Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 10 2014

Ukrainian Events Continue Uninterrupted

By David McMillin

Rally cries continue to echo in Kiev’s Independence Square. World leaders debate sanctions against Russia for its involvement in Crimea. Tension is mounting in Ukraine as the future of the former member of the USSR hangs in the balance. However, there is one area where people are doing their best to tune out the uncertain sounds of revolution: Kiev’s International Exhibition Centre.

Last week, Premier Expo, the Ukrainian arm of UK-based exhibit company ITE, hosted four co-located construction and security shows: KyivBuild, Intertool Kyiv, BuildTech and KIPS. With 240 exhibiting companies, initial reports indicate that the three-day program was a relative success.

“We’ve had a challenging but successful start to our spring season,” Anatoly Sushon, managing director, Premier Expo, said. “The conflict on the streets of Kiev was restricted to the city centre, and thankfully, the main transport infrastructure and the area surrounding the venue and our office, was unaffected by the trouble.”

“People are very keen for a return to normality, and we wanted to contribute by not canceling or rescheduling our events,” Sushon added.

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It looks like Sushon and Premier Expo will continue to attempt to steer that path toward normality this week, too. The Estet Beauty Expo is scheduled to begin at the IEC in Kiev on Tuesday, March 12.

While on-the-ground reports from Western news outlets paint a volatile situation, Sushon is confident that exhibitors and attendees will be able to participate in these trade shows without risking their well-being.

“The safety of our staff and participants is our main priority, and we acted upon the best available information to make sure that this wasn’t compromised,” Sushon said.

SEE ALSO: Do You Have A Disaster Plan?

Weighing Political Stability In Your Site Selection

As more global destinations work to distinguish themselves in the meetings industry, more planners are exploring opportunities to plan events in developing countries. One of the most essential elements of comparing host locations is gaining a real sense of what’s happening in the country: the economy, the political forecast and the current issues that are impacting local voters and businesses.

While staying updated on current affairs is a great first step, some potential problems may not make the headlines — until they are reasons to reconsider traveling to a certain destination. If you’re looking at new destinations, The Economist offers a very valuable country-by-country analysis. Click here to do your research.

How would you respond if you found yourself in an unprecedented situation where the host location of your next meeting or trade show was in serious political turmoil? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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