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Exhibition World | Country profile15Scandinavia overviewMikael Jansson, CEO of FairlinkWhen I started 20 years ago,approximately 90 per centof our exhibitions wereorganised by our venues. Now I thinkthe same is happening inScandinavia that we see in othercountries: You have to have moreand more market knowledge toorganise an exhibition. At first,venues wanted to organise for themselves but nowthey realise that other organisers are necessary.The Nordic Countries used to be a closed territory forforeign organisers. The venue owners organisedalmost every show by themselves. Things are differentnow. Venues still organise a large number of shows butthe attitude towards foreign organisers has changed.Every venue owner is now open to discuss with foreignorganisers the possibility of bringing new shows to theNordic countries.Access is easy; communications and infrastructure arevery good. The people and companies are earlyadopters, and exhibition facilities are large and modern.The Scandinavian market is not especially big but itis an interesting one. If you are a British or Americanorganiser, for example, it might not seem too different,but if you compare us with new markets such as Chinaor India there would be big changes in coming toScandinavia. For instance, an international organiserwill have close cooperation with the venue andorganiser because they know the Scandinavian marketvery well. You could have a cooperative partner thathas been in the market for a long time.One of the biggest changes we are seeing is in theminds of venue owners. In the past, venues just didn'thave the space; they were full all year round. It used tobe that they could only have one show at atime but now they have built and expandedvenues to contain two or three shows at atime. Now shows won't disturb each other,which opens more possibilities. They can offerorganisers more flexibility this way.Scandinavia used to be a very protectivemarket. The venues thought they shouldorganise as much as possible by themselves.Now it has become more and more demandingto do a good show. They seek more cooperationwith each other and with organisers from abroad. Weare also seeing a generational shift. Some people arecoming from other businesses and some are youngand hungry. They are open to new ideas and newcooperation.Sweden is the biggest market and Swedish and Finnisheconomies have done best during the difficult economictimes in the last two years. Of course we have lost some bigshows, but the problem has been with the middle-levelshows. These shows had lots of problems and manysimply do not exist any more. Now visitors are startingto come back to the shows and in August andSeptember the square-metre sales also made acomeback.There is a good deal of cooperation between the fourScandinavian countries. The largest organisers inSweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland are membersof the Scandinavian exhibition association Fairlink.Sweden, where Fairlink is based, is a small region. Wehave a couple of shows that are very international - forinstance Elmia Wood and the Stockholm Furniture Fair -but most of the shows in Sweden are national-level.As we grow, our fairs we aren't just looking to bringinternational business to Scandinavia, but also toexpand our shows internationally and improve ourrepresentation in other countries.Under Scandinavian skiesScandinavia is an oft-overlooked destination for international events. However, withthe recession behind us, the cluster of northern European countries is developinginfrastructure and training staff to handle larger exhibitions. MikeTrudeaureports.THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| October 2010|Mikael Jansson

Country profile| Exhibition World16| October 2010| FinlandPentti KivinenMD The Finnish FairCorporation, HelsinkiThe biggest challenge forThe Finnish FairCorporation, as thelargest exhibitionorganiser in Finland, andto the wider exhibitionindustry in Finland, is to make it easier forexhibitors to participate and to enable exhibitors andvisitors to meet more efficiently face-to-face. We havebeen focusing on developing our products and services,and this has included building different event packageswhere related sectors, products or services and relevantexperts can all be brought together in one place at thesame time.The Finnish Fair Corporation organises about 70exhibitions at The Helsinki Exhibition and ConventionCentre in a year. Turnover of the Exhibition Group was?30.5m (US$41m) last year. In 2009, The HelsinkiExhibition and Convention Centre had a total of over onemillion visitors to fairs, meetings, congresses and otherevents, and 9,381 exhibitors representing companies orother organisations. The trade fair sector is not immune to economiccycles. The deep recession affected Finland's nationaleconomy and the trade fair business volume droppedby around 10 per cent. Despite cuts to corporatemarketing investments during these difficult times, fairsare still being attended and companies still want tomeet their stakeholders. Last year the total number ofvisitors for events rose in comparison to thecorresponding fairs' previous editions. As an exhibitionorganiser, we consider other media as the biggestcompetitors to the industry. However, other media sawan even sharper decline during the crisis, averaging 20per cent.As we all know, the car and motorcycle industrieshave had serious difficulties in past years, whichresulted in our having to cancel the MotorcycleExhibition and Car Show in 2009. The recession mostaffected the technology, industry and transport sectors.In 2009, consumer fairs recorded the highest growth invisitor numbers, and fairs dealing with home and livingas well as recreation are popular among visitors. Butwhat is more important is that we launched 10 newevents last year. The new events are in a variety ofconsumer and business sectors.The most common challenge today is related to thefact that companies make the decision to participate inexhibitions much later than before. This is a bigchallenge for us - we must be able to plan to make agood event. Of course, exhibitions compete withvisitors' time and interest. Exhibitions are significantmarketing investments to the exhibitors, so we mustenable these face-to-face contacts.DenmarkArne Bang MikkelsenCEO Bella Center,CopenhagenThe biggest challenge to theDanish exhibition industry isthe fact that the financialcrisis has influenced manyindustries in Denmark in abad way. Often companiesend up trying to save money ontheir marketing budget, which means they end up cuttingtheir trade fair budget, which in turn means our fairs willbecome smaller and less profitable.All our consumer fairs have been negatively influencedby the recession. Our Car Show, Boat Show, Fashion Fairand Jewellery Fair all shrank on average by 15 per cent.Bella Centre has 34 fairs lined up in 2010, and myguess is we will have 125 exhibitors on average. Some ofour big fairs have lost 10 to 15 per cent of their exhibitorsdue to the financial crisis. Last year, we had around 1million visitors, which is a little higher than the level in2008. In 2010 we have 10 new fairs and events. Becauseof this, I expect the number of exhibitors to be on thesame level as 2009.Denmark is not a big country, with a population of only5.4m people. Therefore many of our industries are notbig, which means it often is hard to make the fairs bigenough to be profitable.Our biggest competitors are Stockholm Fair Centreand Göteborg Fair Center (Svenska Mässan). Our goal isto have the number one exhibition industry inScandinavia, because most international companies seethis region as a single market.SwedenPatric SjöbergCEO, Stockhomsmässan,StockholmDuring 2009 we hosted 77exhibitions, which was anormal figure forStockholmsmässan. Most ofthese were our ownexhibitions with a smallershare of guest events. Thisshare is, however, increasing.We had 1.1m visitors during 2009, of which just over800,000 visited one of our exhibitions.Our own exhibitions account for over half our annualsales. The sales figure usually varies between US$72mTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET'Companies make the decision toparticipate in exhibitions much laterthan before.'- Pentti KivinenPentti KivinenArne Bang MikkelsenPatrick Sjöberg