Thursday, April 25, 2024


The fact that Italy’s EICMA trade fair organisers managed to put on a fairly good show in November 2021, constrained by a barrage of anti-Covid measures imposed by the Italian government, has to be applauded. But this six-day extravaganza at the huge Fiera Milano Rho venue was a pale shadow of its predecessor prior to pandemic disruption.

Only five halls were occupied by exhibitors, against eight in 2019. And overall attendance amounted to 342,644, plunging from a rather casual claim of “almost 800,000 visitors in total” two years earlier. Given the maximum permitted capacity enforced by government edict was reached on all four public days, that has to be seen as a worthy result. And to maintain social distancing rules at entry points, more than 94% of public tickets were sold in advance online.

In working terms, the first two days attracted 28,841 trade representatives, 43% of whom were foreign, and 45,127 “journalists, influencers, technicians and communications professionals” —35% from overseas. Although the quotient of liggers on a free ride was obviously more relaxed than usual, a joint tally of 73,968 comfortably exceeded the 43,623-strong trade and press contingent back in 2019  although 55% of them had been foreigners.

Mainstream exhibitor presence reportedly held up very well. But UK trade visitors expressed disappointment that the regular swarm of useful Asian parts and accessories distributors were notably absent.   


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