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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

developed relationships with the trade associationinvolved, which makes content planning and findingthe right target groups easier. A constant challenge,however, is to organise our own work as efficiently aspossible. Over the last two years, we have put a lot ofeffort into streamlining our internal processes andmaking all our back-office support operate as smoothlyas possible.Another challenge which we find very exciting is to findthe best possible ways for our face-to-face meetings tointeract with the digital meeting opportunities providednowadays. For example, we are looking into ways forvisitors to interact both with each other and with us toplan their visit. We cooperate with a company calledMatchmeeting providing such services, and we alsowork with social media such as Facebook.NorwayStig Nitter FossMD Norges Varemesse, LillestromThe biggest challenges to the Norwegian exhibitionindustry include the general decline in visitor numbersover the last decade, and the loss of the younggeneration of visitors. 2010 has been quite a difficultyear compared to 2009. Trade fairs are suffering fromthe recession but holding up.We are the only large hall owner in Norway andfinancially very sound. Due to the Norwegian marketsize we are quite dominant. About 40 to 50 per cent ofthe Norwegian market is in our premises. The value ofour shows is about ?50m per year.We organise 15 shows annually, both national andinternational. We have more organisers from outsidethe country compared with the rest of Scandinavia.Festivals are growing. We have to incorporate festivalthinking into our shows towards the general public.Exhibition World | Country profile17and $100m per year since several of the largeexhibitions are bi-annual. In short, you could say thatthe large ones are getting larger whereas some of thesmaller events struggle with declining numbers ofvisitors. The exhibition length hasn't changed duringthe last year. We have had one cancellation, a trade exhibitioncalled Scanlab. Our partner, the Swedish Labtechorganisation, decided to run the next event in 2012instead of 2011. There are two new and two old shows coming backto Stockholmsmässan. Both the motorcycle exhibitionPå Två Hjul ("On Two Wheels", a consumer show) andthe audiovisual exhibition LLB (a trade show) were heldat Stockholmsmässan some years ago and are nowcoming back to us, which we of course are verypleased with. A new exhibition is Spara & Placera ("Savings &Investments"), a consumer show focused on financialissues for families and individuals. We will launch thisexhibition in early October and it will runsimultaneously with two other consumer showsfocusing on interior design and children, respectively. We have found that this way of presenting parallelshows with different topics but related audiences isvery popular among our visitors. We recently extendedour venue by 10,000 square metres making it easier torun several parallel events.Another new exhibition is IPX India (InternationalPaper Exhibition), which is launched by our subsidiaryAdforum.The manufacturing industry and the exhibitionsconnected with this area were most affected, whereasthe exhibitions within interior design, leisure andconstruction have had a more positive development.For many of our exhibitions we maintain well-Norges VaremesseTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| October 2010|