In the current state of international relations the role of mutual trust and cooperation is increasing. The exhibition industry plays a key role in their promotion, because, like no other, it connects countries and continents bringing partners from all around the world together.
For more than 20 years Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs has been a trusted and reliable partner in Russia. It is noteworthy that not only exhibition professionals from Russia, but also from Ukraine and Moldova, are members of the Union.
Nowadays RUEF unites 93 companies (venues, organisers, service-providers and the industry partners) including 29 exhibition and congress centres.
In a nutshell, RUEF today is: more than 1,000 exhibitions in 47 cities involving nearly 140 thousand participants from 120 countries and 2 million sq. m of net exhibition space rented (annually).
RUEF became a UFI Member in 1994. 34 of RUEF member companies are currently UFI members. The "UFI Approved" Logo, which confirms exhibitions’ compliance with top international quality standards, has been given to 98 exhibitions put together by RUEF members.
The main objectives of the Union have always been: improvement of the industry’s legal base, development of facilities and hardware environment, cooperation with authorities, training of experts and promotion of Russian exhibition industry across the world.
Recently, there have been a lot of significant facts and events in the life of the Union. The most important ones are the following:
• Monitoring of key indicators of RUEF members’ exhibition activity in 2013 revealed the following trends: growth of net exhibition space and number of exhibitors (significant increase in the number of foreign ones - about 18%, with some reduction in the number of domestic exhibitors). This confirms once again an obvious fact that Russia has become more open and it is of growing interest to foreign companies. No doubt, among other reasons, this is due to the country's accession to the WTO.
Analysis of the RUEF members’ survey results showed that in 2013 66% of exhibition organizers have increased profits and more than half of them have reached pre-crisis levels (56%).
The level of transparency of the Russian exhibition market is increasing together with the number of audited exhibitions; therefore, statistical data on the activities of RUEF members are becoming more reliable.
• Another important trend is the growing interest showed by Russian federal and regional authorities towards the development of exhibition activity. The Concept of Development of Exhibition and Congress Activity in the Russian Federation has been developed with participation of RUEF representatives and it is currently in the final stages of approval by the Government of Russia.
• In February 2014 the Federation Council held parliamentary hearings on the development of exhibition activity in the country. This discussion was held in the upper house of the Russian parliament for the first time. The resolution which was adopted there is aimed at making the pace of development of the exhibition industry correspond with the dynamics of socio-economic development of the country, including the development of the legal framework of the industry, improvement of the regional exhibition infrastructure, and specialists’ training.
• In 2013 the All-Russian and the Regional Exhibition Ratings based on audited data were published for the first time.
• RUEF organized an “Auto-Expo-Race” to promote the exhibition industry in the vast expanses of Russia. Participants of the race traveled from the Western to the Eastern border of the country (Kaliningrad - Vladivostok), visited more than 30 cities and held meetings with representatives of local authorities and exhibition companies.
• RUEF is constantly expanding its cooperation with industry associations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
• These days RUEF is participating in organization of the 1st Asian Congress of Event and MICE Industry, which is to be held in Vladivostok, May 17-18, 2014. The main goal of this event is to stimulate the development of exhibition industry in the Far East of Russia and to promote Vladivostok as a center of business cooperation of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
Which role can RUEF play in the development of international cooperation? A great one.
First of all, one should remember that RUEF is the most reliable partner in Russia. Foreign companies may encounter difficulties while choosing a Russian exhibition to participate in. It is necessary to choose the best and the most reliable exhibition. But how?
There is only one answer: refer your case to the RUEF experts and trade show audit reports. One should rely on audited exhibitions, primarily those marked by the RUEF and UFI Approved Logos, and those included in the All-Russian Exhibition Rating.
During the years of activity RUEF has contributed a great deal to the development of national exhibition business and it believes that there’s always room for improvement. That’s why the Union constantly sets new higher goals looking forward with hope and optimism.
Published in Exhibition World, Issue 2, 2014