Innovative by tradition
Croatia's exhibition scene is concentrated in the capital. Zagreb sees itself as a bridge between old and new EU-countries and is attracting more and more new shows.
A nice image: "If Croatia's trade fair industry were a person, it would be middle-aged, charming, experienced, trustworthy, and full of surprises", says Berislav Cizmek. The Exhibition Group Director of Zagreb Fair reports that other centres are becoming more successful alongside the most important and traditional exhibition centre in Croatia for which he works. "So far the organisers in Split, Osijek, Rijeka, or Porec have been running shows of local significance." But the agricultural show in Bjelovar, to take one example, is growing by the year. The same goes for the food fair organised in Split. The events in the other towns are mostly shows for the general public. The organisers there do not have their own exhibition site.
Zagreb Fair, which has been operating since 1909, stages about 30 trade fairs a year. The 505,000 m2 exhibition site provides 180,000 m2 of indoor exhibition space and has been home to a World Trade Centre since 1990. The main policy of the trade fair professionals is specialist shows with clear objectives. They are the ones that hire the most space and are the most influential. "These events are also so important for the reputation of the fair venue: they are known to fulfil the criteria of a good trade fair, such as internationalism and well matched trade visitors and exhibitors."
Shows of regional importance include the furniture fair Ambienta, Zagreb Auto, the building fair Construction, and a sport article and boat show. The consumer exhibition, Zagreb Autumn Fair, to be held for the 81st time this year, is important beyond the borders of the city and country: over 7,000 exhibitors from 70 countries exhibit here each year. The fair organiser, which was one of the founder members of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in 1925, tallies a total of some 700,000 visitors per year.
Since 2000, the Croats have managed to start up eight new events and generate more and more international trade attendance. These include Prime - an international marketing event, Emat - an environment fair, the hair cosmetics and hairdresser's products show Hair Fashion, the automation and electrical engineering exhibition Elcro, the Zagreb Transport Show for commercial vehicles, an energy fair, a hunting and fishing show and a training exhibition.
m+a report Nr.6 / 2005 vom 23.09.2005
m+a report vom 23. September 2005