The Greek Exhibition Industry Association (SOKEE), which represents the entire exhibition industry of Greece including organisers, stand contractors and exhibition centres, held its inaugural General Assembly on Friday, July 8, 2022.
Representing an industry with over 1,050 companies and 4,400 employees, and a turnover of €225m, SOKEE’s mission is to communicate the importance of trade fairs and public exhibitions for the Greek economy.
The sector’s significant multiplier economic effect for the Greek economy translates into more than €1 billion 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.
According to the Greek Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), the average international visitor to trade fairs spends €1,150 per visit, while often staying in the country for tourism purposes beyond the duration of the event. In cities with major exhibition centres, exhibition create approx. ¼ 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 in total output per sqm of exhibition space.
The exhibition industry is one of the most affected by the pandemic, due to an 18 month-long ban, and is perhaps the industry that was the worst hit. The prolonged closure created the need for a collective body, which 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.
The new Board of Directors of SOKEE consists of:
President – Theodore Vokos, Posidonia Exhibitions SA
Vice-President – Kyriakos Pozrikidis, TIF - HELEXPO SA
Secretary General – Evaggelos Charalampous, Be Best
Treasurer – Evaggelos Galatsopoulos, Expowork SA
Member – Alexios Lagoudakis, Metropolitan Expo SA
Member – Athanassios Panagoulias, Forum SA
Member – Sofoklis Iosifidis, Interform SA
The President of SOKEE, Mr. Theodore Vokos, emphasized: "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.
“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.”