In addition to organizing trade shows and exhibitions, the Novi Sad Fair plays host to conventions and professional events, as well as different events in partnership with innovative companies, organizations, and individuals.
Its contribution and importance for the Serbian economy’s development is measured by the results that the exhibitors achieve at the venue. We talked about all this with the General Manager of Serbia’s oldest trade show venue, Mr. Slobodan Cvetkovic.
What are the values that the Novi Sad Fair nurtures that keep its nearly a century long tradition?
Out tradition serves as a solid foundation for the future – 96 years ago, the Fair’s founders had the idea to create an institution that would, above all, incorporate the needs of the farmers, and later on also the economy segment working in light industrial production. The Agricultural Fair remains our largest and most important event to this day, and this year it took place for the 96th time. It’s hard to list all the events that are not trade shows in the strictest terms and that make up an important part of our venue’s tradition. We have a responsibility to uphold the tradition in the years to come and keep the Fair in line with global and local economic trends and ensure the best possible conditions for our exhibitors, in turn encouraging their growth and at the same time achieving good business results for the Fair.
How important are trade shows as events for establishing business partnerships and collaborations?
Our trade shows are much more than that. Their modern concepts promote cooperation between countries and economies and integrate improvements of skills, production, and science development. In addition, they promote the importance of innovation and represent a synthesis of experience and achievements in the Serbian economy. The international events we host are also the meeting place of the East and the West, the economy, politics, and diplomacy, as well as professional audiences and science.
Can you tell us about the Novi Sad Fair’s most important past and planned investments?
In order to remain competitive, the Novi Sad Fair must continue to invest in the company’s fixed assets. The most significant investments include the renovations of halls and equipment, targeting more functional and easier trade show and other rentals. We invested in upgrading the management and CCTV systems, WiFi, convention center equipment, computer equipment, and other systems that ensure competitiveness in the modern business environment.
How are specialist meetings growing into events and how much do they contribute to the development of traditional trade show events?
In the early 2000, ʺfourth generationʺ trade shows started to emerge. This involved the necessary expansions of offerings with specialized activities — trainings, conferences, and professional events. For this reason, the Novi Sad Fair is building Congress Center Master. Business people have little time and they need to be provided with a single place where they can do everything under the required conditions. Those were the building blocks of ʺfourth generationʺ trade shows. With the opening of the Congress Center, the Novi Sad Fair’s comparative advantage becomes one of the most prestigious and modern convention venues in this part of Eu rope. Our non-trade show time slots are filled with events that bring together experts, business people, and scientists coming from a wide variety of fields. Some of these events, along with talks and educations, as an additional segment, also develop practical presentations over time. That is one of the ways for meetings to evolve into bigger events.
The Novi Sad Fair is a member of many international associations. What are the most significant among them, and how does membership help the fair’s international reputation?
The Novi Sad Fair is a member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Central European Fair Alliance (CEFA), European Federation of Agricultural Exhibition and Show Organisers (EURASCO), and International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Memberships in these organizations contribute to sharing experiences, networking, and monitoring the latest trends. The fact that the Novi Sad Fair is not merely a formal member in these organizations is reflected in the Fair hosting the General Assembly of the Central European Fair Alliance, which brings together 18 venues from 12 countries, as well as the General Assembly of the European Federation of Agricultural Exhibitions and Show Organisers, which took place at the milestone 80th International Agricultural Fair, attended by representatives of 26 agricultural trade shows from 21 countries. The Novi Sad Fair also plays a key proactive role in the region that is fully in alignment with the mission of the Central European Fair Alliance.