The 5pEXPO’2009 International Forum of the Exhibition Industry took place at Expocentre Fairgrounds on 13 - 16 January. This event of contemporary relevance was organized by Expocentre with the support from and the participation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF). 5pEXPO’2009 opened the organizer’s jubilee exhibition season, as 2009 sees the 50th Anniversary of Expocentre, Russia’s major exhibition company.
Since its launch, it was the first time 5pEXPO was held in the hard times of a global economic crisis. The Forum estimated exhibition programmes of Russian and foreign exhibition industry leaders, defined optimal business strategies for the period of the financial instability that would be followed by the eventual economic upturn.
The exhibition industry professionals and their potential customers got acquainted with new exhibition projects, programmes and technologies. The main thing was that they could discuss the current business situation and future prospects. The Forum gave them an opportunity to develop definite joint decisions to survive the present economic crisis and to keep their positions in the market.
The Forum featured the full range of services for the exhibition industry, and activities of exhibition centres, congress centres, exhibition and congress operators.
5pEXPO’2009 brought together over 100 national and foreign companies, industry associations and unions from 10 countries. The list of participants included Expocentre’s partners, namely Bologna Fiera (Italy), Messe Dusseldorf (Germany), ITE (Great Britain), Plovdiv Fair (Bulgaria) as well as leading international companies such as the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES).
Russia was represented by Expocentre, Lenexpo, Crocus Expo, Restek, Euroexpo, just to name a few. The participation of the Russian regional exhibition companies such as Ekaterinburg Vystavochny, Dalexpocenter, KrasnodarExpo and many others is explained by the necessity to promote, by means of exhibitions, resourses and products from federal districts to the world market. The Forum gave very good opportunities for that.
The total exhibition space amounted about 6 000 sq m. 5pEXPO’2009 was attended by over 2 000 people, 78% of whom were specialists.
5pEXPO’2009 was accompanied by over thirty events held during the four working days of the Forum. All of them are a result of numerous wishes of the Forum participants and prospective visitors. The tight and diverse event schedule included training seminars, presentations by exhibiting companies, round tables with federal executive authority representatives, leading industry specialists and international organizations participating.
The key event of the Forum and its event programme was the conference entitled “The International and Domestic Exhibition Markets Amid the Global Financial Crisis: Problems, Trends and Development Prospects”. The meeting was broadcasted in the on-line mode and the Internet users could see and hear everything on Expocentre’s website.
Among the conference participants were V.P. Strashko, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation; Moreno Zaccarelli, President of the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES); S.P. Alekseyev, Chairman of the Europe Chapter of UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF); E. Erhard Wienkamp, Foreign Exhibitions Department Chief of Messe Dusseldorf (Germany); S. Trofimov, President of Restec ZAO; V. Barulin, Director General of Nizhegorodskaya Yarmarka, All Russia ZAO; V. Konteev, Ekaterinburg Deputy Head; A. Kurilov, Director General of KrasnodarExpo Exhibition Centre and representatives of other Russian and foreign exhibition companies.
Apart from members of exhibition organizations, representatives of manufacturing companies also took part in the Conference. They discussed development trends of the Russian exhibition industry taking into account wishes of exhibitors as much as possible.
“The special feature of the 3rd International Forum of the Exhibition Industry lies in the fact that not only exhibition industry professionals but also representatives of manufacturing companies have gathered here to share their knowledge and exchange experience. We work for their benefit. Our task is to meet them halfway”, said Vladislav L. Malkevich, General Director of Expocentre.
The Conference focused on new flexible methods of Expocentre’s work with medium and small-scale business as well as regional enterprises, which cannot participate in important exhibitions because of the financial instability. The Expocentre specialists suggested solving the current problems by granting discounts and aid to such exhibitors when organizing their participation in exhibitions.
Another important line of work with exhibition industry customers as discussed during the Conference was the improvement and expansion of a range of services including free ones for exhibitors and visitors to exhibitions and congresses, and an increase in attendance by target audience. As a result, all these measures would bring about an increase in economic efficiency of the participation in congress and exhibition forums.
The Conference speakers emphasized the necessity of explanatory and individual work with each and every customer taking into consideration their requirements and possibilities.
A lot of interesting and actual proposals were suggested during speeches and debates. The Conference delegates discussed the issue on closer co-operation and co-ordination of efforts of the whole exhibition community to apply the industry potential against the negative impact of the global crisis on the Russian economy. The Conference covered such issues as the importance of collaborating with government authorities to get the ardent support for domestic producers from the state by means of their participation in important exhibitions, maintaining these exhibition projects during the economic instability and proposing amendments into the exhibition activity legislation and many other current ones.
The Conference and the Forum was rated high by the Russian and foreign participants and specialists.
According to S.P. Alekseyev, Chairman of the Europe Chapter of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), 5pEXPO’2009 was a significant event not only for the Russian exhibition industry but also for the European exhibition business. He expressed his special thanks to Expocentre as the Forum organizer and the company with a 50-year experience that had laid the foundations of the modern exhibition industry in this country.
Expocentre Press Service