Russia needs a new unified concept of promotion at international exhibitions. This is the opinion of the experts of the Commission of the Russian Union of Travel Industry on Congress and Exhibition Activities, the first meeting of which took place last week.
As her leader said, General Director of Profi.Travel media holding Alexey Vengin, it was created to promptly respond to challenges in the exhibition market. The backbone of the commission included all the largest organizers of offline and online travel exhibitions: Intourmarket, MITT, Otdykh, Roscongress, Profi.Travel. The main task of the new subdivision of the PCT will be to coordinate efforts to promote the Russian tourist business both in Russia and abroad. Since 2021, this has become even more relevant, given the launch of electronic visas and the course taken by our country to increase inbound tourism.
In addition, the work of the commission will contribute to the exchange of experience and more effective promotion of our regions. “If Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other regions already know how to position themselves at exhibitions, then other subjects often do not understand the format and cannot promote themselves correctly. Using our experience and expertise, we will tell our colleagues how to properly represent ourselves at such events, ”Vengin emphasized.
According to experts, a single brand is the key to effective promotion at international exhibitions. Director of the exhibition “Intourmarket” Olga Khotochkina said that often the design of Russian stands at foreign exhibitions was formed by marketers far from tourism and causes bewilderment and questions even from professionals, not to mention foreign guests who do not understand where they are. The expert added that this situation can be corrected only with the help of the professional community, which has experience in exhibition activities abroad and can reasonably explain the attitude of foreigners to different stands of the same country.
As added Director of the OTDYKH Leisure forum and exhibition Lyubov Mordvintseva, the main problem is poor coordination between all participants of the foreign exhibition from Russia. Each of the regions promotes its websites that are not adapted for foreigners, and Russia lacks a single multilingual portal that would be tailored both for domestic tourism and for inbound tourism. Now Rostourism is working on this, russia.travel can become such a portal.
“Until now, there is little presence of the Russian brand at exhibitions. It often happens that the stands of the regions of our country are located in different pavilions and do not have a common design style that would allow identifying their belonging to Russia. In addition, each country should have a single counter where you can get general information about all the exhibitors, or find a specialist with whom the visitor has an appointment. It is at such counters that the flows of visitors to b2b, b2c, media queries should be distributed, as well as catalogs of participants and general information about the country in the form of maps and guidebooks, ”Mordvintseva said.
Director of Marketing, Exhibitions, Consulting LLC Oksana Mak Christian confirmed that at Asian exhibitions such elements as a single information counter, a responsible representative of the stand, and a map in different languages are a mandatory minimum.
To avoid this fragmentation, we need uniform rules for the design of stands with a mandatory visual reference to the fact that they represent Russia, experts say.
Deputy Director of the State Budgetary Institution “Congress and Exhibition Bureau” of St. Petersburg Olga Rendino stated that Moscow and the northern capital are already taking joint steps to join efforts to promote. For example, we recently signed a cooperation agreement within the PR campaign “Two Capitals – a Million Impressions”. They also discussed the possibility of placing their expositions at exhibitions side by side and using a common logo, the speaker said, specifying that the design of the stands would still be different.
“The situation is such that Moscow has its own budgets and vision, and we have our own goals and objectives to promote the city. But we understand very well that at international exhibitions one united stand of the country works best of all. I think that in the future, closer interaction between the regions is possible, but this, of course, requires initiative from colleagues from other subjects. In the recent past, the stand of Rostourism acted as a connecting link, ”she said.
Tatyana Anisimova, Head of the Department of Congress and Exhibition Activities of VDNKh JSC added that the need to consolidate promotion at exhibitions was discussed in Rosturizm back in 2019, but the pandemic spoiled these plans.
Following the meeting, the commission will send inquiries to Rosturizm, the Moscow Tourism Committee and the authorities of other regions in order to invite them to a dialogue that should lead to a unified positioning of the country in Russian and international exhibition events, as well as update plans for participation in exhibitions. The result of this work will be a unified calendar of recommended exhibitions, which bring together both Rostourism and the regions, with transparent conditions for participation for business. In addition, exhibition organizations have agreed to provide discounts for PCT members who decide to become their exhibitors.
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