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Towards Resilience. The Future of The Trade Fair Industry

The industry of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) is an important part of the economy. In Poland alone, it accounts for 1.5% of GDP², while the global value of the market just before the pandemic (in 2019) was valued at $1.2 billion³. At the same time, it is the industry that has been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Polish companies operating in the meetings and events industry saw their revenues fall by 73%⁴ in 2020.

Resilience – ability needed

Resilience is the ability to adapt to changing conditions regardless of their magnitude or force; the ability to recover quickly from loss or being weakened; buoyancy; the power to bounce back quickly. It is is crucial, not only in meetings, but also in business in institutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the digital transformation of the industry of MICE, although it must be stressed that these changes feel more like an organic ‘grafting’, introduced by trial and error in a situation of the prevailing crisis. When we additionally take into account issues such as deglobalisation, climate transformation and demographic change, it becomes clear that the category of exhibition and trade fair has found itself in a situation where the role and function of trade fairs is bound to drastically change.

  • Natalia Hatalska
    Nowadays, faced with an ongoing technological transformation, climate change, social tensions, demographic shifts and economic crisis, trade fairs are at the stage of attempting to redefine themselves. I am aware that this is not necessarily an easy task. And at the same time, I am convinced that the industry will manage to write yet another interesting chapter in its history. Certainly though, it will look different from what we had become accustomed to. Our report provides a glimpse of what that future might look like. Therefore, I express hope that its contents will support you in your strategic work and become a voluminous source of inspiration.
    Natalia Hatalska | CEO infuture.institute

Drivers For Change

The exhibition industry does not operate in a vacuum. For this reason, in addition to the industry specific challenges listed above, it is necessary to take into account a wider context. On the basis of legacy data, as well as expert interviews and qualitative workshops conducted, the drivers that have or will have an impact on the changes taking place in the exhibition industry have been diagnosed. They are featured in the graphic below.

The four most frequently occurring factors were successively: Zalpha (a societal factor taking into account the influence of the two currently youngest generations, Generation Z and Alpha), big data (a technological factor related to the huge amount of data generated in the digital world), broken supply chains (an economic factor, the bottleneck in logistics and production exacerbated by the pandemic and – currently – by sanctions related to the war in Ukraine) and running out of resources (an environmental factor, related to the commodity crisis).

All these drivers for change have been taken into account as a starting point for the construction of the scenarios.

Challengers that the industry is facing

There are two prisms through which one can approach the challenges that the industry is facing. On the one hand, we have got the aforementioned macro-factors (deglobalisation, climate transformation, demographic change, dynamic technological development – read more on the matter in section 1.2 and Chapter 2.) On the other hand, we are noticing the in-dustry’s internal business challenges, typical only for that particular industry, yet most certainly being a result of macro factors. As an outcome of the analysis of the qualitative and quantitative research conducted for the purpose of this report, the infuture.institute team has defined the six main challenges.

They are as follows:

  • Tomasz Kobierski
    The digitalisation of the economy, social impact of the coronavirus pandemic or the need to diversify services are just some of the elements changing the way the meetings industry operates. These and a number of other factors make us think about how trade fairs, which are a tool for building the future for many companies, should determine their own development and future.
    Tomasz Kobierski | President of the Management Board of the Grupa MTP

Executive Summary

Methodology

In the course of the work on the project related to the future of the trade fair industry, infuture.institute has conducted an analysis of historical signals of change (in-depth analysis of legacy data, reports, articles and other sources on the future of the MICE industry, including strategic reports) and the following qualitative and quantitative research:

See reports:

Towards Resilience. The Future of The Trade Fair Industry

Towards Resilience. The Future of The Trade Fair Industry

The industry of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) is an important part of the economy. […]
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Trends Map

On the map there are five types of 54 trends located within a zone which […]
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The future in the age of digital transformation

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Podanie danych jest dobrowolne. Podstawą przetwarzania danych jest moja zgoda. Dane osobowe będą przetwarzane do odwołania zgody. Zostałem poinformowany, że przysługuje mi prawo dostępu do swoich danych, możliwości ich poprawiania, żądania ograniczenia ich przetwarzania lub usunięcia, a także prawo wniesienia skargi do organu nadzorczego. Zostałem poinformowany, że moje dane będą przetwarzane w sposób zautomatyzowany, w tym również w formie profilowania, zwykłego, polegającego na analizie wykonanej przez osobę odpowiedzialną za działania marketingowe, a konsekwencją takiego przetwarzania będzie dobór odpowiednich ofert handlowych. Mam prawo do wyrażenia sprzeciwu wobec profilowania.*