CENTREX International Exhibition Statistics Union, the Central East European exhibition industry transparency body has held its annual board meeting and the 2009 Forum on May 8, 2009 in Budapest.

Major milestone has been reached when 2 new members enhanched the transparency drive by CENTREX: leading Bulgarian exhibition organizer International Plovdiv Fair (an UFI member since 1936) and young Romanian company REECO Expozitii RO undertook independent exhibition statistics audit and joined the Union at this meeting. By this move CENTREX will be able to provide internationally acknowledged exhibition statistics in 7 countries of the region. 

Responding to the call of the time the Board has revised mission, strategy and operational goals. The Board agreed to release a "SIGN" (Statistics, Information, Good Neighborhood) concept. 


The mission has been defined as Centrex to become the professional tool for its independent members for development of their exhibition activity. Centrex undertakes any efforts to enlarge exhibition market in the member countries cooperating with appropriate national organizations of member countries. Centrex is committed to education and helps by establishing friendly personal relations between its members and by providing with up to date knowledge about exhibition industry (the Exhibition Knowledge Provider in the region). 

    The goals of Centrex are:
  • collecting and disseminating the necessary knowledge about exhibitions as contemporary tool of direct face-to-face marketing communication;
  • taking care over good relations between the members and between Centrex and other international organizations;
  • offering regular possibilities (and platforms) for all members and non-members for exchange of ideas, experiences, self-education and special meetings for younger managers of member organizations, scientists, exhibition city authorities, journalists and other interested.

During the Forum organized as a tool towards implementing the goals Polish city Kielce mayor, Mr.Wojchiech Lubawski has explained why and how the city has become the major stakeholder of the fair activity, how this development has triggered off additional synergies in the region and why Kielce Trade Fairs emerged as focus of attention in Polish exhibition industry. 

Challenges of the rough economic climate have been discussed at length. It has been agreed that in this economic and financial environment fair organizers must assume additional roles as missionaries in renewing confidence of their clients in visions for their own future. Now the often mentioned words are changing: fair organizers are not offering "promises", now they must offer "hopes". The participants strongly recommended to members of the Union to reinforce their efforts in convincing both exhibitors and visitors that trade fairs are right battlefields for them to get over difficulties and ultimately win. It has been advised more often to go to clients and speak with them! Trade fairs have great features as much needed platforms to face-to-face communication, places where buyers can express their real demands and look for solutions. Exhibitors are increasingly required to offer not products but solutions, using trade fairs as a non-forgettable chance to commit buyers to their sides. And trade fairs are cost-efficient places to go to the clients and listen to them. 

Trade fair organizers are needed to provide elastic policies, able to appreciate loyalty and provide complementary services. This is the time to optimize expenses instead of rapid cutting costs. 

The Board agreed to publish transparent exhibition statistics of 2008 at the end of May. CENTREX shall for the first time publish audited statistics going beyond membership: CENTREX has been commissioned to supervise exhibition transparency also for the entire Poland thus upcoming publication shall include all Polish trade fairs. 

At the current Board meeting Mr. Jiri KNOP, executive director since 2000 has retired and the Board has elected Mr. Károly NAGY, as new executive director.