Palexpo SA’s 2018 Annual Report: Good Results in a Turbulent Environment

With a turnover of 94 million Swiss francs in 2018, Palexpo SA has had a good year and is doing well in a rapidly changing trade fair and exhibition sector. Palexpo focuses on innovation to meet the challenge of digitalisation and rethink a sustainable future. This turned out to be a success for the company, which generated economic benefits for the canton amounting to 598 million Swiss francs in direct and indirect contributions. These figures were validated this morning by the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders and compiled in the 2018 Annual Report, which is now available at palexpo.ch.

With no less than 99 heterogeneous events bringing together 1,461,895 people and 6,661 exhibitors on an exhibition area totalling 1.15 million gross sq m, the occupancy rate of the halls reached 47% in 2018 and certifies to the good economic health and robustness of the activities of the Exhibition and Congress Centre of Geneva.

Innovating to Build a Sustainable Future

Faced with market challenges and digitalisation, Palexpo has placed innovation at the heart of its strategy. Resolutely looking to the future as long as it is sustainable, the company thus gives its teams the necessary agility to offer personalised services with high added value that are in line with the societal considerations of our century. Thinking and proposing new events such as the first congress on the Blockchain, the Green Island within the International Exhibition of Inventions, or emphasising technological developments at the International Motor Show is in line with this logic.

At Palexpo, 2018 was a good year. Chance? No, for several years now, we have been wondering about the evolution of our business sector and preparing for the fundamental changes we are seeing. If I had to use a keyword, it would be innovation. Living and meeting venue, with 598 million of direct or indirect contributions for the canton and 79% of its purchases of goods and services in Geneva and the Lake Geneva region, Palexpo SA is an essential link in Geneva’s economy. A committed player, determinedly anchored in the region, Palexpo also builds international relationships to consolidate its trade shows. Building on its success in Geneva, the International Exhibition of Inventions saw the birth of the first Asian Exhibition of Inventions in Hong Kong last December. A choice that makes sense when you know that Asia is a key player in the field of innovation and invention. The Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions will continue its expansion outside Switzerland by organising the Silicon Valley International Invention Festival at the end of the month at the Santa Clara Convention Centre in California, said Robert Hensler, President of Palexpo SA.

Alternately, as organiser, host or co-organiser, Palexpo chooses to modernise its structure rather than expand it and relies on the creation of new events and the adaptation of its services, particularly digital, on the one hand, and on international promotion, on the other hand, by establishing alliances with other convention centres or by cloning events, says Claude Membrez, Managing Director of Palexpo SA.

Modernisation and development of infrastructure worth CHF 8 million in 2018 will also contribute to the success and outreach of Palexpo SA. Renovation works have been undertaken in the car park and on the outer boulevard to embellish, modernise and better manage visitors’ flow. A pioneer in sustainable development, in 2018 the company obtained the ISO 20121 standard in response to the many measures taken to minimise the social, economic and environmental impact of its events.

Read or download the 2018 Annual Report