Most Visited Trade Fair Venues Worldwide

Human civilizations have always traded with each other as far back as written records go. Travel routes expanded cities and even created new ones altogether. The Silk Route gave birth to Aleppo and other major cities to emerge from trading posts include Malacca and Timbuktu. The movement of goods and services has always happened. For thousands of years, there has been one version of trade fairs or another across the entire world.

However, the earliest we can trace trade fairs that resemble their modern version is at the start of the Middle Ages, where fairs and markets would open during holy days and would gather an entire community together. Usually these events would be held at church yards or in the outskirts of town and only later would dedicated spaces for trade fairs emerge. One of the earliest examples of this is the Leipzig Trade Fair in Germany, which as a space goes back to the early 12th century.

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However, with the expansion of the city and modernization the grounds fell out of favor as a venue for fairs and are now home to shops, supermarkets, small events and ice skating in the winter. The city has since built a modern convention centre and exhibition centre.

Perhaps the earliest example of what we would recognize as a modern exhibition centre can be traced back to England in the mid-19th century with the construction of Bingley Hall in 1850 in Birmingham and the more famous Crystal Palace in 1851. Both of which sadly were destroyed by fire years later. It’s worth noting that the Industrial Revolution was a great drive towards the push for exhibitions, which positions Europe as a natural centre for the construction of exhibition centres to house exhibitions.

Today, among all other countries on the continent, Germany has climbed on top as the country with the most numerous and most active exhibition centres. We also wish to highlight that several of Germany’s exhibition centres are among the biggest in the world. These include the venues in Frankfurt, Hannover, Cologne and Dusseldorf.

It took only a few decades before the United States of America followed suite with the construction of Memorial Hall in Philadelphia in 1876, which marked the fast expansion of the exhibition sector in the USA as the country transformed into a major trading market worldwide. But it was truly at the start of the 20th that the USA came into its own power.

The last major trading centre to form in modern history would be China, which built its first centre in 1954. We’re talking, of course, about the Beijing Exhibition Centre. Although last to arise, it’s in China that we see the rest of the biggest exhibition centres in the world like the China Import and Export Fair and the National Exhibition and Convention Center.

As trade becomes increasingly more global and exhibitors and visitors from all over the world are able to travel to trade fairs, the exhibition industry is only growing in size and scope. This in turn promotes a rapid expansion of existing centres, modernization and the construction of even more exhibition centres in the major trade centres – Germany, the US and China.


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