Expocentre is a Russian exhibition and conference company staging international trade shows in Russia, the CIS countries and Central Europe, and also Russian national pavilions at EXPOs (World Fairs). It owns and operates Expocentre Fairgrounds, an exhibition venue located in the Central Administrative Area of Moscow (near Vystavochnaya and Delovoi Tsentr metro stations) on the Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment between the Moscow International Business Center and the World Trade Center. The company is headquartered in Moscow.
In 1959 Sokolniki Park in Moscow hosted the first national exhibition of US industrial products, opened by Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon. Older people remember very well the profound impact that the show at Sokolniki or, in other words, an opportunity to view achievements of another nation, produced on Soviet visitors 55 years ago. From the Soviet side, the show had been coordinated by the Department for Foreign Exhibitions of the USSR Chamber of Commerce. The Department was later turned into the Agency for International and Foreign Exhibitions in USSR.
In 1964 Expocentre produced its first international trade show called Stroidormash (the Road-Building Machinery Show) which put on display the latest road-building machinery and equipment. The statistics of that first show were as follows: 377 exhibiting companies from 20 countries showcased their most advanced equipment and technology on the show floor of 54,000 m2. It had been co-organized by the National Committee for Construction, Road-Building and Utilities Engineering under the USSR Ministry of Construction.
1960s saw the portfolio of Expocentre’s exhibitions expanding, and in two decades it had covered all key sectors of the Soviet economy.
Among numerous exhibitions put on in 1960s and 1970s there were some that deserve special attention including the Chemistry International Specialized Exhibition, whose first edition was produced in 1965 on the initiative of Leonid Kostandov, the then Minister of Chemical Industry of the Soviet Union. The Chemistry exhibition was the first to get the Approved Event Logo of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), in 1975.
The Chemistry show was followed by equally significant and large-scale events: Svyaz-Expocomm (telecommunications), Lesdrevmash (timber and woodworking machinery), Electro (power and electrical engineering), Neftegaz (oil and gas sector), Inlegmash (textile manufacturing and processing) and many others.
The growing number of exhibitions required more exhibition floor space and resources. So, in mid 1970s on the initiative of Nikolai Patolichev, the then USSR Foreign Trade Minister, the USSR Chamber of Commerce suggested to the Government that a modern exhibition centre should be built on the bank of the Moskva River next to Kransaya Presnya Park.
The first pavilion was erected in 1977, and as early as in January 1978 it hosted a major trade show Derevoobrabotka (woodworking).
1980s saw a rapid construction of the venue. Soon after Pavilion No. 1 had been built, Pavilions No. 2 and No. 3 were put into operation together with the Forum Pavilion - a unique structure in the form of a glass pyramid.
In the subsequent years the venue continued expanding - Pavilions No. 4, 5, and 6 were put up.
In 2002 Pavilion No. 7 - a two-level exhibition pavilion with fully flexible halls - opened its doors, which enabled Expocentre to boost its conference business so it has reached an entirely new level quality-wise. In 2007 Pavilion No. 8 was built offering meeting rooms and a conference hall with excellent acoustics.
In 2014 Expocentre marks its 55th anniversary.
The company name Expocentre was registered in 1977, as the Agency for International and Foreign Exhibitions in USSR had been turned into the Expocentre Company (a National Company since 1980). Back then, Expocentre was the only company in the Soviet Union entitled to stage international and foreign exhibitions in the country.
History of company creation
- In 1945 a new committee was set up within the USSR Chamber of Trade. It was called a Standing Committee on Exhibitions, and in 1947 on its basis a Department for Foreign Exhibitions (the Exhibitions Department since 1949) was established.
- In 1960 the Exhibitions Department was changed into the Agency for Exhibitions with two subdivisions: the Department for Soviet Exhibitions Abroad and the Department of Foreign Exhibitions in the Soviet Union.
- In 1964 the Department for Foreign Exhibitions was turned into the Agency for Foreign Exhibitions in USSR and the Soviet Exhibitions Department - into the Agency for Soviet Exhibitions Abroad.
- In 1969 the USSR Chamber of Commerce set up the Agency for International and Foreign Exhibitions consisting of the Department for Foreign Exhibitions, Department for International Exhibitions and other units. Such division was dictated by a new trend when, in addition to exhibitions conducted in the USSR on the initiative of other countries and private companies, universal international exhibitions began to be held there.
- In 1972 the USSR Chamber of Commerce became the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- In 1977 the Expocentre Association was set up from the Agency for International and Foreign Exhibitions as part of the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Department for Soviet Exhibitions Abroad existed till 1989 and then merged into Expocentre.
- In 1991, when the national economy was going through reforms, Expocentre became a joint stock company.
Exhibitions and congresses: prospects
Expocentre has nine exhibition pavilions, and multifunctional halls for congresses, press conferences, symposia and seminars.
The total area of Expocentre Fairgrounds is 250,000 m2, where 165,000 m2 is exhibition floor space (105,000 m2 indoor and 60,000 m2 outdoor space).
Annually Expocentre Fairgrounds hosts around 100 international exhibitions, which draw nearly 2,000,000 specialists; and holds over 800 congresses, symposia and conferences.
- 1959–1964 Aleksandr V. Saag
- 1964–1970 Konstantin I. Smolyaninov
- 1970–1977 Khachik G. Oganesyan
- 1973–1977 Aleksandr K. Pavlenko
- 1977–1979 Lev K. Garusov
- 1979–1984 Vladimir M. Korsikov
- 1984–1990 Stanislav V. Mikhailov
- 1990–2002 Igor S. Denisov
- 2002–2012 Vladislav L. Malkevich
- 2012-present Present Sergei S. Bednov
- Expocentre cooperates with many international exhibition companies and groups including Euroexpo, Restec, Chipexpo (Russia), ITE Group PLC (the UK), Messe Düsseldorf, Ost-West-Partner GmbH, Messe Frankfurt, AUMA - the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (Germany), BolognaFierre (Italy), BVV Trade Fairs Brno (the Czech Republic).
- Since 1975, Expocentre has been a member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), and in 2005 the venue played host to the 72nd UFI Congress.
- The company was an initiator and a co-founder of the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), established in 1991. Expocentre is also a member of the Guild of Exhibition and Trade Fair Organizers of Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The company renders support to regional exhibition companies by sharing its broad experience and expertise in order to promote the development of exhibition business around Russia.
- In 1978 Expocentre joined the InterEXPO - the Association of organisers of exhibitions abroad and of national group participations in international trade fairs and exhibitions.
- With its meeting business developing successfully, the company was admitted to the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) in 2005 and the International Congress and Conference Association (ICCA) in 2006.
- Expocentre delivers its trade shows and meeting events to the highest industry standards, which enabled the company to join the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES) in 2011.
- The venue was the first of the Central and Eastern European exhibition centre to be admitted to the European Major Exhibition Centres Association (EMECA), in 2012.
- Director General of Expocentre ZAO is Sergei Bednov, who, apart from being a top manager of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) and the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs (RUEF), became a member of the European Major Exhibition Centres Association (EMECA) Management Team in 2012.