reason: The worldwide biggest Machine Tool Trade Fair EMO was again organized in Milan. This event occurs only every six years; the trade fair taking place every two years is organized on the remaining dates in Hannover. Over 155,000 visitors from more than 120 countries came there according to a press release of the trade fair organizer, the Italian association for machine tools, robotics and automation Ucimu, from 5th to 10th October in the second largest city of Italy; the expectations have been outnumbered with these figures. Over 1600 companies participated as exhibitors in the trade fair. Most of them came from Italy, followed by Germany and Taiwan, as reported in a notification of the association.

EMO 2015 may have presumably profited from an additional impetus: The official World Exhibition Expo 2015 was also organized simultaneously with the trade fair in Milan. Approximately 20 million visitors were expected for the complete timeframe from 1st May up to 31st October.

Milanese Messeduo Bimu and Sfortec displayed combined strength

Also in the upcoming year, some things would be worth seeing in Italy's biggest fair place. Bimu was prominent in the industry trade fairs. The trade fairs for metal processing machines, robotics, automation and C-technology are organized every two years and it was attended by in all 43,811 visitors during the recently organized fair from 30th September up to 4th October 2014. Thus, there was a drop in the number of visitors compared to the previous fair, although at a reduced pace: In the year 2012, the number was 44,383 interested people; in the year 2010, it was 46,324. The reduction in number was essentially in national visitors. However, the situation appears to be different, if the parallely arranged supplier fair Sfortec is also considered. As reported by the organizer Ucimu, the combined number of visitors in 2014 had increased by 5.2 % to 61,926.

Likewise, there was a fall for Bimu in the previous year from exhibitor end: In 2010, 710 companies presented their offer; in 2012, only 614 and in 2014, just 557. Most recently, this reduction in number was in case of domestic exhibitors, whereas the foreign exhibitors of the industry trade fairs remained faithful. Along with Sfortec, Bimu had 1060 exhibitors at the recent event. For the event in the upcoming year, Ucimu has not yet disclosed any expectations or forecasts.

In the upcoming year, the following events belong to the other industry-relevant trade fairs: Mostra Covegno from 15th up to 18th March; this fair is important for climate control and ventilation technology; Solarexpo from 3rd up to 5th May and Xylexpo, international event for Timber Processing Machines and supplies, from 24th up to 28th May. In addition, Powergen Europe and Inprint, which are organized at different locations every year, shall guest in Italy's biggest fair place in the upcoming year. The former is a conference and event regarding the topic power generation; the latter is a trade fair for industrial printing technology. Both are arranged by British organisers: Powergen Europe is organized by Pennwell Corporation, and Inprint is arranged by the trade fair organizer Mack Brooks.

Bologna is of particular interest to German companies with Lamiera 2016

Even Bologna, the second largest fair place in Italy, offers something for the German industry: The trade fair Lamiera regarding sheet metal forming, tube forming, profile processing and wire processing is organized from 11th up to 14th May. It is organized every two years also by Ucimu. Similar to Milanese Bimu, even Lamiera had to cope up with a decline in the number of exhibitors in the previous years: In the year 2010, in all 301 companies came to Bologna; two years later, the number decreased to 297 and in the year 2014, it was just 258. If the represented companies without having a stand is added, then according to the information of the organizer Ucimu, the number of exhibitors was 370. Out of these, 40 % came from foreign country; the total exhibition area has reached 35,000 m².

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As against this, a reversal of trend was observed in case of Lamiera-visitors: the number of visitors was in all 18,620. However, internationality of visitors in case of sheet metal working technology exhibition is not very distinctive: Just 826 from these were not from Italy; a significantly lower proportion than the exhibitors. "The increasing number of visitors shows the healthy state of Lamiera and the sector, which it represents", commented Ucimu-president Luigi Galdabini regarding the figures.