Fate of Zagreb Fair (Zagrebacki Velesajam) Remains in Question

Lauren Simmonds



As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 18th of August, 2020, Autumn is the traditional time of large fair exhibitions at the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebacki Velesajam), and when it comes to just what will happen with the numerous planned events due to the situation with the coronavirus pandemic, no one knows, not even those in charge.

Poslovni Dnevnik didn’t receive a concrete answer to their inquiry about the Zagreb Fair’s business plans due to the coronavirus drama, which could worsen in the autumn. Unofficially, it has been learned that something more precise will be known at the beginning of September, but that everything will depend on the epidemiological situation. For now, the Zagreb Fsir is obviously continuing according to plan.

For this year, as many as eleven fair events are planned. While most of them are intended for a small circle of people, some of them are mega-popular fair exhibitions that are also a kind of ‘tradition’ for the Zagreb Fair. Although the Zagreb Auto Show took first place for a long time, its one-time revival a few years ago, after a ong break, fell somewhat flat in comparison to past glory.

However, for years now, the Interliber book fair has been a regular and well-attended book fair, which has become a kind of social and cultural event of the year in Zagreb and in Croatia as a whole. As tickets aren’t sold for this fair, it is difficult to estimate just exactly how many visitors there typically are, but the numbers go up to 150 thousand.

Specifically, last year, 300 exhibitors were presented during the six days of the book sales exhibition, and the Zagreb Fair estimates that more than 130,000 people visited Interliber. Interliber should take place from November the 10th to the 15th, and there is no information about its fate, and it seems that everything will depend on the epidemiological situation and the measures and recommendations of the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

Last year, 481 exhibitors from 28 countries exhibited at Ambienta, and the Zagreb Fair placed particular emphasis on the growth of business visitors by 15 percent when compared to 2018.

The first announced fair is the International Dental Fair Dentax which is announced for September the 24th. As this is a specialised fair which brings together a very narrow circle of professional visitors, its holding in accordance with very strict epidemiological measures might even be conceivable. For a slightly wider audience, the next beauty and hairstyles fair is “Beauty & Hair Expo Zagreb” which should last from the 25th to the 27th of September.

What follows is a popular exhibition of furniture, interior design and its accompanying industry, Ambienta, from the 14th to the 18th of October. Last year, 481 exhibitors from 28 countries exhibited at Ambienta, and it was visited by 21,259 visitors. Last year, the Zagreb Fair especially pointed out that they were happy with the growth of business visitors by 15 percent when compared to the year before. The Art Fair Zagreb art fair is also planned this year.

There should be several more fairs held at the Zagreb Fair before 2020 draws to a close. Additionally, three fairs for 2021 have already been announced.

Back in June, the Global Framework for the reopening of trade fairs and B2B events after the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic was presented, prepared by the Global Fair Industry Association (UFI), which states that after the blockade due to the crisis, trade fairs must only open under tightly controlled conditions.

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