The northern port city of Thessaloniki is counting down to the big day on Saturday, September 9, when more than 1,500 exhibitors from 18 countries and China as the honored guest take their place at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center for the 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).
Set to run through to September 17, the massive event will host participants from China, Cyprus, Slovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, South Africa, Armenia, Indonesia, FYROM, Bulgaria, India, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Iran.
Some 167 businesses from China, will join TIF among them Cosco Shipping Corporation, China Development Bank, Huawei Technologies, the State Grid Corporation, ZTE, 23 high-tech companies from Shanghai and carrier Air China, which will connect Athens with Beijing as of September 30 with two direct flights per week.
Meanwhile, 43 chambers from across Greece and 360 companies and business ventures will also be present focusing on education, the automotive industry, energy, wellness, gastronomy, innovation, e-gaming and more.
“The 82nd TIF will be a milestone and a launch of a new era that will reinstate the September fair… to its former glory,” TIF-Helexpo president Anastasios Tzikas told a press conference this week, describing TIF as a multi-event that combines business, entertainment, culture and politics.
Tzikas added that the 82nd fair promises to be the decade’s best with a 50 percent increase in the number of exhibitors, a fully booked exhibition center and China as this year’s guest of honor.
“China may be the honored country, but the honor is all ours,” he said, adding that his vision is to make Thessaloniki an exhibition hub for Chinese products in Europe.
TIF-Helexpo CEO Kyriakos Pozrikidis, meanwhile, said the city was ready to welcome the 400-member Chinese delegation.
Cultural events will run parallel to the fair’s main event including concerts by some of Greece’s most loved performers including Giorgos Mazonakis, Tamta, Melisses, Stamatis Gonidis, Nikos Makropoulos, George Dalaras and Lavrentis Machairitsas as well as a car rally and a “frappe museum” dedicated to the secrets of the Greeks’ favorite chilled coffee.
On the sidelines of the event, visitors or participants can also support the Vision of Hope Volunteer Bone Marrow Bank. Pop artist Sakis Rouvas will raise awareness to the cause with a concert on September 17.
Admission at 5 euros, 3 euros for large families or people with disabilities and free for children under three. Family ticket at 15 euros.
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday: 10am-10pm. Daily: 4pm-10pm.