In 2017 Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry defined and adopted the term “exhibition venue” as well as “The Glossary of Terms of the Exhibition Industry”. “Exhibition venue (complex) – is a building or complex of buildings and structures erected for the purpose of organization of events, which can host trade fairs and exhibitions, and which offers renowned in the sector and high quality services for contracting exhibitions (B2B) and for consumer exhibitions (B2C), which can also hold other types of events from the MICE sector.” PCEI modelled it on the current definition by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry of November 2016. It is worth mentioning that UFI is of the opinion that hotels, public utility buildings, sports facilities, parks and temporary constructions are not treated as exhibition venues even if exhibitions are held there.
In the interest of high standards of the Polish exhibition market, PCEI also determined important criteria for the assessment of the exhibition venue. They include: 1) basic information and technical parameters of the venue (including exhibition space (the so-called gross exhibition space), entrances, freight elevators, type of floor and load-bearing capacity of floors, number of storeys, permissible ceiling load); 2) technical regulations of the venue and safety factors (including regulations in the area of stand construction, fire protection regulations, health and safety regulations, principles of communication in the venue, monitoring systems, security, environmental protection); 3) services in the venue available to exhibitors (e.g. design and construction of stands, storage and warehousing, transport and handling services, meeting rooms, availability of information in Polish and an international language regarding floor plans, regulations inside the venue, facilities, promotional materials, etc.; 4) transport accessibility of the venue (parking lots, number of parking spaces, distance from the railway station, airport, public transport stops, taxi).
According to a study by Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry conducted in the first half of 2018, there are 19 exhibition venues in Poland with the exhibition space exceeding 5,000 sq. m. used regularly for the purpose of organization of trade fairs and exhibitions, and their total exhibition space is 443,902 sq. m. The PCEI survey results were forwarded to UFI, which included them in the global report “UFI World Map of Exhibition Venues”. Poland ranked 16th among the 28 national and regional markets of the world covered by the Report, meeting the condition of the total indoor exhibition space available in a country of at least 200,000 sq m. Based on the study conducted with the participation of partner national and regional exhibition associations, UFI identified 1,217 venues in the world which meet the requirements of the study, with a total area of 34.8 million sq. m.
An unquestionable leader among professional exhibition venues in Poland is Poznan International Fair, which owns the indoor exhibition area (otherwise referred to as exposition area) of 109,071 sq. m. (whereas the total PIF indoor area is 190,166 sq. m). Poznan International Fair, currently the only professional Polish exhibition venue providing the exhibition area of over 100,000 sq. m., ranks 32nd among European exhibition venues and 46th in the world.
The indoor exhibition area of exhibition venues in Poland has been growing dynamically in recent years. In comparison with 2011, when UFI, in cooperation with exhibition associations, including the Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry, published a report for the preceding year on exhibition venues in the world, this area has increased by as much as 64%.
The available exhibition area of exhibition venues is one of the drives of the development of the exhibition industry and the operations of the venues is important for the economic development of the city and the region. As a result, the development of local services connected with the organization of exhibitions such as transport, hotel, catering, cultural, recreational, entertainment and other services.