Russia is still in the process of creating its image on the international market as an attractive destination for significant events. The event potential rating, however, makes it possible to track annual changes affecting the development of the event market in the countrys regions. As previously, the analysis was conducted for five groups of indicators: the accessibility of event infrastructure, a regional promotional program, event industry policy, tourism appeal, transport accessibility. Weights for the indicators were adjusted to reflect their influence on a destinations potential. The proposals of event market experts were also taken into account and a new factor was introduced: the transport accessibility of the city.
The three leaders of the rating remained unchanged. St. Petersburg finished in first place. In 2018, the city hosted a global event market landmark the 85th UFI Global Congress, which brought together approximately 500 delegates from 54 countries. Second place went to Ekaterinburg. Despite the fact that the city will not be hosting EXPO 2025, the campaign to promote its application positively impacted both the international event image of Ekaterinburg and its investment attractiveness. Sochi came in third. Kazan strengthened its position, rising to fourth place, and Nizhny Novgorod was the newcomer rounding out the top five.
The activities of the Convention Bureau of the Republic of Bashkortostan led to Ufas climbing to the sixth spot in the rating. Kaliningrad and Murmansk joined the top ten for the first time. The authors note that all the cities making it into 2018s top ten occupy an active position in terms of promotion in the foreign and Russian markets. Representatives of regional administrations as well as companies from the event and tourism sectors represent their regions at major specialized international and Russian events.
As for city rankings for 20142018, one can see but minor variation among the top five cities. Only in 2018 did Nizhny Novgorod oust Krasnodar from the top five. Kaliningrad experienced the top tens most significant growth, rising from twentieth to eighth place. A key factor here was the 2018 World Cup as well as the fact that the city has been actively engaged in promoting its potential to Russian and foreign audiences. Vladivostoks position was weakened due to a smaller number of event sites in comparison to the above-mentioned cities.