This year’s Global Exhibition Day, which takes place every year on the first Wednesday in June, will mark the Belgrade Fair under pressure from the consequences and circumstances imposed by the global devastating effects of the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

As a mainstay of the tradefair industry in this part of Europe and a respected member of the fair union, the Belgrade Fair will do everything possible to ensure survival and to normalize business in accordance with the message of this global organization; Exhibitions are key to rebuilding economies.

The global network large international fairs organizers consist about 32,000 exhibitions of various sizes and formats, with more than 4.5 million participating companies, which come into contact with over 300 million visitors. On an annual level, the contribution to the global gross domestic product through participation in events reaches almost 170 billion euros. Today, about 680 thousand people are employed full-time in the complex fair industry. However, directly or indirectly, in connection with tourism, transport, accommodation, food and beverage supply, etc., exhibitions employ an additional 3.2 million full-time jobs, or significantly more if their real occasional engagement is taken into account. The total business performance of all these fairs, including direct, indirect and induced sales, is more than 250 billion euros.

COVID-19 has “captured” the Belgrade Fair and brought it to the very edge of existence, at the very moment when it was supposed to almost triumphantly confirm not only the successful start of the current but also the epilogue of the previous business year. During the state of emergency, it was revealed that the business year 2019 was the most successful in the last few years, that revenues increased by 12.5% compared to 2018, that the number of exhibitors from as many as 55 countries increased by 10% in recent years and the number of visitors by 5.5%.

At the same time, independent research has once again proven the extraordinary economic impact of the Belgrade Fair’s business on the national economy for 2019. The analysis showed that last year’s fair events recorded a turnover of over 9.7 billion dinars. The consumption of visitors together with the turnover of exhibitors at the Fair had a direct effect on the growth of demand in the country of 9.7 billion dinars and growth of gross value added of 1,7 billion dinars. The total economic effects of the Belgrade Fair operations are estimated at 14.4 billion dinars worth of goods and services sold, 4.3 billion dinars gross value added, even generated 1,961 jobs and as much as 2.8 billion dinars of total tax revenues. Only the total amount of money spent for the accommodation of exhibitors and visitors of the Fair in 2019 exceeds by 3.2 billion dinars, with only the spending of foreign tourists who visited Belgrade on that occasion was around 1.03 billion dinars. Perhaps the most interesting indicator of this impact is the estimated multiplicative effect on gross value. It turned out that every dinar earned under the dome of the Belgrade Fair in the economy increases by 2.5 times, and at the company level it is as much as 9 times. Only in terms of employment, the multiplier of 1.97 shows that each employee, due to the fair activity in 2019, produced in the economy induced another job. In the case of the company Belgrade Fair “multiplier” says that each of its employees in 2019 created approximately as many as eleven jobs. Finally, it is estimated that the events of the Belgrade Fair alone attracted about 70 thousand foreign and 24 thousand domestic guests to Belgrade, which together achieve a consumption of about 1.3 billion dinars.

In such circumstances, the Global Exhibition Day, June 3rd, is an opportunity for the Belgrade Fair to point out the possible depth of the business downturn caused by the pandemic and the magnitude of its own boundless social responsibility. Participating with all its capacities and resources in the fight against the enemy, and due to the character and scope of its own activities, the Belgrade Fair itself has reached an enchanted gorge of business depression, from which it will not be able to get out without serious support and help. The unconditional engagement of some of the world’s most powerful countries in favour of their own, also the most powerful fair industries, for example Germany and China, which took huge action for this exigent and unconditional rehabilitation of this powerful, but temporary blocked global industry.

The Belgrade Fair with the great impatience waits for the moment to normalize business and return to action for the common good.

Happy June 3rd, Global Exhibition Day.