Indian Exhibitions Industry Association (IEIA) the apex body of exhibiting and trade show industry in the country hit hard due to ongoing COVID-19 crisis has urged the government to immediately intervene and create a economic support  package for the industry  to relieve some of the stress, the industry is going through in the last couple of months.

Since the outbreak of the COVIC-19 Pandemic, the impact on exhibiting and trade show industry has been unprecedented with multiple global and national events being postponed or cancelled in the country.

“The COVID-19 pandemic across the globe has severely impacted the Indian Exhibition Industry and in last few weeks more than  90 shows have been reported to be either postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19 during the time-period, summing up to approximately 15% of the total events conducted annually in the organised sector, with a resultant estimated loss of Rs. 3,570 crores for the entire sector and this may increase if COVID-19 crisis lingers on.” Said Mr. S. Balasubramanian, President Indian Exhibitions Industry Association (IEIA).

“World-wide exhibitions and trade events  are growth multipliers for business. While offering a meeting opportunity to buyers and sellers at one place, exhibitions positively catalyse both trade and travel sector. The pandemic has led to cancellations of conferences, both public and private, national/international meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) events, choking the lifeline of the industry. said Mr Balasubramanian

 “The size of Indian exhibition industry is Rs.23,800 crores with more than 550 events conducted annually in the organised sector. The exhibition industry sector enables trade/business transaction of over Rs. 3,00,000 crores, boosting and supporting the growth of various spectrum of industries while also being a colossal employment provider with nearly 1,20,000 people employed in this industry. With a steady annual growth of about 10 % the exhibitions sector has been consecutively growing during the past few years.” Said  Mr Balasubramanian

“Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) has recently cancelled  the spring edition of IHGF Delhi fair considered to be world’s the largest congregation of handicrafts and gifts items  which was slated to be held from 15th April , due to Coronavirus . It was expecting 7000 overseas volume buyers and over 3200 small & medium handicraft manufacturers and exporters as exhibitors from various parts of the country . The fair normally generate export orders worth ₹ 6000 crores and thereby source of livelihood to seven millions of Craft persons who are from small and weaker section of society.“ said Mr Rakesh Kumar, Director General, Export Promotion council for Handicrafts ,an apex body of handicrafts sponsored by Ministry of textiles, Govt of india

“These are unprecedented times and we are requesting the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance to take note of the challenges affecting the exhibition organisers, exhibition venues and numerous service providers who are completely dependent on this industry. We request the government for intervention to support the sector, which has the potential to support the recovery of various other industries,” added Mr. S. Balasubramanian.

IEIA has urged the Government of India to create a “Exhibitions in India” economic stimulus support package and offer a 10% incentive to Indian exhibition management companies to organise shows in India and help the recover the losses incurred in these critical times., Reduction of GST rate for all exhibition services from existing 18% to 12% with immediate effect. Deferment of the GST and Income Tax for 6 to 9 months, Subsidise the venue rentals for govt. owned venues 100% Subsidy on participation charges to be given to MSME/NSIC units for participation in Domestic.

The other demands of the industry include Collateral free Working capital loans facilities for exhibition organisers, service providers and venue owners (for payment of salaries, wages, fixed costs etc.) to be made available at zero rate of interest. Financial support to exhibitors to participate in all exhibitions to be scheduled post relaxation of advisories on bans of events by way of direct funding, Minimum 3 months Interest Free period for Loans / Bank Interests in the name of Firm / Individuals (Proprietors, Service Sector, Corporates & Industry Associations)., Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) to consider covering risks for pandemics together with other natural disasters for the events and exhibitions. And Moratorium on loan principal and interest for a period of 6 to 9 months

About IEIA

Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA), is the apex body of exhibiting an trade show industry in the country with more than 250 members across the nation.  The association brings together all the exhibition organizers, managers, designers & stand contractors, freight forwarders, services & facilities providers, venue owners, etc. on a common platform available for the development of various facets of the industry.