Committees of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry discussed issues of staffing in the exhibition industry

25 / 10 / 2023

A joint meeting of the Committees on Exhibition, Fair and Convention Activity and on Education and Social Policy of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry took place within the conference programme of the 13th International Forum of the Exhibition Industry 5pEXPO 2023 and the 9th Russian Conference on Exhibition, Fair and Congress Activities.

The meeting was moderated by Chair at the Committee on Exhibition, Fair, and Convention Activity of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Director General at EXPOCENTRE AO Alexey Vyalkin.

The meeting focused on the issues of personnel support of exhibition activities and improvement of mechanisms of interaction between the education system and the business community.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Chair at the Russian State Duma Committee on Science and Higher Education Vladimir Kononov. He praised EXPOCENTRE, the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Committee for Exhibition and Convention Activities, and the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs for promoting exhibitions related to new technologies, science and education. Vladimir Kononov read out a greeting from Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko to the events participants.  

In his keynote speech, Alexey Vyalkin noted that the staffing issue is now on the agenda in virtually all sectors. In September this year, Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin signed a decree on the adoption of the Strategy for the Development of the Congress and Exhibition Industry of the Russian Federation until 2030. Now a roadmap for the implementation of this strategy is being developed. The issues of staffing are given a significant place in it. The discussion at the joint meeting of the committees is devoted to this trend, which will allow us to outline ways of developing solutions in this area, to coordinate the positions of the authorities, the business community and higher education institutions, and to find common ground that will lead to success.

Giving a brief analysis of the state of the industry, Alexey Vyalkin noted, that according to the Exhibition Research Centre R&C, the volume of exhibition and congress activities in Russia amounts to 182 billion roubles. At the end of 2022, there were 4,791 companies operating in the industry, having as their main OKVED (the Russian Certification of Economic Activities) code 82.30 which means activities for organising conferences and exhibitions. At the same time, 1,586 of them are individual entrepreneurs. The distinctive feature is the concentration of exhibition and congress activities in the western part of the country. In accordance with the target indicators of implementation of the adopted Strategy, the number of employed persons should gradually increase to 27,977 people by 2030 (now this figure is 19,768 people). It is also expected that the number of higher education institutions that implement specialised educational programmes will grow to about two dozen. It is also planned to increase the number of professional standards to five by 2030.

The EXPOCENTRE Director General briefed the participants of the joint meeting on the latest UFI statistics, indicating a full recovery of the global exhibition industry after the pandemic and an increased demand for labour resources. Moreover, the issue of staffing for the event industry in the list of factors that are expected to have the greatest impact on the business in the five years to come is steadily ranked second with 54% of respondents' answers noting it.

Speaking about approaches to the development of human resources potential of the congress and exhibition industry, Alexey Vyalkin proposed to think about the creation of a system of monitoring and forecasting of staffing needs for the medium term, which will allow for timely planning of personnel training, creating conditions for additional professional education, advanced training of managers, and exchange of experience at enterprises.

According to the speaker, the current system of reflecting professional standards in educational programmes does not allow for full consideration of changes in the labour market and creates risks of chronic delays in decisions in this area. In order to solve this problem, employers should take a proactive stance and act as a kind of investors in an employee's career.

Alexey Vyalkin also spoke about the useful experience of cooperation between EXPOCENTRE AO and universities and noted the importance of work aimed at professional orientation of their graduates, including through new modern forms of teaching activities and involvement of students.

In her speech, Deputy Chair at the Committee on Education and Social Policy of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Director at the Institute of Business and Executive Education and Advisor to the Rectorate at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Svetlana Nechaeva gave a detailed presentation on the priority aspects of the professional training of specialists in the event industry.

The experience of creating and implementing various training programmes that develop the necessary competencies of their participants in the field of management of congresses and exhibitions was shared at the joint meeting First Deputy Director General at EXPOCENTRE AO Sergey Selivanov, Executive Director at the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs Elena Ublieva, Rector at International Institute of Management for Business Associations Anna Palagina, Head of the Department of Service and Congress and Exhibition Activities at St. Petersburg State University of Economics Oxana Kostryukova, President at the Union of the Vyatka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Andrey Usenko, Rector at Moscow State Art and Cultural University Ekaterina Kudrina, Director at ConcordBusinessService Natalia Evnevich, and other representatives of higher education institutions and relevant organisations. 

Following the results of the joint meeting it was decided to draw up a joint final resolution containing recommendations on priority programmes and directions of activity in the sphere of personnel support of the exhibition industry, as well as recommendations on further improvement of the business education system in the Russian Federation.

Press Service, EXPOCENTRE AO