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HOT TOPIC20Issue 2 | 2012 www.exhibition-world.netThis issue concerns me because we are focused only on organising events in those territories where it's easy to do so. But this is totally wrong; we must defend our own territory." Corsi believes Italy must not take its regions for granted and that selling its destinations more effectively will bring business from abroad. "People say trade fairs bring people to Milan, but Milan brings trade fairs to Italy," he continued. "When we organise fairs, ministers all say nice things; that trade fairs can contribute to the benefi t of the country, that almost all tourism is generated by trade fairs and that trade fairs play a very important role in the development of the country. But at the moment the ministers do not do anything, and they do not respond to us."Leopoldo Franza, from the Department of Enterprise and Internationalisation at Italy's Ministry of Economic Development, said improving international perception of the Italian exhibition industry is key to bringing more international organisers, exhibitors and visitors to Italy. "Trade fairs are of real value to our country and I believe the Italian exhibition industry should be repositioned to a certain extent," he said."We've tried on the one hand to consolidate our position, and on the other to highlight areas of interest that have been voiced by the regions."We do not want to fuel a cannibalisation of our industry by supporting businesses abroad, we want to promote regional internationalisation as well."Franza added that a standardised measure of quality for events back home would do much to appeal to international companies. "We're working on a system to track trade fairs and assess them. Giving them a quality label or a trust mark could add something to the name of a trade fair on some level."Fiera Milano CEO Enrico Pazzali observed the Ministry of Economic Development primarily supports businesses going abroad at the expense of those looking to enrich the offering at home."Sometimes we're embarrassed by [organisers and exhibitors] looking to go to Germany or France; places just one hour from our city," he said. "They should only be helped to go abroad where there are diffi culties associated with doing so. Funding competitive trade fairs in Hannover, Frankfurt or Paris when we're trying to encourage our trade fairs to become tools for economic growth should not happen."To overcome this, Pazzali claimed the ministry should work on trade agreements that support the export industry rather than funding trade fairs abroad.It's a point Franza said he understood, adding that the ministry is simply responding to the demands of local companies. "We go where people ask us to go. But of course we want to ensure Italian trade fairs become tools of industrial policy." It will be interesting to see if the ministry makes that distinction and spends its money wisely. PEOPLE SAY TRADE FAIRS BRING PEOPLE TO MILAN, BUT MILAN BRINGS TRADE FAIRS TO ITALYAboveEnrico Pazzali, CEO, Fiera Milano