The plenary meeting of the Europe+Asia Event Forum gave floor to a discussion dedicated to improving the image of cities and regions in order to attract investments to the economy and the role of event marketing in these processes.
The participants of the meeting were Sergey Bednov, General Director, ZAO Expocentre, Sergey Aleskeev, Vice President, Expocentre International ZAO, Inna Shalyto, Chairwoman of the Committee on Tourism Development of St. Petersburg, and other Russian and foreign industry experts.
In her speech, Inna Shalyto noted that participation in such kind of events was not only a requirement for key market players, but also an honour, since the number of EFEA participants in 2015 had not gone down, but had increased. Over 120 speakers from Russia, the former Soviet republics and other foreign countries applied for the main agenda of the Forum alone.
“Taking into account the interest of the business community in development of the industry, I believe that the goals set by the St. Petersburg city council to increase the investment attractiveness of the city are quite realistic,” she stressed. “By 2020, St. Petersburg is to rank among the top ten congress capitals of Europe and the top twenty world leaders. We have what it takes to make it a reality.”
Inna Shalyto also highlighted that infrastructure development of the city is important in the struggle for top international ratings. She reminded the participants about the opening of the Convention and Exhibition Bureau in summer 2014 and the Expoforum centre in autumn that year. At the same time the Garden City Expocentre received a new life.
Sergey Bednov, head of the largest Russian exhibition organization, in turn, stressed the need to accelerate development. “The crisis should be a driver for growth, rather than an obstacle,” he noted. “The stuggle for consumers in the country and beyond, implementation of the import substitution policy and increase of the manufacturers’ export potential is the main task of the industry today.”