By Marta Sánchez
Clients want to hold trade fairs. In the second year of the pandemic, when there may have been a great deal of doubt concerning the business model for trade fairs, Feria Valencia’s experience was that its clients, both exhibitors and visitors, wanted their events to go ahead.
In fact, when the pandemic allowed, trade fairs did take place; obviously, not as normal, but with a great deal of determination from everyone involved.
Clearly, each sector suffered in its own way, and Feria Valencia adapted itself, at all times giving its clients the services they required.
Thus, it was demonstrated that when a sector wanted to hold a trade fair and the pandemic allowed for it to take place, the event was a success. Exceeding the expectations of exhibitors and visitors and making the fair once again, as requested by its clients, a meeting point, a place to share knowledge and a source of business for the sectors represented.
In short, Feria Valencia has managed to meet the expectations of its clients by holding the events they requested and, also, by ensuring that the attendance of buyers has made these meetings a real success.
Under these circumstances, Feria Valencia held a total of 14 trade fairs and 41 external events across its facilities in 2021, the second year of the pandemic. This was possible thanks to the safety protocols that Feria Valencia put in place to deal with COVID-19, but also, and to a large extent, thanks to the high level of interest shown by exhibitors, who were committed to the reactivation, thus revitalising the trade fair business and demonstrating that it works.
The pandemic was once again the main obstacle to the normal functioning of trade fairs and events in 2021. In fact, many of the major international events on the European calendar were cancelled last year. Especially in the first quarter of the year.
Faced with this situation, Feria Valencia developed new ways of generating value for its exhibitor companies by reactivating its online platform. This allowed Cevisama On to be held, so exhibitors and visitors to the event could maintain their contacts at a time when the health situation made it impossible to hold in-person events. The same happened with Forinvest Digital, which replaced the on-site event in May.
However, by June, the health situation had sufficiently improved for it to be possible to hold in-person events. Feria Valencia began to put its machinery into full swing and held the spring motor show 100% in person. This fair managed to bring together a total of 33 exhibitor companies and more than 15,000 visitors in just three days at the Valencian exhibition centre.
After the summer, and in line with Feria Valencia’s calendar, trade fair activity resumed, although it was far from back to normal, but a total of 11 fairs had been held at the venue by the end of the year, all of them with a high level of satisfaction from the exhibiting companies and a great success in terms of attendance. Some of them, such as Iberflora, the Valencia Boat Show, Mediterránea Gastrónoma and the Feria del Automovil, huge events. (maybe that’s too much…)
These events, in addition to doing business, served as a business meeting point and helped to strengthen and revitalise different economic sectors. To good effect, in the second half of the year, trade fair activity attracted more than 151,000 visitors, of whom 42,063 had access to exhibitors and information through digital media. All this was possible due to the enormous efforts made by the Feria Valencia team to implement appropriate health measures to protect visitors from COVID-19 with the aim of always ensuring the highest levels of safety for the main actors at trade fairs, i.e. exhibitors, visitors, suppliers and their staff. As well to ensure that Feria Valencia remains a key tool to continue the economic growth seen prior to the pandemic, and to continue to implement its main objective, to support and encourage the main actors in energising the economy of our Autonomous Region and contribute to the economic progress of all the sectors that see Feria Valencia as their home.