Listen to the audio version of the article
Politician, public administrator but above all entrepreneur and visionary manager. It is Lorenzo Cagnoni, the president of Ieg-Italian Exhibition Group, a group listed on the Stock Exchange born from the merger of the Rimini and Vicenza trade fairs, who died this afternoon at the age of 84. Born in Rimini, where he lived, married and father of two daughters, Cagnoni was the architect of the relaunch and subsequent consolidation of the Rimini Fair that he led for decades. Rimini Fiera, «a beloved creature, remodeled, relaunched, made an adult and therefore a star of the national and international trade fair sector was undoubtedly Rimini Fiera, then from 2016 Ieg – the municipal administration of Rimini led by Jamil Sadegholvaad recalled in a note –. Not everyone, outside the circle of insiders, can fully understand the importance in that process, still ongoing, which had and has the objective of de-provincializing and modernizing Rimini, from capital of summer tourism to European reference of hospitality for 12 months a year»
Classical studies, in the course of his life Cagnoni has held both positions of an institutional nature and entrepreneurial roles in the tourism sector. On the institutional front, from 1966 to 1983 he was Councilor for Scholastic Services, Health, Finance and Budget and Economic Activities of the Municipality of Rimini and from 1983 to 1989 Deputy Mayor.
In 1981, he was appointed president of Aeradria and in 1992 president of the Centro Agroalimentare. Former president of the Convention Bureau of the Rimini Riviera, Cagnoni assumed the presidency, in 1995, of the Rimini Fiera Autonomous Body, which in 2022 became Rimini Fiera. Under his presidency, Rimini Fiera equipped itself with a new trade fair district, opened in 2001 and in 2011 with a new Palacongressi, the largest built from scratch in Italy. With the constant launch of new products, investments, acquisitions and rationalization of subsidiaries, Cagnoni marked a turning point in the positioning of Rimini Fiera, which has become a leading player in the sector in Italy and on international markets. Since November 2016, Cagnoni has held the position of president of the Italian Exhibition Group, a company born from the merger between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza.
That of Lorenzo Cagnoni’s death is «the news I never wanted to receive. He has been a great protagonist of the city’s public events over the past 40 years, the true architect of the Rimini Fiera miracle. And above all a friend. A friend. In addition to the admiration for his work, right now I feel all the pain for the loss of a friend – wrote on his Facebook page, the mayor of Rimini, Jamil Sadegholvaad -. Lorenzo will remain in my heart forever, in Rimini, for all of us, the task of carrying forward his creature and his legacy with the same extraordinary passion and foresight. A hug to his daughters, his wife Gianna, his family and the many who knew him, each of whom, I’m sure, has an indelible memory of Lorenzo Cagnoni ».