European exhibition sector will take three years to recover

The European exhibition sector will take up to three years to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, according to the European Major Exhibition Centres Association (EMECA).

With exhibitions shutdown for six months from March to September in most European countries, the EMECA is calling for strong financial support from European and national public authorities to ensure the industry’s survival and the economic recovery.

“Exhibitions are a source of business and socio-economic impact as well as a source of social ties. However, now that we are ready to host events while ensuring the health and safety of all, the persistent closure measures are threatening our entire industry,” said Maurits von der Sluis, EMECA president and COO of RAI Amsterdam.

“Some events have been rescheduled but many have been definitely cancelled. The revenue loss in our industry was around 40 per cent in Q1, is 100 per cent in Q2 and a loss of 60 per cent forecast for Q3/Q4.

“We were the first to be forced to close and may be the last sector to reopen. In a situation of a necessary economic recovery, our industry must be able to play its key role. Insecurity is threatening already the exhibitions planned for the autumn as companies hesitate to confirm their participation.”