26 March 2012: Global Expo specialists to convene at MiCo - Milano Congressi Center

An international, high-caliber convention focused on the exhibition industry. Prestigious public and private business lecturers share their experiences to relaunch trade exhibitions on the global scene.

Venue: MiCo – Milano Congressi
Title: Exhibitions in years 2.0, between internationalization and local development

Milan, 26 March 2012 – The main themes of the international forum on the exhibition sector organized by Fondazione Fiera Milano help to take stock of the current state of affairs in the industry, with the contribution from representatives of some of the leading Italian and overseas players in the exhibition industry and high-caliber personalities from the public sector and trade associations.
The conference is also the ideal opportunity to present Italy and its facilities (among which MiCo – Milano Congressi stands out) to people from the exhibition circuit around the world.
The event has been organized in cooperation with ISPI – Institute for International Political Studies - and comes at a time when there is a need for a thorough, comparative assessment of what the main areas worldwide are doing to support the strengthening and leadership of exhibitions in a global scenario that has changed significantly.
The welcome address were by Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission, Guido Podestà, President of the Milan Provincial Government, Franco D’Alfonso, Councilor for Commerce at the Milan City Council, and Carlo Sangalli, President of the Milan Chamber of Commerce.

The host is Gianpiero Cantoni, Chairman and CEO of Fondazione Fiera Milano. We organized this forum – Cantoni explained - because we wanted to present a, in-depth and qualified international forum on what has been happening in the exhibition industry, especially over recent years; a sector that is vital for a country’s entire economy, which has always found and will continue to find its ideal showcase there. This conference will be a thought-provoking opportunity to bring global developments in the exhibition industry to the attention of economic players, the media and public decision-makers in Italy, to take this discussion on the role and development of exhibitions as a tool of industrial policy to a national, and no longer a local level.

The conference, organized with the partners Alte Scuole dell’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Meet the Media Guru,  is essentially designed to look into three important aspects:

a) Exhibitions as the primary factor for the international development of entire industrial and service sectors and therefore as an effective tool for a country’s industrial policy. In fact, the most farsighted governments have added the international development of their exhibition system to their traditional export promotion. Discussing this at the first plenary session are Iris A. Hauswirth, Senior Programme Development Officer at ITC -International Trade Centre (WTO-ONU), Shin Dong Joon from the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Leopoldo Franza from the Department for Companies and Internationalization of the Ministry of Economic Development as well as Paolo Magri from ISPI who spoke and acted as the moderator during the discussion.

b) The role of public stakeholders, who often own or run the exhibitions, and whose expectations concerning the exhibition business differ greatly from country to country. How is globalization impacting local expectations?  This will be the topic of another parallel session with speeches by Thomas Schwara, Ministry of Finance and Economy of Land Baden Wurttemberg, Zhu Zenan, DOFTEC –Guangdong Province (China), and Viviana Rava, Manager Exhibition Department the Lombardy Regional Government. The discussion was introduced with a lecture by Raffaella Nanetti, Professor of town planning and programming policy at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA

c) How do business models develop within the exhibition industry?  In Italy, the successful exhibitions originated as excellent showcases of Made in Italy production and were represented by the business associations. The Anglo-Saxon countries produce a multi-national model that integrates specialist exhibitions and media. New trade people are coming from China, the marketplaces are on the Internet and are becoming veritable exhibitions. An ever rising number of countries are creating television formats that are becoming exhibitions or events. This will be the topic of discussion in the second parallel session for Mark Cochrane, Asia Manager for the UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, Silvia Dorigo, Brand Events Italy, Simon Parker, UBM Live, Carlo Guglielmi, President of Cosmit - I saloni, with the coordination of Maria Grazia Mattei Meet the Media Guru. The session was introduced with a lecture by Francesca Golfetto, Professor of marketing at L. Bocconi University, Cermes, Milan.

The conference was closed with an afternoon plenary session during which, Renato Mannheimer presented the results of a survey Italians and Exhibitions commissioned by Fondazione Fiera Milano to the Ispo Institute. A national survey conducted among the population, companies and opinion leaders on how they perceive exhibitions and what they expect from them. The list of speakers included Paul Woodward, Director General of the  UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, Enrico Pazzali, Fiera Milano Managing Director, Gian Domenico Auricchio, President of CFI – Industry Exhibitions Committee, Adalberto Corsi, President of CFT – Tertiary Sector Exhibitions Committee, Leopoldo Franza from the Department for Companies and Internationalization of the Ministry of Economic Development.
Gianpiero Cantoni, Chairman and CEO of Fondazione Fiera Milano delivered the closing speech.

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