Brussels. EMECA is to cooperate closely with the European Union’s Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in future. This will particularly support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the European Union. Individual members of EEN and EMECA exhibitions have already cooperated on a projectrelated basis for a long time, e.g. as part of the AL-Invest economic aid programme. EMECA’s membership of EEN creates new potential for this cooperation. “The services and activities of EEN represent real added value for companies at exhibitions, so it is a logical step for EMECA to enter into an official partnership with the network and systematically interlink the activities,” says Wolfgang Marzin, CEO Messe Frankfurt and as EMECA Vice President responsible for European Union relations, explaining the cooperation. EMECA, the European Major Exhibition Centres Association, has advocated the highest quality for the organization and facilities of exhibition centres and their services for exhibitors and visitors for just under two decades. The ajority of exhibitors at the B2B exhibitions of EMECA members are SMEs. The some 580 partner organizations of EEN help European SMEs to position themselves successfully in the European and international business environment.The network with its regional contact points – including chambers of commerce and industry, technology centres, universities and development agencies – is represented worldwide. SMEs receive support in accessing European markets and in the search for international business partners. For example, EEN provides information on Europeanwide business, EU aid programmes and access to financing, public contracting or market development. EEN also focuses on “sector groups”, which promote cooperation and cluster formation between companies, universities and research institutes. One key instrument is “brokerage events” – international meetings of companies, usually during a relevant exhibition, for specifically preparing the ground for contact and business and arranged according to previously defined criteria. These extensive advisory services and specific events provided by the network are a valuable supplement to EMECA’s exhibition activities.EEN, which was founded in 2008, also profits from its new partner. Joint planning at an early stage and coordinated organization enable EEN and exhibition organizers to offer their mutual target group services tailored exactly to the group’s needs. The organizers of the respective exhibition are sector experts and can link the EEN events with supplementary activities like tours of the exhibition, seminars etc. This enables optimum preparation and support for the SMEs during their participation in brokerage events at exhibitions and so improves their chances of business success. EMECA estimates the synergy effects to be achieved as very large.