Thessaloniki’s long trade history begins during the Byzantine period with the formation of trade fairs and bazaars, which used to attract visitors’ interest from many different areas.
In 1925 Nikolaos Germanos (1864-1935) envisioned the first international trade fair in the country in its modern form. The first Thessaloniki International Fair was inaugurated on October 3rd, 1926 in ‘Pedion tou Areos’ (‘Field of Mars’ an area close to today’s Fairgrounds), thus marking a new important chapter for the region’s economy. In 1940 TIF was transferred to the location where it currently is and where the 15th TIF took place. It was the last Fair before the War.
Its operation was temporarily interrupted due to World War II and the consequent Greek civil war, while in 1950 TIF was financed by the Marshall plan for the reconstruction of the pillaged exhibition center. During the ‘50s and the ‘60s TIF was attracting 400 Greek exhibitors annually, while foreign exhibitors was reaching an average of 1.500 per event. In the year 1967 visitors reached the record-breaking number of 1,7 million.
Since 1973 the first field exhibitions have started to develop in Thessaloniki parallel to “Thessaloniki International Fair”. These field exhibitions followed the national trends of the exhibition industry and they were specialized in events that attracted professionals from various sectors.