Iteca – Entering a New Decade
The Kazakhstani branch of the International Exhibitions & Conferences Organisation Iteca celebrates its 10th anniversary in January 2006. Iteca is the exclusive partner in Central Asia and the Caucasus of the British ITE Group Plc, a world leader in the organisation of trade and industrial exhibitions. Yuri Borodikhin, Iteca’s Executive Director, tells us about the company’s achievements during its first decade and how the company could become second only to the Moscow Expocentre among the CIS countries in terms of the quality and quantity of its exhibitions.
First of all, I would like to note that all of Iteca’s exhibitions and conferences are conjoined with the ITE Group’s general business model, which fully implies our corporate slogan: "Experience and professionalism guarantee success". Placing our stake on proven Expotechnologies, each year we arrange approximately forty exhibitions, engaging our partners from Russia, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. In 2005 alone, Iteca held 32 exhibitions and 5 conferences on themes covering practically all branches of the economy. One thousand five hundred and seventeen national companies and 1,781 foreign companies from approximately 50 countries participated in our exhibitions.
I believe that our exhibitions and conferences serve as a gateway that allows international business to enter Kazakhstan and the entire Central Asian region. Foreign company participants of these events obtain information on the Kazakhstani economy and its investment potential. In the last decade, approximately ten thousand foreign companies have become acquainted with the Kazakhstani market through Iteca’s exhibitions, and many of them have developed their business by establishing agencies or joint companies in Kazakhstan.
Exhibition statistics show which countries are most interested in Kazakhstan. According to statistics, 679 companies from Russia (20.6% of the total exhibitor number), 206 from Germany (6.2%), 136 from Poland (2.2%), 70 from Ukraine (2.1%), 43 from Great Britain (1.3%), 48 from Italy (1.5%) and 24 from the USA participated in Iteca’s exhibitions in 2005.
The most attractive exhibitions for foreign companies were those such as CEM Central Asia 2005 in household appliances (82% of the total exhibitor number), KITF 2005 in tourism (74%), Mining World Central Asia 2005 (73%), KIHE 2005 in health (72%), KIOGE 2005 in oil and gas (67%), World Food Kazakhstan (64%) and KAZBUILD in construction (54%).
I should note that the exhibition statistics not only illustrate a general development of exhibition industry in a country and its conformance to international standards, but they also strongly stimulate its further development, because accurate information on preceding events, their exhibitors and results is very important for a company participating in an exhibition for the first time. It is known that some small Kazakhstani exhibition companies misinform potential clients about the impressive performance of their projects. For example, such companies may assert that 50 foreign and 300 national companies participate in their exhibition and that the exhibition area is not less than 1,500 m2. However, when foreign exhibitors have arrived at such exhibitions, they have found that the real situation differs significantly from that which was promised. Unfortunately, such facts shatter the confidence of all market participants and undermine the credibility of all exhibitions held in Kazakhstan.
Iteca believes that the most important provision for successful project implementation is conformance with international standards, and Iteca strives to be recognised by international experts. It is indicative that our exhibitions KITEL (telecommunications and computer technologies) and AstanaBuild (construction) obtained international certificates from the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) in 2005. This year, experts audited other events arranged by our company. In the near future, we will obtain UFI certificates for the KazBuild (construction), Mining World CA and KIOGE (oil and gas) exhibitions.
I should note that the audit is, first of all, an objective control and examination of all data declared by the organisers. All major exhibition companies adhere to such standards and the advantages of audits are being acknowledged in Kazakhstan.
Another of our innovations in 2005 was the organisation of press centres during exhibitions and conferences, which allowed media representatives, exhibitors and delegates to receive current news and photos in an expeditious manner. This innovation was highly appreciated by the participants of the KIOGE 2005 oil and gas conference, as they had electronic access to all speeches made by the forum participants.
I would like to share our plans for the future. The 2006 exhibition season involves such events as KazBuild Spring (a large construction forum planned for spring); the Plastex specialised exhibition of plastic products, which will be held simultaneously with the Chemie exhibition (chemistry); and AgriHort Astana (agricultural industry), which will be held simultaneously with Astana Food (food industry) in the capital of Kazakhstan. In total, seven exhibition arrangements will be held in Astana.
We plan to hold four forums in western Kazakhstan: in addition to annual exhibitions in oil, construction and food, we will hold the Atyrau Telecom 2006 regional exhibition in telecommunications (alternately held in Astana and Atyrau).
The success of Mongolia Infrastructure 2005, the first international exhibition held in Ulan-Bator, Mongolia, allows us to expect the further development of this project with an increasing number of exhibitors, expansion of the exhibition area, etc.
ITE Group Plc and Iteca plan to arrange 36 exhibitions and six conferences in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia in 2006. Thus, the next exhibition season promises to be quite interesting.
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