From 20 January to 22 January 2016, two simultaneous events devoted to events industry were held in PetroCongress CC: 5th Jubilee Europe + Asia Event Forum (EFEA) and Russia’s first Forum for events industry professionals and their customers, Event LIVE. The events were organised by R&C, the Exhibition Scientific and Research Centre. Sponsorship was provided by RESTEC Group and EXPOCENTRE ZAO.
EFEA 2016 was held under the patronage of the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the support of the leading industry associations and unions: The Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), the Russian Association of Communication Directors and Corporate Publishing (ACMR), and St. Petersburg Convention Bureau GBU which also provided support to the Event LIVE Forum.
EFEA 2016 and Event LIVE Forum 2016 are unique communication sites created for active interaction between the event industry participants: top managers, specialists in business and incentive tourism, organisers of exhibitions, forums and conferences, as well as specialized contractor organisations and customers from among the representatives of Russian and foreign business communities.
In 2016, more than 40 sessions were held at the Forums, attended by 447 delegates and 141 speakers from 8 countries and 18 regions of Russia.
The main subject of the EFEA 2016 congress program was “Marketing in New Conditions. Events as an Effective Tool for Marketing Communications”.
The best professionals were the speakers at the 5th Europe + Asia Event Forum who shared their experience in that challenging subject: Rowena Arzt, Director for Business Development, UFI (Paris, France); David Olsson, Commercial Director, UBM (London, Great Britain); Dr. Thomas Pollen, Senior Consultant, JWC GmbH (Cologne, Germany); Christian Glasmacher, Senior Vice President, Koelnmesse GmbH (Cologne, Germany); Dr. Jorg Baier, Head of Exhibition, Congress and Event Management Department, Professor of the State Baden-Wurttemberg University (Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany); Kevin Wei, General Secretary of Taiwan Exhibition & Convention Association (TECA) (Taipei, Taiwan); Anna Chetvergova, General Director of Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau GBU (St. Petersburg, Russia); Ekaterina Kolyada, Member of the Executive Board of the Russian Association of Communication Directors and Corporate Publishing (AKMR), Executive Director of the MediaBusiness Publishing House (Moscow, Russia); Vladislav Shulaev, Director for Territorial Promotion and Strategic Communications, AGT Agency (Moscow, Russia).
The partners for several sessions of EFEA 2016 were the Russian national intellectual conference INRU, the Russian Association of Communication Directors and Corporate Publishing (ACMR), and Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau GBU.
The main subject of Event LIVE Forum 2016 was “Event Industry Trends”. There were a lot of interesting presentations, discussions and speeches on the subject. The Forum speakers include Nikita Sadovnikov, Producer, SAZONOV STUDIO (St. Petersburg, Russia); Natalia Belkova, General Director, 4D Business Communications Agency (St. Petersburg, Russia); Natalia Moroz, Projects Manager, Petersburg Transport Information Bureau (St. Petersburg); Valery Kudashov, Principal Director, Gildia Masterov Event Agency (St. Petersburg, Russia); Arkady Belyaev, Marketing Director, ST. PETERSBURG HARLEY DAYS (St. Petersburg, Russia), and others.
The following persons made welcome speeches at the official opening of the Forums that was held 21 January: Sergei Zimin, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in North-Western Federal District (for social, economic and financial issues), Inna Shalyto, Chairperson of St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee, Sergei Alekseev, UFI President, President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs, Vice President of ExpoForum International LLC; Sergei Bednov, Chairman of the Committee of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation on Fair and Exhibition Activities and Manufacturers and Exporters Support, General Director of EXPOCENTRE ZAO; Igor Kirsanov, General Director of RESTEC® Exhibition Company LLC.
According to Sergei Zimin, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in North-Western Federal District, holding EFEA and Event LIVE 2016 at the moment is of decisive importance for the Russian economy development. “It is impossible to deal with import substitution without relevant sites, without holding special events,” noted Sergei Mikhailovich.
As part of the business programs of the Forums, the participants discussed topical issues and problems of the MICE industry, market condition and prospects of the industry development; foreign and Russian experts shared their experiences, and presented their own ideas and projects. In 2016, the organisers expanded the opportunities in terms of formats of interaction: participants had an opportunity to listen to the comments and opinions of the industry experts online, first hand, in real time, using the new video channel, RESTEC TV.
The events also included traditional formats: panel discussions, thematic sessions in several areas, the Job Fair for event managers, exhibition of technologies and suppliers of equipment and services. Besides those formats, new ones were organised in 2016 as part of the Event LIVE Forum: expert laboratory, campfire zone and buyer zone.
During the events, Matchmaking was functioning, which made it possible to organise individual appointments, and provided an opportunity to establish direct contacts and arrange and strengthen business relations with event industry professionals. During three days of the Forums, 237 meetings were held at the Matchmaking platform, which exceeds twice the volume of 2015.
According to Inna Shalyto, Member of St. Petersburg Government, Chairperson of St. Petersburg Tourism Development Committee, the city administration attaches great importance to the actions that increase attractiveness of the city, including exhibition and congress activities. She especially emphasised, “It is very important that holding such large-scale events as the Europe + Asia Event Forum and Event LIVE Forum provides instant effect in the development of the city economy, including tourist flow growth. I am sure that holding them in the future will provide new prospects not only to market professionals, but will also contribute to attracting investments and improvement of the attractiveness of St. Petersburg.”
Along with the events listed above, EFEA Awards ceremony was held for the second time this year as part of EFEA 2016 to reveal the event industry leaders in 2015. The ceremony was held with the support of RBC Information Agency. Laureates were selected in five areas: Project of the Year, Event of the Year (B2C), Site of the Year, Discovery of the Year, Organiser of the Year. The winners included the International Investment Forum in Sochi (Project of the Year), VKontakte Festival (Event of the Year and Discovery of the Year), VDNH (Site of the Year), and EXPOCENTRE ZAO (Organiser of the Year).
On the final day of the Forums, the finals of the contest for young event industry specialists, Event TALENTS, was held. Following it, the expert jury which included the leading specialists of the Russian event industry, as well as European experts Rowena Arzt, Director for Business Development, UFI, and Karla Juegel, Founder and General Director of Messe | Marketing (Munich, Germany), chose the best presentation – the one by Polina Sologub who presented the project of a new multi-task application for potential participants and visitors of events. The second and third places were respectively taken by Daria Semikoz with the project “Pedagogical Foresight: Children as the Future of Russia” and Anna Stepanova with the presentation of the Cross-Social Project “Make Movement”.
The 6th Europe + Asia Event Forum (EFEA) and Event LIVE are scheduled for 18–20 January 2017. See you!
R&C Market Research Company is the only Russian company that provides a full range of marketing and consulting services for the event industry. The portfolio of R&C includes the services of industry consulting, regional marketing, and event organisation and holding for event industry companies and enterprises.