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2018 closed with positive figures for Florence: last year, 137 congresses, conventions and national and international corporate events took place in the Firenze Fiera premises, proving the constant trend of MICE tourism. The turnover is 6,166,212 Euros, with a +5.24% growth compared to 2017. The city of Florence is among the most attractive destinations on an international scale and it was included in the first five most popular Italian destinations for congresses and corporate events.

2017 saw a decrease in the importance of international events which obtained a lower percentage of participants on the total, especially in unconventional areas. However, Florence keeps on attracting 13.3% of international events, with 21.9% of international participants; national events remain strong on the territory (49.0%), with 41.5% of participants (*OICE 2017 data). Leonardo BassilichiPresident of the Firenze Fiera Congress & Exhibition Center, confirms this trend: “These results further confirm the importance of the offer of the Florence congress center in organising the most important national and international congresses. Our congress center already shows a high potential which can only improve, and thanks to the development of the Peretola  Airport,  our city  will be perceived as an excellent destination on an international scale”.


As a matter of fact, in November 2018 – for the third year in a row – Florence hosted WorldVentures, the annual convention of one of the biggest marketing companies, specializing in travels and tourism, which welcomed over 6,000 participants coming from all over the world. Another candidature confirmed in 2018 was Heart Failure, one of the greatest international cardiology events, set to take place at the Fortezza da Basso in 2021. Florence played a major role for the first Florentine edition – in 2016, the congress had a record attendance of 5,000 participants.


Hundreds of requests were also received by the Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau: in 2018, over 300 requests of various kinds were handled, with over 130 events confirmed,  including conventions, corporate events, congresses and services  on the territory and much more. “We are satisfied with our collaboration with Firenze Fiera Congress & Exhibition Center, our partners and the local institutions”, said Italo Amedeo RomanoPresident of the Destination Florence CVB. “Each application process implies a strong support from the main players of this territory, along with the help of local professors and ambassadors. That is why, the Florence Municipality decided to award personalities from the academic and professional world with the formal recognition of the Florence Ambassador Award in Palazzo Vecchio”. Business tourism is therefore a source of wealth for the economy of this destination, as well as a key driver for local economy, representing an added value for the development of quality tourism needed by Florence. This market will be favoured by the return of Duco Travel Summit, taking place from 1st to 5th April 2019. This traveling workshop is in fact dedicated to luxury travel advisors coming mainly from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Once again, the Destination Florence CVB will be the Host Destination Partner for this second Florence edition of the event, thus supporting the organisers in their relations with the territorial institutions. “It is an increasingly important sector for Florence, linked with quality tourism”, said Cecilia Del Re, Councillor for Tourism of the Florence Municipality. “An opportunity to regulate flows rounding up all the territorial resources. That is why, we are taking action on two fronts – on the one hand, creating a team of public and private entities to offer targeted and coordinated actions; on the other, increasing the necessary investment in this sector. All we want is an open and functional city to host great national and international conventions, increasingly becoming a place where people can meet to share their knowledge”.

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The annual appointment with Telefisco is back. This convention organised by “L’esperto risponde – Il Sole 24 Ore” and devoted to tax news concerning the budget package, will take place at the Auditorium of Palazzo dei Congressi on Thursday, 31st January 2019.

The convention programme features 14 live reports from authors writing for Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper on all the most important tax themes – from “fiscal peace” to electronic invoicing, and from the extension of the flat-rate scheme to corporate income amendments (loss carry-forward, the elimination of ACE (Allowance for Corporate Equity), increased depreciations). Reports will be preceded by an initial talk show, which will see the participation, among others, of Fabio Tamburini, Director of Il Sole 24 Ore, Antonino Maggiore, Director of the Italian Internal Revenue Service, and Massimo Miani, President of the National Council of Certified Public Accountants and Expert Auditors.

During the day, the IRS, the Finance Department and the GdF (Guardia di Finanza) will answer the questions asked live by experts and by the audience.

 

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Pitti Filati no.84 – the international reference event in the knitting yarn industry – is open from 23rd to 25th January 2019 at the Fortezza da Basso. During this edition, all spotlights will be on the Spring-Summer 2020 world preview of knitting yarn collections.

Featuring a fresh and dynamic layout under the aegis of ongoing research and experimentation, this Fair presents the knitting yarns excellence on an international scale to an audience composed of top buyers coming from all over the world and designers from the most prestigious fashion houses. The programme will feature many sections and different events – from the Spazio Ricerca (Research Space) theme honouring sports, to Far East and sub-cultures, in addition to an area devoted to knitwear talents with a Fashion Show by the CKD Master organized by Accademia Costume & Moda and Modateca Deanna, and the Knitclub area, highlighting the most qualitative knitwear factories on the lower floor of the central pavilion.

At the same time, the Cavaniglia Pavilion will stage the VINTAGE SELECTION no.33 exhibition, a reference show for vintage clothes, accessories and design objects, once again confirming the close synergy with Pitti Filati and its extremely specialised audience.

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Full of charm and exciting contents, the new edition of Pitti Bimbo opens on Thursday, 17th January at the Fortezza da Basso, with 553 childrenswear collections (62% of which coming from abroad) and 152 new brands participating, and – for the first time – a rich programme of free labs and workshops devoted to families. A new and stimulating project of “edutainment”, in partnership with the most important museums of Florence, to unleash children’s talent and creativity.

In co-operation with Bologna Licensing Trade Fair and Bologna Children’s Book Fair, a space will also be devoted to licences linked with cartoons and kids’ entertainment.

But most of all, spotlights will be on HER, the legendary Barbie – an icon, a style and elegance trendsetter, the most desirable fashion doll – celebrating her 60th birthday this year. On 9th March 1959, Mattel launched her at the New York Toy Fair. And during this 88th edition of Pitti Bimbo, this legendary doll, who filled the dreams of several entire generations with her looks suitable for every occasion, will be among the stars thanks to an exhibition retracing the evolution of her outfits and a special partnership with an important Italian brand.

This edition will also give the opportunity to celebrate Hello Kitty, the little big Sanrio star, touching the heart of kids and women and inspiring famous designers and artists. Hello Kitty will star in the new edition of Fashion Comics, a project created by Alessandro Enriquez for Pitti Bimbo.

 

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Everything is ready for the 95th edition of PITTI UOMO, the reference Fair for menswear and contemporary lifestyle on a global scale. From Tuesday, 8th to Friday 11th January 2019, Pitti Uomo will showcase 1,230 brands – 542 of which coming from abroad – at the Fortezza da Basso over a surface of 60,000 square metres. 36,000 visitors are expected to attend this event, among which 9,200 are international buyers. An ever-changing event with an increasingly more precise space geography, reflecting on the one hand an accurate work to define the various sections, and featuring new presentation modes on the other, with displays and set-up projects created to best express new brand mixes, as well as new menswear identities.

This edition will thoroughly focus on the sections basing their research on contemporary menswear, and on the most forward-thinking areas. Projects combining outdoor passion and a fashion attitude, expressing the new essence of an athletic-minded wardrobe, and revealing the creativity of young global artisans. The new generation of talents coming from Northern Europe and the Far East, will be accompanied by a high-end streetstyle and the best of the most cutting-edge design. But let us not forget the core tradition of this Fair, to be found in the central pavilion, inside the Contemporary Classic section – the excellence of the new classic companies, which, once again, will complement contemporary sportswear brands.

 

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The Florence Fair dedicated to household linen, furniture and nautical textile collections is back in style. Firenze Home TexStyle, organised by Firenze Fiera in co-operation with Acropoli Srl from Bologna, will take place at the Fortezza da Basso from 2nd to 4th February 2019 at the same time as the 12th edition of Immagine Italia & Co., a preview of underwear and lingerie collections promoted and organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Pistoia.

This event fills a gap left in these last years – since 2014 – within the Italian fair sector, being entirely devoted to the excellence of the “textile planet”. All the industry sectors will be involved – from household linen to tablecloths, curtains, carpets, textile publications and nautical textiles.

This Fair aims at a new flying start to meet the needs of both the Italian and the international markets, this time with a more human approach, as highlighted by the choice of the Cavaniglia Pavilion. 3,300 square metres of strong allure and charm, featuring the perimeter walls of the 16th-century Medicean monument visible on one side of the building.

A highly fascinating and technological space, available for the exhibiting companies which – starting from Saturday 2nd to Monday, 4th  February – will present the moods of the moment, new styles and the latest trends combined with unusual and original features for visitors – buyers and industry professionals – who are increasingly demanding and looking for new proposals and creative opportunities.   he purpose is to show Italian talents and the artisanship of Italian companies of this sector with all their vitality and expressive range, which, today more than ever, we need to relaunch Italian economy. With the Made in Italy, Italian products are thus not only perceived as excellent and quality products, but also as an emblematic combination of traditional values which are unique in the world. The comparison with foreign countries is however open thanks to the presence of international companies.

The ambition? To bring this major and influential Italian textile fair back to Florence. Carlo Amadori,  sole director of Acropoli, co-operating with Firenze Fiera to plan and market this event, states with certainty: “After having planned no less than 78 events in Italy – from “Abitare il tempo” e Tesori dal tempo” in Verona to the “Salone dell’arte del Restauro” in Ferrara, up to “AbitaMi”, in September 2011, together with Macef and always for Fiera Milano, and after collaborating for HOMI –  I realized just how much we needed a Fair like this one in this sector. The importance of textiles in Italy made me realise that we had to go back to the idea of a single event. Immagine Italia has been operating in this context for 13 years, and this allowed us and Firenze Fiera to turn again to the concept of a single textile fair, extending the underwear/lingerie theme in order to reintegrate the following sectors: household linen, tablecloths, curtains, curtain rods, carpets, textile publications and nautical textiles”.

“This is how Firenze Home TexStyle was born – concludes Amadori – a new great event for home textile which I hope will become a reference for companies, exhibitors and buyers from the textile world.”

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The 83rd International Handicrafts Trade Fair was presented in the Sala d’Arme at Palazzo Vecchio on Thursday, 22nd November 2018.

600 exhibitors, many of whom participating for the first time inside an exhibiting area of 55,000 square metres, will meet at a totally transformed Fair, under the aegis of the most excellent artefacts exhibited and no longer lasting 12, but 8 days (April 24 – May 1, 2019).  

“Florence and real craftsmanship have always been closely linked with each other, that is why we are lucky to have professionals capable of producing unique artistic techniques relying on their innovation and creativity. From this year on, Firenze Fiera represents a platform to relaunch the development of beautiful handmade products thanks to this new Fair. We can make this, since we are in Florence – a city which, for its legacy and vocation, will once again be the Italian and international reference point for these arts and crafts”, said Leonardo Bassilichi, President of Firenze Fiera.

“We worked with Firenze Fiera and the world of Florence arts & crafts to relaunch and reposition the International Handicrafts Trade Fair. That is why we decided to present the new edition of the Fair along with the work done so far for Florence’s candidature as UNESCO Creative City for Arts & Crafts”, added Cecilia Del Re, Councillor for Tourism & Economic Development of the Florence Municipality.

The guests of honour will be the best artisan companies of Florence and Tuscany, but also many new features such as enhanced tailor-made productions and live demonstrations, the space given to digital crafts and makers, educational activities and meetings with the protagonists of arts & crafts and design.

Another feature will be the project named “Del mestiere di Leonardo: immaginare, progettare e realizzare il futuro” (Leonardo’s Trade – Imagining, Planning and Making the Future), exploring new development models in parallel with artisans and designers, curated by Fondazione Architetti Firenze and Fondazione Giovanni Michelucci.

The Fair will go beyond the Fortezza and inside the city, with manufactures open to the public, installations and events in squares. The 2019 edition will get even more social, involving bloggers and the same digital artisans, the real protagonists of a new community.

The partnership with destinationflorence.com, the official portal promoting and commercialising the Florence cultural and tourist offer, will allow targeted promotional activities for Italian and international tourists, including tours of the main museums and attractions of the city. Moreover, the Fair will be promoted by sector professionals with timetabled B2B and B2C events.

To guarantee the reinvention and repositioning work for this Fair, a Scientific Committee of sector experts was created. The Committee is formed by: Andrea Aleardi (Director of the Fondazione Michelucci), Jean Blanchaert (applied arts art dealer), Carlo Francini (UNESCO manager for the Municipality of Florence), Elisa Guidi (Director of Artex), Maria Pilar Lebole (Manager of OMA, Osservatorio mestieri d’arte), Alberto Nespoli and Domenico Rocca (interior architects from EligoStudio and ambassadors of the well-made). The Scientific Committee is coordinated by Massimo Torrigiani (curator and founder of Boiler creative agency).

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Countdown to the Wine & Food Biennale, bringing the largest and multipurpose wine & food event in Central Italy at the Fortezza da Basso from Friday, November 16 to Monday November 19, 2018. This event boasts 150 exhibitors from the wine and food industry. Admission is free on all the four days of the Fair.

This Fair is the ideal meeting point for all food lovers, wine enthusiasts and sector professionals – it is not just a simple trade show, but an event aiming at helping future customers become more aware when choosing or purchasing a product, through a path going from guided tasting to meeting the single producers.

The event boasts many high-level tastings and workshops devoted to the best food products, which can be booked online from the Wine & Food Biennale website at affordable prices.

Among the various activities, live gelato making with special tastes, public sake speaking, a photo exhibition called “La Bistecca si mette in mostra” and devoted to the famous Florentine steak, and “Eyes Wine Shot” – wine as you have never heard of before – a funny theatre show by La Tognazza dedicated to wine.

You can have lunch and/or dinner at Piazza della Pizza, where you will find the best pizza made in Florence. And for those who love good wines, do not miss the 12 guided tastings; on schedule, also the University of Beer classes – “From beer style to a glass of beer” – to discover all the secrets and techniques of a millenary product continuously evolving, up to the technique of beer tapping.

Discounts for members of Confesercenti, Unicoop Firenze and Soci Fisar, and for the readers of Firenze Spettacolo.

 

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The 83rd International Handicrafts Trade Fair, to be held at the Fortezza da Basso from 24th April to 1st May 2019, sheds its skin and launches its new web platform, with a brand-new graphic layout. The new Fair website is online, more intuitive and user-friendly and boasting a clearer, more exhaustive content presentation, along with a faster navigation.

The graphic and structural restyling of mostraartigianato.it is the first step towards an edition announcing the reinvention of the first Italian “Consumer Fair” devoted to handmade products. It features new sections, a richer and selected product offer, new exhibiting facilities, new fitting-out options and a rich agenda of events at the Fortezza and in the city.

The website features a clearer and direct organisation of exhibiting areas, product and service offer. The same homepage shows an interactive map, updated in real time, with a list of exhibitors and a map with the booth allocation.

The website also allows an easier and quicker access for exhibitors and visitors, with a link to register and buy entrance tickets in a just a few quick steps.

Focus on special events and on photo and video galleries, in order to experience the most significant moments of the Fair live, and on social profiles, with the opportunity to share contents with other users. The News section will be constantly updated with interviews and insights.

And finally, a brand-new feature this year – the mobile experience, allowing everyone to access the website via their own devices.

 

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For two days – 28th and 29th September 2018 – Florence became the International Capital of Creativity. The first edition of RECLAME Creative Communication 2018 was extremely successful. It is an event devoted to aspiring and professional creators, born within the Firenze Fashion project, whose purpose is to develop deserving actions having a positive impact on economy, society and landscape.

The event was sponsored by the most important Florentine and Tuscan authorities, in co-operation with restArte and Firenze Fiera, and could rely on the support of nearly 200 brands, over 50 creative and original setups, and 30 high-profile speakers with an attendance of over 50,000 visitors. On show, works by many artists such as painter and graffiti artist Skim (Art Director of the event), muralist and illustrator Egeon and Francesco Misseri, founder of the legendary Studio K in Florence, author of various advertising campaigns of the Italian “Carosello” TV programme, broadcast in the 1950s and 1960s.

“We invested over 200,000 Euros and two years of research to create this event – said Gregorio Salimbenicreator of this event, expressing his satisfaction – because we believe this is the best way to make companies and young people meet. The success and the great enthusiasm of this first edition were so big that many insiders have already asked me to give a more international approach to the second edition, to be held in October 2019″.