Representatives of Russian MICE industry
business event organizers and operators, managers of venues and professional associations
discussed the current situation in the industry, state support measures and industry
prospects. The online session was organized by the St. Petersburg Convention
Bureau together with the Roscongress Foundation.
the discussion touched upon tools for the support of Russian congress and
exhibition industry announced by the authorities, their practical application
and general effectiveness. The agenda included questions of supporting regional
operators, international experience of helping event organizing companies, as
well as industrys potential and development prospects after the pandemic.
Among the participants were Kai Hattendorf, CEO of the Global Association
of the Exhibition Industry (UFI); Andrei Tsemakhovich, Head of the
Department of Foreign Trade Regulation And Export Support, Ministry of Industry
and Trade of the Russian Federation; Sergey Selivanov, Director of the
Department of Exhibition, Fair and Congress Activities of the CCI of Russia; Sergei
Voronkov, President of the Russian Union of Events and Fairs (RUEF), CEO of
ExpoForum International; Alexander Stuglev, Chairman and CEO of the Roscongress
Foundation; Alexei Kalachev, Director of the Russian Convention Bureau; and
regional representatives of RUEF.
«Congress and exhibition industry is vitally
important, as it is this industry that will help the economy recover after the
pandemic. We will help companies revive sales, develop contacts, create profit,
and provide jobs worldwide. No doubt that there are industries that are more affected.
But our activities and every euro, dollar and yen invested in our industry today
will help create market and discussion platforms and, as a result, support
other industries. Many countries are now implementing comprehensive state programmes.
For example, Hong Kong is putting into practice a targeted programme, planning
to provide companies with funding totaling HKD 130 million; Thailand has
arranged a tranche of USD 40 million; Denmark has developed a support scheme
worth 12 million euros to cover congress business losses; Switzerland is
providing support to small and medium-sized exhibition companies totaling CHF
4.5 million. I want to emphasize that we will not be able to quickly recover to
the level that we had before the pandemic. That is why today UFIs efforts are targeted
at development of a strategy for resuming operations. We are now working with all
associations participating in the Union and jointly developing a set of measures
aimed at efficient recovery of operations, and this our key objective amidst
the spread of the coronavirus,» said CEO of the Global Association of the
Exhibition Industry (UFI) Kai Hattendorf.
Congress and exhibition industry is among the
industries of global and Russian economy that are most affected by the coronavirus.
The RUEF management together with professional communities addressed requests
for support to Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin and
Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov. The memorandum
of support was seconded by over 300 Russian industry players. «All restrictions
including closing borders between states and holding public events have had an
impact on exhibition events. Due to our joint efforts, congress and exhibition industry
was included into the list of most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to expert estimations, today the industry provides over 140,000 jobs,
and these are mainly small and medium-sized companies. I am certain that we need
to consider including major representatives of our industry into the list of
countrys systemic companies. Such measure would allow to minimize losses and preserve
jobs,» said President of RUEF and CEO of ExpoForum International Sergei Voronkov.
noted that the event industry will face certain changes: merging online and
offline formats, as well as unique integrations and products, will make the
industry more advanced in terms of using digital solutions. «When it became clear
that we are experiencing a negative scenario in the industry, the Roscongress Foundation
started developing a platform to be able to operate online and restructure its
technical and technological processes. Unfortunately, among the most affected are
the organizations that were engaged in arranging major events: small and
medium-sized businesses. Thousands of events have been cancelled. Now we need to
prepare for the future. It is evident that the crisis has a serious impact on our
industry. In the near future companies and states will have much less
resources. We will face the need to coordinate schedules and cut budgets. I am sure
that together we will develop approaches to overcome the crisis given all
negative factors that are yet to emerge. Events will inevitably evolve: the future
belongs to mixed formats, with offline and online dimensions coexisting,» said Alexander Stuglev, Chairman and CEO of the Roscongress
Following the results
of the digital conference, a decision was made to study international practices
of supporting congress and exhibition industry, as well as develop a list of
additional measures needed to help the industry from the point of view of large
Plan not cancel. Changing the
roadmap for tourism and event industries available on the Roscongress TV