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IFEMA Feria de Madrid, Spain  Despite the daunting economic situation facing Spain, IFEMA Feria de Madrid has managed to maintain levels similar to those enjoyed in previous years. In the first half of 2011 IFEMA Feria de Madrid hosted 400 events, of which 47 were fairs and congresses with exhibitions – 25 organised by the institution – and 353 were conventions and other live event formats such as corporate launches and conferences. These figures reflect the magnitude of the venue’s operations, including the businesses generated by fair activity, with more than 8,000 companies and 20,000 names represented on a net surface area of 446,000sqm of exhibition space and over 1.1 million visitors. “Without any doubt our guiding mission is to become more and more competitive, now more than ever given the financial situation today,” said IFEMA Feria de Madrid executive committee chairman Luis Eduardo Cortés. “To do this it has been essential to innovate, investigate new projects, establish strategies and forge alliances that afford us access to international markets and allow us to consolidate our position.” The venue and organiser has opted to seek out alliances with experts in what it describes as “concrete activity niches” for the acquisition of consolidated brands on the national scene. It then incorporates these into its calendar, always with organisational assistance and counsel from experts. “We have placed our hope and trust in growing in this way, with the incorporation of trade fairs which serve to bolster our main business line,” continued Cortés.  If Spain is a country with a multitude of attractive points for the organisation and celebration of events including food and fashion then Madrid’s role is central. “Madrid today represents a preferred destination for business tourism and a landmark city in the convention world for the thousands of companies gathering each year at IFEMA Feria de Madrid,” said Cortés. Amsterdam Rai, The Netherlands Eleven multi-functional exhibition halls totalling 87,000sqm, with the Elicium conference building and 64 conference and meeting rooms, make the RAI an integral part of one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Amsterdam RAI is conveniently located just a few minutes from the city centre and less than eight minutes from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of Europe’s busiest and best airports. The venue prides itself on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. The CSR and environmental policy is widely supported within the organisation, where continuous efforts to improve the environmental performance are industry-leading. In addition, the venue has a strong relationship with the city of Amsterdam, local universities and institutes and relevant partners.In 2010 Amsterdam RAI hosted 590 events. Of these 52 were exhibitions, 20 of which were international. Four were organised by the RAI. One of the venue’s strongest benefits is comprehensive integration with local support companies including the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, the Amsterdam Tourism and Convention board, the Municipality of Amsterdam, Schiphol, KLM and RAI Exhibitions.  “We have entered various partnerships to ensure the very best possible services and hospitality for guests,” said communication manager Katelijn Wilhelmy. “Through our most recent partnership with KLM we can offer reduced flight tickets and benefits for organisers, exhibitors and visitors. “Our business development efforts are very much focused on attracting international exhibitions.” Messe Frankfurt, Germany At 355,500sqm, Messe Frankfurt is the second  largest exhibition venue in the world, let alone Europe. Only its German sister hall, Messe Hannover, beats it for size. Messe Frankfurt’s worldwide presence is the result of a consistent and logical globalisation strategy. Events made by Messe Frankfurt are today being held at more than 30 venues all over the world and the venue prides itself on a global network to achieve this. The network comprises 28 subsidiaries and links to more than 50 international sales partners. “Overseas activities have become increasingly important in recent years and Messe Frankfurt will be continuing to develop its overseas business in the future as well,” Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt told EN. Large-scale UBM trade fairs will be a regular part of the autumn schedule at the Frankfurt exhibition grounds over the next 10 years, including pharmaceutical ingredients show CPhI Worldwide, Food Ingredients Europe and the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition. There’s good news for organisers of technical events. “We will be working on extending the portfolio of technical trade fairs held in Frankfurt over the next few years,” said Marzin. “We will also be focusing on digital service and dialogue functions as communications is at the heart of our corporate philosophy as a trade fair organiser.” In Autumn 2013 Messe Frankfurt becomes the owner and operator of another congress centre in the adjacent Europaviertel district. The new congress centre will offer organisers rooms that accommodate up to 150 people. Stockholmsmassan, Sweden (pictured)After last year’s extension to add a new 10,000sqm event hall, Stockholmsmässan can now offer a total of 112,000sqm, 70,000sqm of which is hall space. It prides itself in being one of Europe’s largest and most flexible venues, located in a city recently named by Lonely Planet as one of the five most interesting places in the world to visit. When it comes to exhibitions run in connection with large congresses, the split is around 50/50. Across standalone exhibitions its largest events are international looking at both exhibitors and visitors, for example Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair, Nordbygg and SPCI. Of the 70-80 exhibitions run at Stockholmsmässan annually, it organises half itself. The other half is split between local and international organisers such as easyFairs. Scandinavia is one of the main markets for smaller events, and Stockholmsmässan CEO Patric Sjöberg said he is seeing increasing interest from Russia and the Baltic states. “The most important thing is to be perceptive and really listen to the customers’ needs,” said Sjöberg. “We have an extremely flexible venue and we need to be as flexible as that in our services. This means we present ready-made packages to give customers a good overview of our offering, and are ready to leave those packages and tailor-make solutions for those customers preferring that.” Events the venue organises include those for the furniture, design, homestyling and sports and health sectors. Anyone with events in biotechnology and laboratory equipment, fashion and print would be most welcome, said Sjöberg. Any comments? Email exhibitionnews@mashmedia.net
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