The growth of the number of visitors at exhibitions by 7.2% as compared to the previous year, the increase of the total number of exhibitors by 1.7%, and the growth of the total contracted exhibition space by 9.6% – these are the results of over 200 trade fairs and exhibitions in Poland in 2016 which were monitored by Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry and audited by CENTERX – the International Exhibition Statistics Union. Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry has just published „The PCEI Report Exhibitions in Poland in 2016”, the unique annual publication presents statistical data of trade fairs and exhibitions organized by the Members of PCEI. The guarantee of the reliability of statistical data of exhibitions is an extremely important issue and the foundation of trust in exhibitions by exhibitors and visitors, therefore PCEI once again commissioned the certified auditor of UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, to verify the statistics for 2016. Excellent cooperation between PCEI and CENTREX in terms of auditing and promotion of exhibition statistics has lasted for almost ten years, thanks to which, for quite some time now, the international business environment has had access to reliable data on the largest exhibition market in Central and Eastern Europe, i.e. Poland. The latest PCEI and CENTREX research show that all the key statistical parameters of the exhibition market in Poland in 2016 noted growth as compared to 2014 and 2015. The latest audit covered 211 trade fairs and exhibitions in Poland organized in 2016 (as compared to 2014 exhibitions in 2014 and 200 in 2015). The total space contracted by exhibitors at these events was 838,234 square meters, which is a record for the period from 2008 to 2016. As a reminder, 2008, which was exceptionally good for the exhibitions in Poland, before the sector was affected by the consequences of the global financial and economic recession in the yers 2007-2009, boasted the total contracted exhibition space of almost 720 thousand square meters, whereas the following year brought an almost 20% drop in the area (to 576,559 m2). The growth the contracted exhibition space in Poland in 2016 was 2.5%. in comparison with 2014. When it comes to the number of exhibitors at audited exhibitions in 2016, it was up by almost 500 companies as compared to the previous year, i.e. by 1.7% (from 28,392 in 2015 to 28,896 in 2016), whereas in comparison with the analogous 2015, the growth was just by 0.3% (almost 100 exhibitors). Just like in the previous years, the number of Polish exhibitors in the total number of companies participating in exhibitions in Poland in 2016 was approximately 84% (24,143 of exhibitors from Poland in the total of 28,860), which does not mean that the Polish exhibition industry is not attractive for international and foreign businesses. The number of international exhibitors (multinational and foreign) was 4,753 and it was unalterably, as compared to previous years, approximately 16% of the total number of exhibitors. The interest in Poland and its favourable geopolitical location of the country – perhaps yes, but also investments in the infrastructure and the care of the leading Polish exhibiting companies for the high quality of services for trade fair guests, are the reasons for the systematic growth of the number of visitors at exhibitions in Poland in the previous years. Research carried out by PIPT and CENTREX shows that after the 16% drop in the number of visitors at exhibitions in Poland in 2009 (as compared to 2008), due to the economic downturn, already since 2010 we have been observing the growing number of visitors every year. In 2010 the growth of this indicator was almost 15%, which meant almost the return to the result from 2008. Also the following year 2011 ended with the growth of over 11% growth in the number of visitors – their number at that times exceeded 1,120,000 people, In 2012 there were 3.2% visitors more and their number reached 1,162,391 people. In 2014 exhibitions in Poland were visited by 1,378,209 people, which is 10% more than in the previous years, whereas in 2015 it was 1,436,083, which meant the growth of 4.2% as compared to the previous year. Visitors at trade fairs and exhibitions in Poland were also very active in 2016 – there were 1,539,000 of them, which is 7.2% more than in 2015. Polish exhibition organizers know that they are able to attract visitors to their events in the following years. It is so since apart from the previously mentioned factors, which support the interest in exhibitions in Poland, of great importance is the continuously developed form of modern exhibitions which offers the visiting professionals, next to the possibility to discover innovation or acquire new suppliers, also additional benefits, such as gaining knowledge on the latest trends and the possibility to meet experts from the sector, e.g. during the seminars and conferences which accompany exhibitions. There is one more strong tendency which facilitates the growing number of visitors. In Poland, just like in other mature exhibition markets, there is a growing interest in exhibitions addressed to consumers, i.e. the general public. Such exhibitions have a character of an interesting event which attracts visitors and their topics are for instance home electronics, entertainment, tourism, recreation, hobby or pets. These areas enjoy great popularity among the general public who are ready today to significantly increase their expenses in these areas more than it was several years ago. Source: Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry, March 20, 2017.