Delegation visit to Delhi gives update on Indian venue projects; Joint initiatives agreed between UFI and IEIA.
Paris/Delhi - India’s exhibition industry is about to benefit from additional venue space, opening up further growth and development opportunities over the years to come. This September, the Executive Committee of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, met in Delhi. Industry leaders from companies such as Informa, Reed, and Fiera Milano held meetings with venue representatives, the board of the Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA), and senior industry players.
“For many years, international organisers have been pushing for more and better exhibition space in India that meets our industry’s international standards,” says UFI President Corado Peraboni. “It is encouraging to see that projects in Pragati Maidan, at Greater Noida, and at Dwarka, among others, are now under construction.”
According to predictions from the latest UFI/BSG report on the trade fair industry in Asia, venue space in India will increase by more than 10% by the end of 2019, driving growth of the exhibition industry as a whole in the country. India’s trade fair industry has been the best performing large market for the past five years. In 2017, net space sold went up by 11.4% from 1,065,000 sqm in 2016 to 1,187,000 sqm. Over the past five years, the Indian market has grown by 39%, which is far ahead of the regional five-year average of 27.3%.
The members of the Executive Committee met L.C. Goyal, Chairman of the ITPO, owner and operator of the Pragati Maidan Exhibition Complex in Delhi. There, a new conference centre is currently under construction, and they are also rebuilding three exhibition halls with a capacity of 60,000 sqm. This phase of the project is scheduled for completion in February 2019.
In neighbouring Greater Noida, the India Expo Mart shared groundbreaking plans for an expansion just days before the UFI delegation visited. CEO Sudeep Sarcar went through the development plans on site. The new hall will provide 14,000 sqm of additional exhibition space.
A few days after the UFI delegation left India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new India International Convention & Exhibition Center (IICC) in Dwarka. The convention centre and exhibition space is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019. It will be operated by Kintex, Korea’s biggest venue-management company.
In addition to these projects, the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) in the south concluded an expansion project in 2017 to add 17,500 sqm of venue space. An additional 17,500 sqm will be added later in 2018. That will bring its total to 75,000 sqm, making it the largest venue in India.
In the various meetings, UFI officials welcomed the ongoing projects and pledged their support, particularly in the area of education. “A successful venue needs great infrastructure and qualified staff,” comments UFI Managing Director/CEO Kai Hattendorf. “We are happy to support the development of the Indian exhibition industry through educational initiatives.”
UFI leaders also used the opportunity to hold a joint meeting with the board of IEIA, the Indian Exhibition Industry Association. Both associations reflected on their already successful collaboration on research, education, and best-practice sharing, and reiterated their commitment to raising the profile of the exhibition industry as a key driver for economic growth in India. The joint session was followed by an evening of international networking with many senior representatives from Indian organisers, venues, and service providers.
“UFI’s trip to Delhi has really been wonderful. It has put a spotlight on India’s push for growth in the exhibition industry, and we look forward to welcoming more international companies to the new and expanded facilities across across India,” comments Ravinder Sethi, IEIA Vice-President.