Turkey has become one of the fastest recovering countries in the exhibition industry11.12.2020The fair industry, whose volume reached 325 billion dollars in the world, had a hard time in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, 30 percent of the fair organizer companies worldwide who participated in the Barometer Survey published in November by The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) announced that things have returned to normal. TÜYAP Board Member and Strategic Marketing Deputy General Manager Zeynep Ünal Öztop said, “The recovery in fairs started from the Far East, China. We see a wave of normalization coming from Russia and coming to our country from there. One of the countries is Turkey which opens its doors quickly in the exhibition sector. We were advantageous in that sense. In this process, we hosted more international visitors than we expected at our fairs, and we expect the recovery to accelerate in 2021”.
Fair industry is one of the sectors most affected by world trade, which has shrunk due to the pandemic… The fair industry, which shrank by 80 percent in the world during the peak of the pandemic, started to recover after June. Despite this, it is stated that it will only reach in 2023 for the fair industry to reach the figures of 2019, which is considered as the "golden year". The volume of fair trade in the world reaches 325 billion dollars. In 2019, thirty two thousand fairs were held in 180 countries. While 4,5 million companies attended these fairs, more than 500 million people visited them. While Turkey's share is 1,2 percent in world exhibition industry, the industry had reached a business volume of 3,5 billion dollars. The fair industry, which made a good start to 2020, took a big hit with the pandemic reaching uncontrollable levels.
"Recovery has started from the Far East"
According to the barometer research of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the rate of those who said that things were going normally in the sector fell below 5 percent in May, while the rate of those who answered the same question positively to 30 percent in November.
Tüyap Board Member and Strategic Marketing Deputy General Manager Zeynep Ünal Öztop has evaluated this year of exhibition sector and said that the one of the countries is Turkey which recovers quickly in the exhibition industry. Öztop said, "According to the research of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the recovery in fairs started in the Far East, China. We see a wave of normalization coming from Russia and coming to our country from there. As TÜYAP Fairs Group, there was a lot of interest from abroad to the fairs we organized in October and November. This shows that these people need to do business. Which country provides them the platform to do business, they will go to that country."
"20 percent of the fairs were opened"
Fair activities in Turkey was stopped by a decision of the Turkish Ministry of Trade from the middle of the March to beginning of the September in 2020. Tüyap Fair Organization Group, which reopened its doors to its visitors at the beginning of October, organized three fairs in October and November. While more than fifteen thousand visitors came to these fairs organized by TÜYAP, over four thousand of them were foreign visitors.
Zeynep Ünal Öztop said that the possibility of opening of the exhibitions in the first quarter of 2021 in Europe is very low, "Turkey would normally organized 419 trade fairs in 2020 but the sector came to a halt both in Turkey and the world. When the fair calendar was published in January 2020, we had more than 80 fairs. We held nearly 15 fairs between January and March. After October, we opened 4 fairs with 1 tenant fair. Therefore, we could only open 20 percent of our fairs. The fairs are rather postponed or canceled in Turkey near 80 percent."
"We will apply our fair schedule"
Öztop stated that the fair industry will have difficulties in the first and second quarters of 2021 and she made the following evaluations: “Generally, although the exhibition industry will have difficulties in the first half of 2021, we expect the recovery to be faster in the Eastern countries. Therefore, as TÜYAP Fairs Group, if there is no deterioration in the course of the pandemic to the extent that we cannot control, we will apply our fair schedule as planned from January. But all researches say that; it may take the beginning of 2023 for the exhibition industry to reach its peak in 2019 after the collapse in 2020. "
“The quality of foreign visitors has increased"
Despite the adverse conditions in Turkey, Öztop envisages the exhibition industry will be better than 2020 next year, "We anticipate that our exhibitions will open in Turkey, but we are preparing ourselves to a scenario that our participants cannot come to a great extent. We plan to include our international exhibitors in our fairs with remote participation packages for our international exhibitors who cannot come due to travel restrictions, and side solutions that they can represent themselves in digital. During the pandemic period, we saw a decrease in the number of international visitors, but the fairs we held showed us that even if the number decreased, we did not experience any loss of quality. Visitors who wanted to make serious purchases came to the fairs. This enabled a trade volume that was almost twice the number of people coming,” she said.
“We organize hybrid fairs, not virtual”
Zeynep Ünal Öztop noted that with the pandemic, they turned towards hybrid fairs, which are physical fairs enriched with digital applications, she explained that the digitalization of the fair industry is inevitable: “In the new process, we prepare ourselves for the new normal fairs in the best way. Here, our first priority was to protect the health of our exhibitors and visitors who will step into the fairs. By fulfilling the requirements of the Turkish Standards Institute's COVID-19 Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Control Certification Program, we have become the first and only exhibition company to be entitled to receive TSE COVID-19 Safe Service Certificate. After that, we were thinking about what we could do in order not to limit our fairs only to space and time. We have been working on digitalization since 2015; during this period, we accelerated and focused on hybrid fairs. We consider that virtual and hybrid fairs are quite different. We organize hybrid fairs which are physical trade fairs enriched with digital applications. We organize our fairs on the date we set; however, we offer a virtual space for exhibiting companies to represent themselves digitally. Under MyTüyap platform we have created, we enable companies to create profiles and create an entity to introduce themselves and their products. Even after the fair is over, we enable visitors and exhibitors to communicate and interact throughout the year. If you ask why we do not organize virtual fairs; nothing beats a face-to-face. " BACK TO PREVIOUS PAGE