Improving the experience of visitors at the 85th Thessaloniki International Fair

What was this?

In September 2021, a comprehensive service design initiative was carried out in collaboration with the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), aiming to optimize the visitors experience. It is important that such events that could be consiered a landmark of the city, evolve and adapt to new conditions.


3.000 users
participated in the


32 permanent employees of TIF


12 months


The service design initiative began in 2019 with a thorough examination of existing data, followed by a multifaceted survey. Specifically, the Service Design steps we followed were the following:

(1) Data collection: We started by studying the already existing data: surveys, statistics, forecasts in collaboration with the Institute of Business and Exhibition Research & Development of TIF.

(2) Research: We then started a multifaceted research with intensive interviews of TIF employees (administration, managers, employees, security, partners, etc.), observation of the space, questionnaires, focus groups with TIF visitors, etc. The aim was to gather a comprehensive and diverse set of data to update the service designing process.

(3) Data validation: During TIF in September 2019, the team worked with exhibition visitors to confirm and improve their initial conclusions. Teams of seasonal staff, spread over different locations and covering a wide range of working hours during the exhibition, gathered a representative sample, on specific questions of interest.

(4) Conclusions & Results: The team then began to put together the collected data to produce the first conclusions and results, as well as to improve the service. We use tools of the Service Design methodology (problem definition, persona, user journey, service blueprint, etc.). The human factor has been consistently prioritized throughout, ensuring that the final report, scheduled for completion in 2020, will reflect a human-centred approach.

(5) Testing Changes: The final phase will be the testing of the changes made to the service, with a focus on the COVID-19 era and expectations for the future of TIF.



More than 300,000 people visit the Thessaloniki International Fair every September. The visitors are either citizens of Thessaloniki or citizens of neighboring cities/countries that have different profiles and consequently different needs. Families visiting the Exhibition with young children have different expectations, students and young professionals have different needs, and older citizens come for a different purpose, for them visiting TIF is more of a custom or a habit... This number is estimated to will grow and our goal is to create the best experience for all different types of visitors.

By understanding the true need of the visitor and simplifying the process of how they learn, enter, navigate and exit the TIF area, we achieve better services and happier visitors! The expected result was not only a positive impact on the immediate guest experience, but also the creation of a framework for continuous improvements aligned with future expectations and emerging trends.