The development of congresses and exhibitions is an important driver of the national plan to rescue the country's economy and its competitiveness

The development of congresses and exhibitions is an important driver of the national plan to rescue the country's economy and its competitiveness

Material prepared by the editorial board of the journal "Regions of Russia: National Priorities"

On June 17-18, the General Meeting of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF) was held, at which the Draft Strategy for the Development of the Congress and Exhibition Industry in Russia 2020-2023 was proposed for public discussion. Sergey Voronkov, President of the RUEF, General Director of ExpoForum-International invites readers of the Regions of Russia magazine to familiarize themselves with the regulations and take part in the discussion.

The document proposed for discussion has become a logical continuation of the unique professional consolidation in a crisis: RUEF together with industry associations - RUIE (Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs), CCI RF (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia), NAOM (National Association Event Organizers), SRO SVZ (Union of Exhibition Developers), the National Convention Bureau Association appealed to the Government of the Russian Federation and regional authorities with a request to support the industry as strategically important.

Efforts have yielded results: on March 25, 2020, the organization of conferences and exhibitions was included in the list of the most affected industries, more than 2 thousand companies in the industry had the opportunity to use certain measures of state support. This is a really impressive result for the industry, which until this moment did not have a centralized body, a line ministry and an Agency, i.e. "Gr agent".

The congress and exhibition industry in Russia was not among the most affected by chance - it immediately fell under all the restrictions associated with both the movement of people and goods, the fall of the economy, and with outright bans on holding congresses and exhibitions. Unlike tourism, air travel, and other mass events, after the restrictions are lifted, it will take more time to resume its activities in order to qualitatively prepare the upcoming events. The creation of an event is like the production of a continuous cycle: the launch of an event is 6-12 months of preliminary work.

Many congress and exhibition centers are closed due to re-profiling for hospitals and observators, which once again emphasized the uniqueness and versatility of the industry facilities for solving the most difficult problems facing the state and society. This is especially true for Moscow, which occupies more than 60% of the Russian event market, where almost all centers are closed. The industry is again literally at the center of events, saving thousands of lives and unloading the entire healthcare system to treat other diseases.

It is clear that the top priorities for the industry are survival in the face of a pandemic and an early exit to the start of activities. To do this, you need to adopt regulations that differ from ordinary public events, return to work the sites repurposed for observers, get support from participants for postponed events, expand support measures for companies that did not fall under them, and much more.

It should be noted that the congress and exhibition activities in Russia are more than 2 thousand companies, with a total revenue of 161.1 billion rubles a year and 140 thousand jobs.

The industry also provides work for more than 40 thousand service companies in related industries for the construction of stands, tourist services, catering, technical support, cleaning, etc. % Of the country's GDP.

Paradoxically, before the introduction of pandemic restrictions, the industry was not “recorded in passports”, it was registered in state registers. The Concept for the Development of the Congress, Exhibition and Exhibition Industry in Russia, adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation in 2014, has largely remained on paper. The development and adoption of the relevant law has been suspended.

It is necessary to fundamentally change the attitude towards our activities at all levels of government and business. Moreover, the reality after the quarantine will change radically not only nationally, but also on a global scale, new development strategies are needed that implement the modern agenda and respond to new challenges and threats for Russia. Ten such trends and challenges were identified in the draft strategy. As an example, I will mention a few of the most important ones.

Now, in the context of a general redistribution of markets and the division of labor, the world more than ever needs total re-agreements at all levels. Millions of new contacts and contracts, a common vision can be realized in the shortest possible time only in the format of thousands of congresses and exhibitions.

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