The Greek exhibition industry, which includes 1,050 companies and 4,400 employees, has established its first trade body to represent the sector’s interests.
Named the Greek Exhibition Industry Association (SOKEE), the body represents the entire exhibition industry of Greece including organisers, stand contractors and exhibition centres.
In an announcement, SOKEE said that the impact the Covid-19 pandemic left on the exhibition industry – due to the 18-month ban on events – created the need for a collective body that will present the demands of the sector and be an interlocutor for both the market and the state, creating synergies for the entire Greek economy.
Representing an industry that generates a turnover of 225 million euros, SOKEE will aim to communicate the importance of trade fairs and public exhibitions for the Greek economy.
“As the official representative of the sector, our task is to provide accurate insights and data, as well as informed opinions to help shape decisions that may have an impact on the smooth operation of the dynamic sector of trade exhibitions,” SOKEE President Theodore Vokos said.
According to SOKEE, the sector’s significant multiplier economic effect for the Greek economy translates into more than 1 billion euros for a raft of collaborating sectors such as tourism, catering, conferences, transport, customs clearance, and many others, while yielding respective tax revenues to the government.
“Our industry is highly complementary to a number of critical pillars of the Greek economy such as tourism, catering and transport, and plays an important role in the country’s extroversion thanks mainly to its contribution to the promotion of Greek products,” Vokos added.
According to the Greek Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), the average international visitor to trade fairs spends 1,150 euros per visit, while often staying in the country for tourism purposes beyond the duration of the event. In cities with major exhibition centres, exhibitions create some one fourth of the total overnight stays in the city.
In addition, according to a study by the international exhibition organisation UFI on the economic impact of exhibitions globally, exhibitions generate approximately 7,900 euros in total output per square-meter of exhibition space.
SOKEE’s Board of Directors consists of Theodore Vokos, Posidonia Exhibitions SA, as president; Kyriakos Pozrikidis, TIF – HELEXPO SA, as vice-president; Evaggelos Charalampous, Be Best, as secretary general; and Evaggelos Galatsopoulos, Expowork SA, as treasurer. Board members include Alexios Lagoudakis, Metropolitan Expo SA; Athanassios Panagoulias, Forum SA; and Sofoklis Iosifidis, Interform SA.