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FIAC and Paris photo merge their directorates

The art fairs sector, which seems to be getting back on its feet after the health crisis, is experiencing a long Covid. Last sequel, the merger in 2022 of the management of FIAC, which opens its doors on October 20 at the ephemeral Grand Palais, and Paris Photo which will be held at the same place three weeks later. “There will be a regrouping of the teams, but the FIAC and Paris Photo will keep their own identity and their temporality”, specifies Michel Vilair, Managing Director of RX France which operates the two salons.

This grouping of teams emerges from a larger reorganization plan, unveiled during a zoom conference on Thursday, October 7 to RX France employees. Five months after the announcement of the merger of Reed Expositions France, which organized the FIAC and Paris Photo, and Reed Midem (in charge of Miptv and Mipcom), a drastic social plan is on the agenda: 235 positions out of of 600 will be phased out by the end of the year. “This decision comes after a year and a half of a pandemic. Like all large companies in the event industry, we have been affected by the crisis ”, explains Michel Vilair, without giving any figures. By way of comparison, the Swiss group MCH, which organizes the Baselworld watchmaking fair as well as the Art Basel fair, saw its revenues fall by 60% in 2020. In the first half of 2021, its losses amounted to 29.4 million. Swiss francs (27.41 million euros).

” In a state of shock “

“We were presented things coldly, without empathy, without being able to ask questions. We are in shock ”, sighs an employee of the RX France group who prefers to remain anonymous, before adding: “How can we work calmly on fairs that will take place in a few weeks when we have just learned that we risk being fired? “ The new organization chart of Paris Photo and FIAC provides for a common management for the two exhibitions, a single coordinator, two exhibitor managers but a single VIP manager as well as two artistic programming management positions. For now, no one knows who, Jennifer Flay, director of FIAC, or Florence Bourgeois, head of Paris Photo, will take charge of the two shows and their coordination. If each of the two fairs aligns its quota of merchants among the most powerful, sharp or trendy of the moment, their spirit remains very different: more glamorous in the case of the FIAC, more professional for Paris Photo. “Other group exhibitions are organized by one and the same person, such as the international franchise fair and the point of sale marketing fair”, boot in touch Michel Vilair.

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