The curtain is about to be raised at the 83rd TIF, the largest Fair in the last 20 years Over 1,500 exhibitors, 100% coverage of exhibition space, 20 official, direct state participations, USA as the Honoured Country, 60 US giants of industry, 130 Greek s

Tuesday, 4 September, 2018

Picture caption from left to right: The Deputy Mayor for Finance of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Ms Anna Angelidou, the President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Mr Simos Anastasopoulos, the Governor of Central Macedonia Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the Deputy Minister of the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace) Ms Katerina Notopoulou, the President of TIF-Helexpo Mr Tasos Tzikas, the CEO of TIF-Helexpo Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, the US Consul to Thessaloniki Gregory Pfleger, Chairman and CEO of ‘Papastratos’ Mr Christos Charpantidis, and the deputy General Director of TIF-Helexpo Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis.

Thessaloniki is preparing to welcome the largest TIF to be held in the last 20 years. From the 8th to the 16th of September, the heart of entrepreneurship, innovation, and US tech excellence will beat in this northern Greek city. With a total of 20 official, direct state participations, as compared to 17 last year, and the USA as the honoured country, the 83rd TIF will be the most international of recent years.

Exhibition participations at this year’s event have exceeded 1,500, as compared to 1,398 last year and 556 in 2012, while 100% of the exhibition space available has been covered - in terms of both indoor and outdoor spaces - which translates to a total of 32,075 sq.m. as compared to 27,191 in 2017.

As the Honoured Country, the USA have covered the entirety of Pavilion 13 with 60 business giants and agencies. In fact, the USA are bringing to the 83rd TIF dozens of top executives from some of the largest companies in the world, such as Facebook, Google, Intel, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and others, while the US exhibition presence will include educational bodies as well as companies from the sectors of security, defence, pharmaceuticals, industry, etc. The arrival of Wilbur Ross, the US Secretary of Commerce, at the 83rd TIF and in Thessaloniki proves the gravity of the US presence at the Fair, while throughout its duration the Honoured Country and the exhibitors will hold dozens of side events, forums and presentations of the highest order (the full programme of the side events of the Honoured Country is available online at https://usatif2018.gr)

Apart from the USA, other participants in the 83rd TIF include Cyprus, India, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Luxembourg, Indonesia, Iran, Romania, Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Turkey, FYROM, Bangladesh, China, Egypt and Italy.

Countries attending for the first time include Portugal as a state participation via the Portuguese Embassy as well as with businesses, Uzbekistan via the Embassy of Uzbekistan, and Bangladesh via its embassy and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority. Other large participations include the Honoured Country of 2019, India (with 35 companies), last year’s Honoured Country, China, with 30 businesses, and Bulgaria with 14.

At the same time, this year’s Fair will welcome 130 Greek start-ups at the ‘Digital Greece’ theme park (in Pavilion 12), which will highlight another aspect of Greece, as part of an initiative by the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information, and TIF-Helexpo.

Greek entrepreneurship is giving its vote of confidence to TIF, as it considers the Fair a valuable tool for the promotion and achievement of commercial partnerships. Thus, businesses from all over Greece are participating in this year's Fair under the umbrella of the Union of Hellenic Chambers. A total of 48 Chambers from all over the country, as compared to 43 last year, with 360 business (as compared to 340 last year) will be participating in the Fair through the Union of Chambers, while the Professional Chamber of Thessaloniki, the Chamber of Serres and the Chamber of Kozani will have separate exhibition participations.

The Press Conference in view of the opening of the 83rd TIF

The vision of the national exhibition body for TIF to become a major player in Southeastern Europe, a hub for a market worth hundreds of millions, was expressed in the press conference held today in view of this year’s event by the President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tasos Tzikas. He also underlined the importance of the presence of the USA as a great opportunity for Greek businesses.

In turn, the Deputy Minister of the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace), Ms Katerina Notopoulou, noted that the 83rd TIF will leave a unique social, entrepreneurial, economic and cultural mark, being the first TIF after Greece has left the bail-outs behind, and it will be taking

place in a city that has left its mark on the map of international interest.

TIF has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years, as the Governor of Central Macedonia Mr Apostolos Tzitzikostas noted, characterising the 83rd event as a landmark-exhibition. He also stressed that the US presence will upgrade the institution.

In turn, the Deputy Mayor for Finance of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Ms Anna Angelidou, referred to the innovations of the 83rd TIF, specifically the institution of the honoured country, the smoke-free initiative, and the check-in available via the Fraport Greece kiosk.

Visitors to the 83rd TIF will experience something similar to the glory days of the 60s and 70s, given the technological achievements that will be presented at the US pavilion, as noted by the CEO of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, who noted that this was the largest exhibition in the last 20 years.

Subsequently, the new Consul to Thessaloniki, Mr Gregory Pfleger, underlined that the US presence at the 83rd TIF is indicative of the extent to which the USA recognise the opportunities available in Greece, and especially Northern Greece. “The United States are here, the US are participating, they have taken an interest”, he mentioned characteristically, expressing his excitement for the US participation.

The President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Simos Anastopoulos, referred to the presence of 60 businesses from the crème-de-la-crème of US entrepreneurship at pavilion 13. He also announced that the pavilion will feature at its centre a space that will host 70 events.

The doors to a new world and a future with no cigarettes is being opened by the smoke-free initiative of the 83rd TIF, according to the Chairman and CEO of ‘Papastratos’, Mr Christos Charpantidis, who noted that the TIF is the first such major international event in Greece and Europe to be declared smoke-free.

A “city” of 10,000 people is moving at this moment and will be moving from Saturday onwards inside the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, according to the deputy General

Director of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, who made mention of the most largest event in the Balkans.

A broad field of thematic sections and events

The individual sections of the 83rd TIF cover a broad range of interests, from education, vehicles and energy to beauty, gastronomy, innovation, etc., with numerous actions and events.

As far as entertainment and recreation is concerned, the Music Events at the 83rd TIF include daily concerts by top singers of the Greek music stage (free with the ticket to the Fair). At this year’s concert’s the administration of TIF-Helexpo will pay tribute to Stavros Xarchakos, while on Sunday 16 September the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy the ‘Blues Brothers Approved Show’.

The programme also includes:

  • On the 12th and 13th of September, in the framework of the 8rd TIF, ‘the Mindspark’ will be held, one of the largest marketing, creativity and innovative thought events, during two days of knowledge, inspiration, and discovery. Internationally known speakers will transport the audience of ‘the Mindspark’ to the US way of doing business. ‘The Mindspark Thessaloniki’ is being organised by Technopolis Thessaloniki and TIF-Helexpo.
  • At Pavilion 17, the Hall of Games, an entertainment park addressed to all ages, is being organised for the first time in Greece.
  • For the 5th year, Cheapart is welcoming art lovers and the city public, with many pieces by selected artists from 8 countries.

This year’s fair will be smoke-free and will be the first open urban island whose spaces will be free of cigarette smoke, as the use of any smoking product will be forbidden in the indoor spaces, while at the same time visitors will be encouraged to not smoke in the outdoor spaces either, but instead to use the special smoking areas.

Furthermore, any exhibitors and visitors to the 83rd TIF travelling from ‘Macedonia’ airport to Greece or abroad with any airline can easily check-in and drop off their luggage at the Fraport kiosk inside the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre.

General admission to the Fair costs 7 euros, but reduced 5-euro admission will be available on weekdays until 18:00. Tickets for families of 4 are 20 euros, tickets for large families, families with three children, and people with disabilities are 5 euros, while children under 4 enter free of charge. The weekday working hours of the Fair are 16:00 to 22:00 and on weekends 10:00 to 22:00.

The Fair is being held under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace) The official drink of the 83rd TIF is Coca Cola and the official car is DS Automobiles by the Gianniris company. ‘Papastratos’ industries support the Smoke Free TIF initiative. The official hotels of the Music Events are Capsis and Capsis Bristol. The Culture Centre of the Region of Central Macedonia is the Sponsor of the Blues Brothers. The Association of Decorators of Northern Greece helped decorate Thessaloniki with stars in the colours of the USA.