You might not know it but there is a 105,000 m2 space in Prague where you can check out design and interior items to furnish your flat, rub shoulders with professionals in the sanitation sector, purchase your very own caravan to road trip around Europe, buy toys for your tots or orthopedic inserts for that senior in your life, or have a look at cats or dogs from around the world. PVA EXPO PRAGUE, also known as the Exhibition Center Prague Letňany, has been hosting a variety of exhibitions and trade shows for over 15 years.
Owned by the SPGroup a.s. and supported by the Municipal Council of Prague whose aim was to open a modern exhibition center in the capital city, PVA EXPO PRAGUE was built in 1998. Comprising 7 exhibition halls along with an additional 6,000 m2 of hard-surface outdoor space, PVA also satisfied the need of trade fair organizers ABF a.s. (also owned by the SPGroup) to find a suitable location to hold their events. The first, held in September of 1998, was the International Building Trade Fair, FOR ARCH. Today one of the center’s most popular events, FOR ARCH will celebrate its 25th anniversary this September making it the venue’s longest held event.
Holding both business-to-business and business-to-consumer events, PVA hosted over a half a million visitors in 2013. “The B2B trade fairs and events are predominately being visited by professional audiences, “says Radka Mesker, ABF’s Head of the Department of Foreign Trade. “The B2C events by the general public.” Mesker also notes that all of the events organized by ABF are accessible to English speakers “since it’s our aim to enjoy a reputation as an international organizer here in Prague.”
Along with FOR ARCH, which will carry the theme of reconstruction and revitalization this year, other popular B2B events include REKLAMA-POLYGRAF, an international trade fair focused on advertising, media, printing and packaging; VOD-KA, an international water management exhibition; and AQUA-THERM, an international trade fair (with a long list of focuses including) for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, measuring, regulating, sanitary and environmental technology.
Along with FOR FISHING and FOR TOYS, other popular B2C events include FOR BIKES, the only cycling trade fair in the Czech Republic, which introduces new cycling trends and saw over 26,000 visitors in 2013. The recently held FOR HABITAT – the trade fair for living, construction and renovation, which ran alongside FOR FURNITURE, FOR OFFICE, and FOR GARDEN – saw a rise in visitor numbers and included 615 exhibitors. As an accompanying program, FOR HABITAT also featured the popular DESIGN SHAKER, where contemporary Czech designers and companies presented their products in a new exhibition hall and held a roundtable discussion focused on the question “Is Design a Luxury?”
One man’s weird is another man’s wonderful, and vice versa. Some PVA events that might fit under either/or category, include DAY WITH POLICE/POLICE FOR PEOPLE MUSIC FESTIVAL, which attempts to unite the police with the people through demonstrations and a live music festival; FOR CARAVAN, an exhibition presenting motorhomes and caravans – recently held for the fifth year; and the popular FOR FAMILY trade fair, which covers FOR KIDS, FOR TEENS, FOR SENIORS and, of course, FOR PETS. This year’s MODEL HOBBY event will mark the 24th edition of this trade fair for modelers and hobbyists. BOJUJEME S TUKY, or WE FIGHT WITH FAT focuses on combating obesity in the Czech Republic.
If you’re into cats, in October PVA will present for the first time the FiFe World Show, which is touted as the largest cat show in the world. (Don’t worry PVA balances things out with the Prague Dog Expo in May.) At the end of the year, PVA will present the 37th European meeting for young people organized by the ecumenical monastic order the Taize Community. Moving from last year’s location in Stromovka, Pražsý Majáles – one of the largest open-air festival for youth in the Czech Republic – will take place at PVA this month in its outdoor areas and also in two indoor exhibition halls. More than 30 musicians are set to perform and PVA expects around 15,000 attendees.
According to Mesker, it’s all about the presentation. “We seek to be a place where the most important events of every single branch of business and industry take place in the Czech Republic,” she says. “These events should be the most complete and the most professional presentations in the country.”
You’ll find the full schedule of events on the PVA website.
Have you attended any of these gargantuan events?