Design and development of touristic products Main author: Gábor Michalkó Szilvia Boros, János Csapó, Éva Happ, Pál Horváth, Anikó Husz, Mónika Jónás-Beri, Katalin Lőrinc, Andrea Máté, Gábor Michalkó, Erzsébet Printz-Markó, Krisztina Priszinger, Tamara

Table 5           Differences between fair and exhibitions

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Table 5           Differences between fair and exhibitions


Trade exhibition

Consumer market


Potential buyers Trade representatives General audience

General audience


Branch specialization Even sub-segments at international exhibitions

Topic varies on a large scale: leisure, games, fashion, electronics, presents etc.


Restricted in number Purchasing intention is more important than number of participants

Large number of visitors

Opening hours

3-4 days, 5 days in case of larger international exhibitions

Larger fairs 6-10 days, local events 2-3 days

Size of potential market

International exhibitions: 5-10% international visitor Regional, local visitors

Regional or local visitors

Related event

Simultaneously with the exhibition conference, presentations related to the topic

Not typical


Representative offer

The product is present also physically, it can be purchased


April, June, September, October

All year long, except peak seasons of tourism

Source: based on Lawson, 2000 constructed by: Happ, 2010

Categorization opportunity:

Based on the size of targeted market:

-          Local: its target area is the same regarding exhibitors and visitors, it is not too big regarding geographical agglomeration

-          National: its target area covers the whole country

-          International: it attracts people from a continent or from all around the world

Based on topic:

-          General topic: the circle of exhibited products is not restricted, varied products and services offered for a general audience (e.g. Budapest International Fair)

-          Specialized exhibition: pre-determined products, professional visitors (e.g. Travel Exhibition)

Based on location and duration:

-          Permanent or long lasting exhibitions (e.g. in visitor centres)

-          Temporary exhibitions in dedicated locations (exhibition centres)

-          Temporary exhibitions in locations built for other purposes (leisure centre, culture centre, agricultural exhibitions)

Purpose of the exhibitions:

-          To attract attention: to awake interest of visitors towards the product and service

-          Information: interpretation and information to the potential clients about the product, service

-          Incentive: to influence the visitor to buy the product or service

Peculiarities of the exhibitions:

-          concentrated appearance of demand and supply

-          presentation and demonstration opportunity

-          effective tool of marketing communication and promotion

-          reflects the state of the economy

-          informal environment

-          it provides opportunity to access important target groups

Demand side:

-          exhibitors: enterprises that rent a place in the exhibition area. Their expenses: rental fees, building a counter, decoration costs, expenses of supplementary events, operational costs of the counter, other expenses (e.g. marketing)

-          exhibition visitors: general audience and professional visitors. Their number is decisive regarding the success of the exhibition

-          exhibition organizers: the exhibition can be organized by the hosting venue, an independent professional exhibition organizer company or an organization, association of the given branch

Supply elements:

-          exhibition places: ensures the venue and technical conditions of the exhibition: building with appropriate size and quality, security service, insurance, waste collection, meeting sanitary requirements, catering opportunities

-          technical providers: counter design and construction, furniture rental, flowers, decoration, electrician – the expenses are charged to the exhibitors, the organizer of the exhibition or the exhibitor himself is responsible for the relations to service providers

-          other service providers: advertisement agency, traffic, accommodation, catering etc. Based on the official statistics of the UFI, 2,195 trade fairs and exhibitions were organized in (20 countries of) Europe in 2008. The exhibitions attracted in total 655,964 exhibitors and 53.8 million visitors. The exhibitors introduced their products and services on 25.6 million m2. 42% of exhibitions targeted professional visitors, 38% to the general audience, and 20% was opened for the visitors of both segments.

Based on the estimation of the UFI, 53 million m2 of exhibition space is sold in Europe every year, thus only about half of the European trade markets appear in the official statistics. Based on the official statistics, most of the exhibitions are organized in France (615), followed by Spain (341) and Germany (291). Hungary ranks on the 13th (29th) place of the (unofficial) European list.

The average size of exhibition areas is 14,900 m2, the average duration is 3-9 days. It is usually a regularly organized event, annual, biannual or less frequent (in every 3-4 years).

The location can be the same or always different cities can host it in rotation. The largest and highest developed exhibition areas are in Europe, in the United States, in South-East-Asia and Australia.

5. Conditions of the market functioning

All around the world, but especially in developed countries, the socio-economic role of services increased. MICE tourism is one of the largest breakthroughs of the 20th century, it is in permanent change due to the effect of the social, natural, economic, political and cultural environment, and it is in harmony with the elements of demand and supply.  

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