Who are the world’s leading trade fair organizers?

Professional trade fairs are a key engine of world trades of products and services. They are an important B2B marketing tool and a main business booster in a lot of countries. The globalization of markets is another factor that gives more weight to this specific sector. In this context, trade fair organizers become key business partners for exhibiting companies.

According to UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), there are about 1 200 exhibition centres worldwide and about 31 000 trade exhibitions per year. These events represent a total exhibition capacity of 34 million sq.m. Finally, these 31 000 trade fairs welcome about 4.4 million exhibitors and 260 million visitors per year.

The global trade fair market should generate within 2023 a turnover of 36.35 billion USD.

Who are the world’s leading players on this market? Find out the ranking per revenue of the world’s leading trade exhibition organizers.

1. Informa

Today, Informa is the world leader trade fair organizer. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and its headquarter is in Switzerland. 

The company has a portfolio of around 550 trade fairs and has more than 4 400 employees worldwide.

Following the acquisition of UBM in June 2018, the company launched in 2019 Informa Markets, the business unit in charge of the trade fair activity for the company. 

Informa organizes some of the world’s leading trade exhibitions like Arab Health in Dubai, China Beauty Expo in Shanghai, CPhl, Farm Progress in Decatur (US), Routes or Hospitalar in São Paulo.

Revenue: 1.8 billion USD
Website: informamarkets.com

2. Reed Exhibitions

With 500 trade fairs (94% of professional events) and 4 200 employees, Reed Exhibitions is the second world’s leading organizer. The headquarter is located in Richmond (United Kingdom). The company operates in about 30 countries. Reed Exhibitions is a branch of RELX Group, and welcomes approximately 130 000 exhibitors and 7 million visitors on its events.

Revenue: 1.4 billion USD
Website: reedexhibitions.com

3. Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the only trade fair organizer to have its own exhibition centre. The firm has more than 2 500 employees and operates in 30 countries worldwide.

The strategic orientation of Messe Frankfurt is focused on long-term and sustainable growth.

The company organizes 150 trade ecxhibitions in Germany and worldwide for 100 000 exhibitors and 3.8 million visitors per year.

Messe Frankfurt organizes several world’s leading events like ACHEMA (the world’s leading show for the rrocess industries), Frankfurter Buchmesse (the world’s largest book trade fair), IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung), IMEX (the global leading event of the business travel market).

The company has a French office, specialized in the fashion sector, which organizes Apparel Sourcing Paris, Avantex Paris, Leatherworld Paris, Shawls and Scarves Paris and Texworld Denim.

Revenue: 600 million USD
Website: messefrankfurt.com

Messe Frankfurt

4. Clarion Events

Clarion Events is a British company founded in 1947 and based in London. Today, it is one of the world’s trade show organizer with 2 500 employees in around 15 countries.

The company organizes about 200 trade exhibitons in over 50 countries which welcome 1 million visitors per year.

During the last Excellence Awards organized by the AEO (Association of Event Organizers), Clarion Events has been designated as the most influent compagny of the last 25 years in the industry.

The firm organizes among others Philadelphia Souvenir & Resort Expo, London International Horse Show, China Utility Week, DSEI à Londres, Brasilian Gaming Congress, Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham, Hospital Management Asia.

Revenue: 500 million USD
Website: clarionevents.com

5. China Foreign Trade Centre

China Foreign Trade Centre (CFTC) is an institution sponsored by the government and affiliated to the Ministry of Trade of the People’s Republic of China. The CFTC organizes all types of professional trade shows, and manages the Exhibition Centre of Guangzhou and the Congress Centre of Shanghai.

The most famous trade fairs organized by CFTC are China International Furniture Fair, CBD Fair and Auto Show.

Revenue: 360 million USD
Website: cftc.org.cn

6. Comexposium

Comexposium is a French company based in Paris, with 880 employees in over 30 countries. The company organizes about 135 B2B and B2B2C events worldwide. Comexposium is one of the world’s leader in terms of business and consumer trade shows. 

Comexposium welcomes every year around 48 000 exhibitors and 3.5 million visitors on its different events.

At the end of 2018, Crédit Agricole Assurance became the major investor of the company valued at 1.3 billion EUR.

Comexposium organises several of the world’s leading trade fairs like INTERMAT (the international exhibition for construction and infrastructure), SIAL (Global Food Marketplace), Foire de Paris, the Salon international de l’agriculture, Paris Game Week.

Revenue: 350 million USD
Website: comexposium.com

7. Emerald Expositions

Emerald Expositions is an american company specialized in the ogranization of professional trade shows in the United States.

The company organizes 55 trade fairs which welcome 500 000 visitors per year.

Emerald Exhibitions is specialized in the industries of Gifts, House, Sport, Design and Construction, but also Technology and Jewellery.

The company’s development strategy is based on external growth. Last acquisitions: IGES, Collective, RFID LIVE!,CEDIA Expo or InterDrone.

Revenue: 325 million USD
Website: emeraldexpositions.com

Focus on French Market

The fair and congress market is estimated at 3 billion EUR in France. The main players on this market are : 

Comexposium : 135 trade fairs, 880 employees, 48 000 exhibitors, 3.5 million visitors. 
Events : SIAL, INTERMAT, Foire de Paris, Salon du Cheval, le Salon de l’Agriculture, Milipol Paris, EQUIP AUTO, Paris Game Week, ALL4PACK Paris, SOLUTRAN, etc.

Reed Expositions France : 40 trade exhibitions, 390 employees, 18 600 exhibitors, 1.08 million visitors. 
Events : Maison&Objet, Batimat, Pollutec, SITL, Livre Paris, Franchise Expo Paris, ExpoProtection, etc.

GL events Exhibitions : 200 trade fairs, 400 employees, 20 000 exhibitors, 2 million visitors. 
Events : Global Industrie Paris, Sirha, CFIA Rennes, Foire de Lyon, EUROBOIS, Paysalia, Europain, ect.

Infopro Digital : 40 trade fairs specialized on insurance & finance, local community, construction, distribution, industry.
Events : Salons des Maires et des Collectivités Locales, SIMI, C!Print, Luxe Pack, Patrimonia, Parkopolis, Journées de Collection Jardin, 3D Print, etc.

Weyou Group : 18 B2B trade fairs in Paris and Cannes, 3 000 exhibitors and 200 000 visitors.
Events : Educatec Educatice, Heavent Paris, Workspace Expo, Salon Achat hors productionet des l’Environnement de Travail, Europropre, E-Marketing Paris, etc.

If you exhibit at a trade fair or congress in France or abroad, you have certainly contacted one of the players presented in order to book your exhibition stand.

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Published by allostand’s team