Exhibition World Issue 5 - 2018 - Page 7

Welcome UFI delegates will have a similar experience to those travelling World Cup soccer fans During this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia, St. Petersburg was the base for England, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Those soccer fans who descended on Russia’s second largest city discovered the cultural capital more relaxed, more cosmopolitan and more welcoming than perhaps it had ever been. The stunning new Saint Petersburg Stadium may have played host to my beloved national team’s loss to Belgium in the third-place play-off, but by this point in the tournament, the absence of crowd violence, the free train travel to venues, plus the warmth and hospitality shown by the Russian people had England fans heading home, having fallen head over heels in love with both the city of St. Petersburg and the country itself. I have no doubt that delegates to the UFI 85th Global Congress will have a similar experience to those travelling World Cup soccer fans. After all, the exhibitions industry, like football, transcends politics and brings nationalities together in harmony, with a desire to network and share experiences. Instead of the new Saint Petersburg Stadium, UFI delegates will get to experience another new arena, in the form of congress host venue, ExpoForum. According to its CEO, Sergey Voronkov, ExpoForum has elevated the city’s exhibition and convention capabilities, and fuelled an aspiration to attract more global congresses and trade fairs across the calendar (page 42). As a whole, the Russian conference and business meetings sector is worth more than €500m a year. A total of 1,429 exhibitions were held in Russia in 2017, 200 of them in St. Petersburg. With the city’s exhibition tourism industry now included in municipal law, UFI delegates will experience a venue with a part to play in the growth of the industry, akin to the impact France’s Kylian Mbappé had during that wonderful FIFA World Cup. Mike Fletcher Acting Editor Twitter: @ExhibitionWorld Acting Editor: Mike Fletcher, Account Director: Iain Stirling, Global Portfoli o Director: Jonathan Gordon, Senior Graphic Designer: Mana Assoudeh, Production Manager: Elizabeth Nixon. Contact us: Subscriptions:+44(0)20 8481 1128, Editorial: +44(0)20 8481 1152, Advertising: +44(0)20 8481 1122, Production:+44(0)20 8971 1132. Exhibition World is published by Mash Media, Second fl oor, Applemarket House, 17 Union Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1RR, UK Tel: +44 (0)20 8481 1122 fax: +44 (0)20 8481 1144, Email: info@mashmedia.net Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written permission of the publishers.Printed by Pensord Press Ltd. w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk Issue 5 2018 5