MICE Networking Forum featured a panel discussion on the role of exhibitions in economy strengthening

27 / 06 / 2022

A wide range of issues of concern to the exhibition industry today was addressed at the MICE Networking Forum panel discussion at Expocentre Fairgrounds. The central theme of the event was 'Exhibitions as an effective tool to strengthen the economy in the face of external sanctions pressure'

The moderator of the discussion, Sergey Voronkov, President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) and General Director of ExpoForum-International OOO, speaking about the scale and importance of the industry, noted that more than 4,500 companies work in the national exhibition industry today, with another 82,000 service companies supporting their activities. Over 300,000 people work in this sphere. "Exhibitions and congresses generate 3.5 trillion rubles, i.e. 3% of the GDP. Over 10,000 events are held. Last year there were 200 less," said the head of the RUEF.   

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Alexey Gruzdev reported that today’s agenda discusses the list of additional measures of support for the exhibition industry, many programmes are under development. On its turn, the industry is formulating its demand to be heard and supported. 

President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin, Director General of R&C Darya Ostrovskaya, President of the Economic Research Foundation Mikhail Khazin, Vice President of the Russian Export Centre Alexey Solodov, Advisor to the Director General of Gazprombank's electronic trading platform Yuri Philippovsky and his colleague Timur Manukyan, Director of the International Centre for Joint Initiatives Alexey Kalachyov, President of the Russian Union of Metal Suppliers Alexander Romanov, President of Souzlegprom Andrey Razbrodin took part in the discussion. 

They discussed measures of state support for the exhibition industry, its development strategy, exhibition market trends in the face of sanctions, changes in exhibition formats, opportunities of electronic trading platforms to build effective mechanisms for import substitution in cooperation with exhibition projects, and other aspects of fundamental importance. 

The discussion was concluded by Alexey Vyalkin, Chairman of the Committee on Exhibition, Fair and Congress Activities of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, Director General of EXPOCENTRE AO. He shared the results of expert sessions, which ended the day before the 12th International Forum of Exhibition Industry 5pEXPO and the plenary session was held by EXPOCENTRE AO jointly with the Committee on Exhibition, Fair and Congress Activities of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

At the expert session "Finance for business: measures and instruments of state support of the industry", the work done by the industry community represented by RUEF, RSPP and the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to prepare support measures for the exhibition industry was noted. The list of measures is currently compiled and is being agreed upon by the competent authorities. In addition, the session participants noted the urgent need to apply support measures at the level of regional executive authorities within their competence, including preferential taxation, crediting, support for employment of enterprises in the field of congress and exhibition activities, said Alexey Vyalkin. 

He also said that representatives of the exhibition community and chambers of commerce and industry in the regions came up with a proposal to expand the mechanism of state order in the industry. This means that decisions can be taken at the level of government agencies to hold various business industry events not only in Moscow and St Petersburg, but also in those regions which are currently leaders in terms of volume and competencies in particular industries. 

The digitalisation of participation in exhibitions and business missions with state support today also contributes to a significant increase in the number of participants in the events, said the head of EXPOCENTRE AO. According to him, the proposals of the profile committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are to redistribute the released funds from co-financing of participation in exhibitions in countries unfriendly today to support the participation of domestic companies in the exhibition forums in Russia. 

Another important topic for all exhibition organisers is the system for selecting projects for funding through the Industry Development Fund and development institutes. It was discussed during the expert session, which was provisionally titled “B2i (business to investor) - exhibitions as a catalyst for investment activity”. "In this new format, we are ready to present investment projects of our exhibitors to potential major investors. All this will broaden the range of partners, which is why exhibitions are held," explained Alexey Vyalkin and thanked colleagues for their participation in the discussion. 

Press Service, EXPOCENTRE AO