It seems as if November could symbolize the new symbolic beginning of the fair activity normalization of the Belgrade Fair, suddenly interrupted in March of 2020. Although the holding of small-scale fair events, meanwhile, has not completely died down, and considering that two exceptional and large international events were held last October – Arms and Military Equipment Fair “Partner” and The Non-Aligned Conference – it was only the past November that the real feeling has returned, which the visitors and exhibitors remember and which is implied in regard to the Belgrade Fair. In that atmosphere of the return to the future, as many as 5 fair events have just concluded, with around 500 exhibitors and participants in expert following programs.
From the 23rd to the 25th of November 2021, in Hall 2 of the Belgrade Fair as many as three traditional fair events were held: the 16th International Energy Fair, the 17th International fair of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources – EcoFair and the 42nd International fair of Prevention and Emergency Response and Safety and Health at Work – 112Expo. The patronage and attendance of 3 resource Ministries, speaks of the significance of this event: the Ministry of Mining and Energy, with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Prof Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic at the helm; Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, which was led by the Minister Prof Dr. Darija Kisic Tepavcevic, Sandra Dokic, Assistant Minister, in the name of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia. Opening these fairs, the three guests agreed that the connection of energy, ecology and protective basis of the social community is one of the most important questions of the country and the region and that the role of the Belgrade Fair in all of this is inevitable.
At the same place and time, three fair events have tried to provide a unique and synergic, regional and local logistic platform for the answers on some of the most important questions of today – energy, energy efficiency, the environment, risk, emergency situation and protection at work. The Energy Fair as a respectable fair event with a UFI license and as a largest annual regional get together of companies and a regional integrative leader in connecting all segments and factors of the energy sector in the country, the region and in this part of Europe. EcoFair has, even in pandemic conditions and with the request for “ ecologically acceptable behavior as a way of life”, remained a place of an annual regional get together of institutions, producers of equipment, distributers, recyclers, operators, landfills, local governments, utility companies, waste generator and the professional public – different parts of the environment protection system. The 112 Expo fair has once again present itself as a good representative of all social and economic potentials intended for opposing unpredictable and unexpected emergency events and situations, which endanger human lives and property, and all with the mission of risk management and evaluation.
In the exhibition and expert following program of these events around a hundred companies, institutions and authorities participated which covered a wide spectrum of energy sectors and activities. In a very relevant following program, “energy” accent was given by the Environment Center, technical procedures, quality and social responsibility with a PKS presentation “of ongoning and planned activities” in the fields of energy and ecology; a group of companies with innovations in fields of energy and ecology “Made in Serbia, Ukrainian Kness Group presenting “European project of renewable energy”, following by Serbian producers of smart meters, everyday presentation of “the newest solutions in the field of remote control electricity consumption. The ecological segment was covered bu sessions regarding circular economy, climate change, waste management in Raska etc. The Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs problematized the effects of inspections, in the field of work affairs and safety and health at work; employment of persons with disabilities during the pandemic, solidarity entrepreneurship, fatigue risk management, ergonomic strategy for the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders etc.
Given the pandemic, economic, and other social circumstances, and after this two-year pause, the performance of this designed fair trio was rated high, as fair activities and as contribution to the Serbian economy as a whole.
From the 25th to the 28th of November two more traditional fair events were held at the Belgrade Fair: the 15th Ethno Food & Drinks Fair, in Hall 3, and the Fair of Winter Sports Equipment, Tourism and Recreation Expo-zim, in Hall 5.
Under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia, the Ethno Food & Drinks Fair, with its number of exhibitors and other program participants, more than 350, and with the fair atmosphere reminded of the “pre-crisis” times, representing all which Serbia is famous for in this area across the world. The visitors were able to feel the tastes and smells of domestic products from Serbia, Republic of Srpska and Romania. Opening the event, Minister in the Serbian Government in charge of development of underdeveloped municipalities Novica Toncev has named national specialties, products characteristic for specific geographical areas, mostly handicrafts and organically produced materials, and overall traditional products as first-class market and export articles – the “ID” of our country.
At the Fair for the first time the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management with a group of producers presented itself; the Association “Karitas” presented itself with its thirty producers of traditional products from central Serbia as a part of their own support program; the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia has present the project “Stvarano u Srbiji” at the fair and products the trademark holders of quality and domestic origin “Cuvarkuca”; special segment of the fair – the Handicrafts exhibition, this year as well was organized by “Drustvo sprskih domacina” (Serbian hosts association).
Like every year, a large number of awards was given to all prestige producers of different brand groups, which should be a recognition and stimulation for further development and promotion of authentic food products. An expert jury has made a decision to give the main award of the Ethno Food & Drinks Fair “BRAND FROM SERBIA” for 2021 to “Bojcin eko turs” d.o.o from Progare, Surcin for a range of mangalica products. With that one of the goals of the event was achieved – branding of traditional products, which become an essential part of the tourist offers of Serbia, but also a promotion of small producers and their positioning on the market.
In unpredictable conditions regarding prediction and perception of the upcoming winter tourist season Expo-zim was also held. Importers, producers, distributers and repairers of winter sports and recreational equipment and tourist representatives offered, as was shown, and interesting range of goods and services for the visitors which delighted all who love winter. The visitors, after a one year pause, have shown that they anticipated with impatience and curiosity, their fair dedicated to winter joys and ambience.
With the co-organizers help, “Sport za sve” Association, Expo-zim promoted festive spirit, holiday atmosphere, joy of active living and active vacation, but also serious sports temptations. With all this, the exhibitors offered traditional fair discounts up to 50 percent. In the current social and health context, this years’ Expo-zim can because of this be characterized without reserve as a very charming, interesting and useful fair event.
The mentioned events were only the peak, an epilogue so to say of the November “iceberg”, which started in early November with an exhibition “Belgrade Fair: Innovation of technology, architecture and culture”, in the Gallery of science and technology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and art, which lasted until the 26th of November. The setting was realized by the Association “Kolektiv arhitekata” and “Beogradski sajam”, and the visitors were presented the history of the Fair, as well as its technological, architectural and cultural significance in local and global scales. With the Belgrade Fencing Trophy, held at the beginning of November in Hall 2 of the Belgrade Fair, November can rightly be declared as a successful return of the Belgrade Fair in the normal functioning “regime”. For the good of exhibitors, visitors, business partners and fair activity as a whole.