The 5th International Forum of the Exhibition Industry 5pExpo'2011 was successfully held at Expocentre Fairgrounds on 8-10 June 2011. This prominent event for the Russian exhibition industry had been organized by the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Expocentre Fairgrounds. It was held with the support from the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) and Moscow City Government. 

The high international status of the Forum is confirmed by reputable industry associations such as the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the International Federation of the Exhibition and Event Services (IFES) and the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) which took part in the event.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director General of Expocentre Fairgrounds Vladislav Malkevich underlined that the Forum and the accompanying exhibition had not simply grown, but improved over the previous 5 years, with high quality exhibits and new features, reflecting the global trends in organizing exhibitions and congresses, added to its display.

On behalf of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, the exhibitors and visitors of 5pExpo'2011 were welcomed by Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee for Security Gennady Gudkov. He emphasized the importance of the Forum for the Russian economy. He said, 'Russia has enough talented scholars, designers, engineers and inventors, who can drive both the Russian and the global economy forward, and the key objective of the exhibition industry is to make it conspicuous'. Mr. Gudkov also pointed out to the positive impact of the Forum on the international cooperation.

Head of the European Chapter of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) Sergei Alexeev underlined that 5pExpo was a major contribution that the industry flagship Expocentre made to creating a civilized market in Russia

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs.  It was established with the great help from Expocentre.  With the foundation of the Union, it became possible to build a steady exhibition market in Russia. Sergei Alexeev congratulated 80 RUEF members, which are major decision-makers in the Russian exhibition market, on this occasion.

Executive Director of the UFI Paul Woodward and ex-President of the IFES Leslie Zech thanked the organizers on behalf of the international exhibition business for hosting this momentous industry event.

5pExpo is vital for the development of the global exhibition industry and for better international cooperation in this sector of economy. Russia is one of the first UFI members, and it has been actively involved in its work from the very beginning. Today Russia is the third largest of 554 UFI members from 84 countries. And more, 22 Expocentre's exhibitions carry the UFI Approved Event logos, which is representative of their top quality.  

Vice-President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vladimir Strashko expressed assurance that the Forum would keep developing. He said, ‘The fact that the event is attended by high-profile specialists and heads of international organizations gives us confidence that the number of foreign delegates will continue to grow by the year. Exhibitions and conferences are a priority of the Chamber, so this event is a celebration for us as well. We have brought all exhibition organizers under one roof to share opinions, show our achievements and potential, and to collaborate on the development of the exhibition business in Russia'.

Congratulating the delegates of the 5pExpo Forum on the first jubilee, Chairperson of the Board of Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairperson of the RF CCI Committee for Exhibition and Fair Activities and Support of Producers and Exporters Yury Kotov noted that the main achievement of the Forum was in showing that the Russian exhibition industry was functioning effectively and what was needed was the sharing of experience.

Mr. Kotov was supported by President of Belgorod Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the State Duma's deputy Valery Skrug, who said that the Forum was a success and it had contributed a lot to the development of the exhibition industry: within a short span of time, the new industry had been created in Russia. He was also positive that by the 10th anniversary of 5pExpo, the number of exhibition centres in Russia’s regions would be one of the key performance characteristics of the regional economy.

This year the Forum welcomed nearly 100 exhibition organizers from the UK, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Turkey. They included blue-chip European partners of Expocentre: Messe Düsseldorf (Germany), ITE Group PLC (the UK), Turkel Fair Org. (Turkey) and Expoglobus.com. (Germany)

Russia was represented by RF CCI, RUEF, Expocentre, Lenexpo, Restec, Euroexpo, Expoconsta, Expowestrans, Montazhnik and the delegates from regional companies: Dalexpocentre, Belexpocentre and many others.

The total exhibition space of the Forum made over 3000 sq. m. The event was visited by more than 1000 exhibition industry decision-makers.

Among the innovations of the Forum was the Event-Technologies Salon, featuring exhibition-related services. The issues of this sector were actively discussed as part of the programme of business-related events, as were the issues of creating a favourable investment climate in Russia' regions and some other topics. The exhibition presented a number of feature areas highlighting new thematic sections such as security technologies, information technologies and intellectual property protection.

One of the central events this year was the inaugural workshop Security at Exhibitions and Congresses. 'Considering the existing terrorist threats, there is no subject more important for any public venues, and first of all for the exhibition venues. This is a vital issue for us, and I'd like to thank the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its Department for Economic Security for supporting our efforts in this field,' - said Director General of Expocentre Fairgrounds Vladislav Malkevich.

The Conference was organized by the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the RF CCI Committee for Entrepreneurship Security and Committee for Exhibition and Fair Activities and Support of Producers and Exporters.

Taking into account the global terrorist threat and a special nature of the exhibitions and congresses which is characterized by mass attendance, the security issue is high on the agenda of the exhibition industry.

The delegates to the Conference were addressed with a word of welcome by Expocentre's General Director Vladislav Malkevich.  The discussion of this subject involved players of the Russian and overseas exhibition industry, and the officials from the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry and regional Chambers. The moderator of the event was Nikolai Getman, Director of the RF CCI Department for Economic Security of Entrepreneurship.

The ways of improving the regulations on non-governmental security services were covered by Professor Valery Shestakov, a member of the RF CCI Committee for Entrepreneurship Security and a State Duma’s expert on security.

A report on the prospects of the foreign security market was delivered by a member of the RF CCI Committee for Entrepreneurship Security, a State Duma’s expert on security and a managing partner of the National Guard Group Valery Makarov.

The crucial role of security at exhibitions and conferences was highlighted by Executive Director of the UFI Paul Woodward.  Head of the Department for Exhibitions and Coordination of International Economic Activity of the RF Ministry of Economic Development Department of International Economic Relations Timur Kirpach spoke on the issues of cooperation between authorities and business in organizing exhibitions. He emphasized that this subject was brought up at an exhibition industry conference for the first time and this achievement belonged to 5pExpo'2011.

The Conference also featured reports by Head of the Department for General Security and Technical Maintenance and an adviser to Director General of Expocentre Fairgrounds Andrei Pirogov and Operations Director of the ITE Group (UK) Eduard Kukharchuk.  

The conference incorporated presentations of equipment, methods and forms of staff training in security management at exhibitions and congresses, while the exhibition put on display samples of security surveillance and information protection technology and equipment for the exhibition industry. The organizers were positive that this display would produce a new thematic salon.

The second day of the Forum was marked with a conference Exhibition and Convention Activities as Mechanisms Ensuring Favourable Investment Climate in Regions in the Context of Russia’s Economy Modernization. It was organized by the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Expocentre with the support from the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), the RF CCI Committee for Exhibition and Fair Activities and Support of Producers and Exporters and Committee for Investment Policy.

The Conference was attended by more than 80 delegates, representing federal executive authorities, regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry, entrepreneur associations and exhibition organizers. 

It was opened by Igor Korotin, Director of the RF CCI Department for Exhibition, Trade Fair and Congress Activities. In his speech, he underlined that the majority of Russia's regions were still facing a serious problem of attracting investments. Speaking on 30th March 2011, President Medvedev had pointed out to the need of improving the investment climate in the regions.

The activity of regional authorities should be aimed at creating a favourable regulatory basis, providing one-stop-shop services, setting up investment development agencies etc.

Exhibitions and congresses are unique in promoting goods and services, establishing business contacts, facilitating commerce and cooperation, fostering regional economies and raising consumer demand in sectoral markets, thus securing direct investments into the regions.

The delegates to the conference were welcomed by Deputy Director General of Expocentre Fairgrounds Sergei Bednov, Executive Director of the UFI Paul Woodward and Executive Director of the RUEF Ludmila Smorodova.

In his report Exhibitions and Fairs as Tools for Attracting Investments to Russian Regions, Chairperson of the Subcommittee for Regional Investment Policy and Director General of the Tonap Group, Doctor of Economics Dmitry Chukhlantsev observed that at the current stage of economic reform in Russia the exhibition business took up a considerable sector of the market. An exhibition industry had appeared in Russia, with its own infrastructure, facilities, professional staff, and close relations with a number of economic sectors.

The problems and prospects of generating investments for Russian regions through exhibitions and conventions were highlighted by Vice President of the RUEF Valery Barulin and Director General of ZAO Nizhegorodskaya Yarmarka, First Deputy Head of Moscow City Department for Scientific and Industrial Policy Viktor Volkov and President of Dmitrov Interregional Camber of Commerce and Industry (the Moscow Region) Valery Logachev.

Head of Office for Entrepreneurship Development of St Petersburg Governmental Committee for Economic Development and Industrial Policy and Trade Alexei Yakovlev spoke on the urgent issues of state support of exhibitions and conventions. In his speech, he particularly emphasized the need to create the legislation regulating exhibition industry issues.

For nearly 10 years Expocentre has successfully been staging the Ladya trade fair. This show is an important event that contributes a lot to the revival and support of the Russian folk crafts. The development of the project was highlighted by a Board member of the RF Presidential Council on Culture and Arts, Chairperson of the Board of the Russian National Folk Crafts Association Gennady Drozhzhin. Ladya is a telling example of an exhibition that brings up urgent industry issues and facilitates the development of the sector.

With increasing frequency, exhibitions have been used as powerful marketing instruments for speedy adoption of innovations. This entails the challenge of protecting exhibitors' intellectual property at exhibitions.   A lecture Consolidation of Investment Potential as a Factor Promoting Investments to Exhibitions was delivered by Head of Expocentre's Modern Exhibition Technologies Department Galina Kalinina. So far, Expocentre is the only exhibition organizer in Russia that issues certificates of exhibiting innovations at exhibitions for further patent application.

            Director General of OOO RussCom IT Systems Andrei Zhukovsky made a presentation called The Culture of the Russian Exhibition and Convention Market. The goals of local Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the role of Belexpocentre in creating a favourable investment climate in the region were described by Vice-President of Belgorod Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ludmila Belogurova. And Director General of ExpoGlobus Services Yevgeny Romaskevich presented new Internet-based exhibition technologies for attracting more investors.

New investment attraction technologies were also featured in the reports by Head of Expoentre's Marketing and Finance Department Oksana Kutz, Ex-President of the IFES Leslie Zech and Director General of OOO Interconnect Tatyana Sadofyeva.

The conference resulted in a decision to improve the draft Resolution of the Conference, to publish the conference materials and to keep exploring particular aspects of exhibition and convention activity which allow generating direct investments for the regions.

On 9th June, the 5pExpo Forum hosted a round table New Trends in Organizing Exhibitions and Conventions Abroad. It was organized by the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the RF CCI Committee for Exhibition and Fair Activities and Support of Producers and Exporters, Expocentre Fairgrounds, the Expo-VIP Club and GP Restec.

The round table was headed by Director of the Department for Exhibition, Trade Fair and Congress Activity of the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry Igor Korotin. He said that the issue was high on the agenda as the effective promotion of exports - which was actually the key objective of exhibitions and congresses - to a large extent, determined the development of the Russian economy.

Welcoming the delegates of the round table on behalf of Director General of Expocentre Fairgrounds, his First Deputy Nikolai Gusev underlined that exhibitions and congresses had taken a special place within the exhibition industry, and they were developing at a phenomenal rate both in Russia and the world.

Restec Group Director Sergei Trofimov spoke on how to stage exhibitions abroad and he draw particular attention to a number of specific challenges facing the oganizers and the exhibitors of such events. He especially noted that exhibition companies had to manage two tasks: to consolidate Russia's profile and to promote Russian products. There was a need in creating and using a unified style for all Russian exhibitions staged abroad. It would also be useful to analyze the statistics of regional attendance of overseas exhibitions. He also drew attention of the RUEF to the necessity of developing recommendations as to the use of new exhibition technologies.

Director of the International Relations Department of the RF Ministry of Economic Development Sergei Shilin focused on the issues of collaboration between business and government authorities in organizing exhibitions. Having observed that state funding of the exhibition industry was rather limited, he informed the delegates of the decisions, made by the Interdepartmental Commission for Exhibitions and Congresses, on state support of the exhibitions staged abroad. Mr Shilov highlighted problems related to exhibition tenders and the requirements to exhibition companies taking part in international exhibitions.

Head of the Department for Exhibitions Held Abroad, and for International Exchange and Business Trips of the RF Ministry of Science and Education Vyacheslav Voronin gave a detailed account of the prospects for promoting Russian educational programmes at international exhibitions and for Russia's participation in international exhibitions of innovations.

Deputy Director General of OOO GAO All-Russian Exhibition Centre Nikolai Bugayev spoke on the results of recent participation in high-profile events, and first of all in the world exhibitions. He gave a comprehensive report of problems the organizers had faced while preparing Russian displays for EXPO'2010. Mr Bugayev emphasized the need to improve the process of preparing documents for exhibition tenders.

Executive Director of Moscow Guild of Exhibition and Trade Fair Organizers Vladimir Lavrukhin covered the activity of the Guild.

Head of the Hosted Exhibitions Department of Expocentre Fairgrounds Elena Shabardina told of the challenges exhibition organizers faced when preparing for tenders to organize state-sponsored exhibitions abroad. She also put forward a number of proposals to the RF Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Chief Expert of the Department for Exhibition, Trade Fair and Congress Activities of the RF CCI Andrei Maksimov observed that the crucial factor for exhibitors about any exhibition was its effectiveness, which depended directly on the level of professional attendance. So, it was considered important when planning the budget of a show to allocate certain amounts for advertising, to plan the advertising campaign well in advance and to get it approved at the organizing committee’s session. 

Head of the Exhibition Programmes of GK Negus Expo Olga Ushnurtseva pointed out to an important role that the selection of exhibitions to be sponsored by the government had. She gave an overview of the analytical work carried out by Negus Expo.

Director for International Cooperation of OAO Zarubezh-Expo Anatoly Nikolayev told the delegates of the exhibitions his company held abroad and its exhibition programme.

The discussion reaffirmed that exhibitions and congresses were the unique instruments for promoting goods and services, setting up new relations, for trading and collaborating, and for achieving strategic goals. They are indispensible for attracting investments and driving regional economies forward. So the participants in the discussion came out with lots of proposals on how government authorities and business could enhance the development of the exhibition business.

They decided to summarize these proposals and work out a collaborative strategy to improve the process of organizing exhibitions abroad.

The 5pExpo programme of business-related events incorporated workshops The Patronage of the Moscow City Government: Forms of Support, and Planning and Reporting Procedures; Using Information Technologies in Exhibition Business; and presentations made by the delegates to these workshops. 

The 5pExpo Forum and its programme have doubtless encouraged the development and promotion of new business management concepts and technologies, and new exhibition projects.

Expocentre Press Service