In Sicily there are two important trade fair centres, Ente Autonomo Fiera del Mediterraneo in Palermo and the Fiera Internazionale in Messina.
The Mediterranean Autonomous Trade Fair Centre was founded in 1946 and is the biggest exhibition centre in Sicily. The work it has been carrying out for over half a century has made it one of the most vital economic centres throughout the whole of the Mediterranean. The trade fair centre, which in 2005 welcomed over 450,000 visitors, stretches over 83,000 m2; an area which is completely filled for the traditional spring International Trade Fair.
The history of the Messina International Trade Fair Centre dates back an extremely long way. In 1296, Frederick II of Swabia instituted a series of laws to regulate the Fair. The Messina trade fair was moved to its present buildings in 1938 and has large, modern pavilions designed by Filippo Rovigo and Vincenzo Pantano. They are set in an area of almost 50,000 m2 along the Messina seafront with a wonderful view over the Straits. The covered area comprises 16 pavilions in brick and mixed materials.
A number of fairs take place in Sicily, both specialised and general in nature. They are directed both at the world of consumers ("B2C") and businesses ("B2B"). The biggest exhibitions, in addition to the above mentioned International Trade Fair in Palermo and Messina, include:
- la Medimobil, Palermo (furniture fair)
- la Medial, Palermo (food fair)
- la P.E.F. – Palermo Expo Franchising
- la Mediregalo, Palermo (gift fair)
- la Medielettrica, Palermo (electricals, electronics, lighting)
- la Agrotech, Messina (agricultural technology)
- la Artinfiera, Messina (Sicilian art and craft fair)
- la Birra e Buoi dei Paesi tuoi, Messina (Sicilian beer fair)