Indian Exhibitions Industry Association (IEIA), the apex body of exhibiting and trade show industry in the country has urged the government to immediately to allow organizing exhibitions albeit with all public safety measures for survival of the industry and revival of the Indian economy .
“COVID 19 has adversely impacted the ‘Business Exhibitions’ sector across India with a complete standstill since March 2020 continuing till date. Indian Exhibition sector, which is an important building block for development of trade and economy, plays a vital role to support many industry sectors with 2/3rd of exhibitions held annually being in the B2B segment, which are highly organized and structured in terms of movement of people and goods. The global pandemic has adversely affected the exhibition industry and its economic impact on the country’s trade. “said Mr Balasubramanian, President Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) .
“Approximately Rs. 300,000 crore of business and related trade has been affected due to non-holding of exhibitions in India this year with about 15 lakh estimated livelihoods affected who depend on exhibitions for their sustenance. Approximately 1.5 crore people participate in exhibitions every year in India for their business needs. Huge mass lay-offs, no work orders for the contractual service providers and lack of livelihood avenues for temporary ground workers add to the aggravation of the loss being suffered by the sector.” Said Mr Balasubramaniam .
“Indian Exhibition industry was growing at 10% YOY during pre-covid period. Industry is deeply impacted and is facing an unprecedented challenge. We are making a clarion call to the Government to extend a supporting hand to this industry so that exhibitions can come back soon and start supporting various businesses. This would not only boost the India’s vision of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, but will also enable the revival of the national economy, create jobs as well as bring back the country to its growth path”. Said Mr Balasunramaniam .
Region wise economic impact of exhibitions conducted at the purpose built venues is also being lost by the country. Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) , which is one of the purpose built exhibition venues in India organizes around 40 trade shows and events every year, which generates approx. Rs.2,570 crores of economic activity in Bangalore with direct exhibition spend by exhibitors on space rentals & exhibition services and indirect spend on travel, accommodation, food & beverage and shopping & recreation. Such economic activity, generates around Rs.345 crores of tax revenues for India. The estimated trade and business transactions conducted by industry at exhibitions in BIEC is around Rs.32,300 crores.
Similarly Indian Exposition Mart Limited (IEML) Greater Noida, which is established by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), organizes around 44 trade shows and events every year, generating Rs 3,100 crore of economic activity in Greater Noida (UP), and Rs.610 Crore of tax revenues (GST, Excise & Income Tax) for the Government. The estimated trade and business transactions conducted by industry exhibitions in IEML is around Rs. 75,000 Crore.
"IEIA has already prepared Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to organise safe and secure exhibitions in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the same have been submitted to MHA and MOC last month. As Exhibitions require a gestation period of 6-8 weeks to organise, it is vital for the Government to announce a date by when exhibitions can be restarted in a safe and sound environment. The human density for b2b exhibitions are not much different from a shopping mall or a railway / bus station and we can ready to organise shows once we get the necessary approvals," added Mr. Balasubraminan.
Governments in countries like Brazil, which is even more affected by COVID as compared to India, along with various other countries including UK, Italy, Spain, Russia and many others have allowed exhibitions to restart owing to the significant multiplier role of exhibitions on the overall economy.
IEIA, along with many trade bodies that organize exhibitions have approached the union government to allow organizing exhibitions albeit with all public safety measures. With domestic travel and hospitality sector opened up in a phased manner, malls allowed to operate, and no restrictions on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods; positive announcement to restart exhibitions will provide a significant boost to trade and industry sentiments across various sectors and will also support survival of lacs of livelihoods in the country. While exhibition sector was excluded in the list of sectors allowed in Unlock 3.0, Indian exhibition industry appeals and looks forward to Unlocking exhibitions by the Government of India to restart in Unlock 4.0.
About IEIA- Indian Exhibition Industry Association is the National apex body representing the Indian Exhibition industry that brings together all the stakeholders including exhibition organizers, stand contractors, freight forwarders, services and facilities providers, venue owners etc. so that there is a common platform available to the entire industry to consider ways and means for the sound and scientific development of various facets of the industry.