Heading to contact
Davos stands for a contactless economy, the experts of the convention and exhibition industry are confident that the pandemic will not take away the need for live: direct human communication. “Expoforum” has already formed a print out by the end of the year. Numerous of the projects will combine offline and online format. Follow the calendar.
“In the first half of 2021, 58 events will be held at the Convention and Exhibition Center. There are fewer events in the schedule than was usual before the pandemic” said Sergey Voronkov, CEO of Expo-Forum International, President of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), “but we are glad that the business activity is growing. The trend is also proved by requests from partner organizers of rotated international congresses to postpone the dates of projects to an earlier date. Some people want to shift the date to a year ahead. Since its opening in 2014, Expoforum has already hosted ten global congresses. Ten more have been planned by 2025.”
In the discussion at Davos World Economic Forum (WEF), the world’s best smart propose the “Global Reset” strategies, the main imperative of which is the contactless economy. But no one denied the natural human need for communication, we all felt the latter deficit during the pandemic. Contact, the opportunity to exchange views and experiences or to share mutual impression – all these are the advantages of the event industry and business travel. The current conditions dictate the demand for organizing events in a hybrid format combining with offline and online. This agenda became the most discussed at the Eurasian Event Forum EFEA 2021, which traditionally has brought together the industry experts in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the year.
During the Covid pandemic, the first priority is the safety of all participants and visitors of events. The safety standards approved by Rospotrebnadzor in St. Petersburg have been launched in action since last summer. According to the chairman of the St. Petersburg Committee for the development of Tourism, Sergey Korneyev, in this Northern Capital there is an only one sign of safety and comfort recreation for the hospitality industry called Safe Travels SPb, and Expoforum has it. Our city has become one of the first in Russia joining this international program.
“The congress events prove the high status of St. Petersburg as an international business center not only in Russia, but also in Europe. All major events (SPIEF-St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum and etc.) are world recognition of our city. At these spaces, business contacts are established and bring the investment. Before the pandemic, the average tourists’ “invoice” during a visit to St. Petersburg was 36.4 thousand Rubles (about 500 US Dollars), and for a business tourist from 45 to 100-120 thousand Rubles (about 610 to 1400-1600 US Dollars). Regarding to various estimates, the effect of the business tourism on the city’s economy is more than 2-4 billion Rubles,” said Mr. Korneyev.
According to Mr. Voronkov, business tourism is an essential tool of non-resource export services. This area attracts high-profile people who shape the agenda in different countries. In addition, business tourists contribute to level out tourist activity in the city, as they tend to come even in the low season.