22 July 2013
CongressEvolution - the latest trends on the market of business events

In recent years the conference and congress service market has evolved more dynamically in our country. It is driven by the improvement of tourism infrastructure, a growing amount interest from western players and, of course, a more attractive and constantly widening range of offers.

Most of the costumers of conference and congress services are successfully and dynamically developing companies and organizations having their own product and willing to promote it or to get customers for their theoretical designs. Amongst them we can single out medical institutions, pharmaceutical, insurance and real estate companies, companies developing and introducing higher technologies, other business working with regional distributors and having many offices in regions of Russia and CIS.
Costumers and providers

With lack of experience in planning and holding conferences and congresses the “regular” tour companies very often offer the minimum set of services: hall rent, coffee-breaks and basic equipment rent. As a result the costumer is forced to organize a part of services on its own, not having an opportunity to get lower prices by means of service packaging. The standard conference package, offered by specialized companies, consists of flight fare, transfers, attendee lodging,  information and promotional products developing, conference hall and equipment rent, meals (three times + coffee-breaks) and visa support. Very often it includes entertaining activities, excursions, sport games and, of course, gala dinner. The list of additional services includes itinerary logistics, VIP services, translating services, catering, photo and video shooting, event web site development with attendee registration and multimedia presentations. Totally they deliver from 100 to 250 such services!

According to Valery Simakov, CEO of Monomax Congresses & Incentives, today we can pick out two levels of costumers in the market. The first level costumer is experienced, knowing what result should be achieved, precisely defining his target group, sources of funding, seeing the program in whole. “The second level costumer requests many options from us, we, in our turn, request it from irritated sub-contractors (hotels, congress centers, translation bureaus, publishers, transportation companies, etc.) Everybody perfectly understands that they work in vain: in the end the costumer turns away from any budget option and… postpones the event sine die”, says Mr. Simakov.

In the experts’ undivided opinion, sticking to an agenda and punctuality of all executors are very important for organizing conferences and congresses successfully. “The program should work as a clockwork in spite of costumers’ unexpected wishes or circumstances requiring changes in the course of the event. To cope with such situations is a main attribute of professional organizers”, answers Anna Kuznetsova, CEO of Evrokontakt Plus.

Conference geography

Today it is possible to hold a conference or a congress at any location in the world. For many years in Russia, among overseas locations, Turkey, Cyprus and Egypt are of the top demand. There are many flights to these destinations from Moscow and regional centers, no visa barriers, an optimum price and quality correlation. “Our experienced costumers invite their partners even to Australia and New Zealand, but this is already an exclusive product: visa trouble and expensive airfare – not mass tours”, says Anna Kuznetsova.

The choice of a country always depends on a number of factors: purpose of an event and its duration, number of participants, travel itinerary (direct flights and flight duration are important), budget, as well as visa barriers. As Demlink remarks, the significant part of congresses, industrial workshops and other profiled events are held during exhibitions that causes the high demand for conference halls and meeting rooms for exhibition periods. The balanced schedule of traveling between several cities and even countries plays a major role. Many costumers strive for combining corporate events with leisure or excursion programs choosing resort regions or cities with historical sights. In summer most of the costumers strive for having their events organized at such places where they can be supplemented with more active programs and outdoors leisure activities.

It is very important to mark that the conference or congress location, as a rule, is related to a field of science or culture corresponding to the event topics. So the international integrated navigation system congress can hardly take place in Murmansk or Rostov: there are no recognized centers for developing such systems. In Russia such congresses take place in St. Petersburg and overseas – in the USA. According to Mr. Simakov, in Russia traditionally there are three geographical centers for holding conferences: Moscow is a center for politics, finances, science, culture, sports; St. Petersburg is a center for science and culture and Yekaterinburg is an industrial center of the country.  Over 80% of all significant business events particularly concentrated here.

If you hold a congress or a conference in Moscow or its suburbs you cannot rely on lower budget. You can save money if there is no airfare and visa support. In his turn Ivan Tumko, Executive Director of Gulfstream, remarks that the foreign companies choose Russia as a location in those cases when they plan to expand their businesses in this direction or when they want to organize something “novel”. 

The source of the article: http://www.conference.ru