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Print this page TOO Iteca establishes new code of conduct for the exhibition industry in Kazakhstan

It is with great pleasure that TOO Iteca announces the award of UFI certification for several of its leading exhibitions. The implementation of UFI "good work practice" will raise the standard of the exhibition industry in Kazakhstan, by ensuring that all exhibition companies adhere to a correct and transparent business ethic.

UFI (Unions des Foires Internationales) is the leading global association of exhibition organisers, and was established in 1925 in Milan to establish a code of conduct amongst the world's organisers. This in turn forced organisers to adhere to honest business practice, especially important when the markets which organizers are trying to open, are often shady, to say the least, and corrupt, in the worse cases. UFI is well respected amongst world governments, for its contribution to creating a self-regulatory framework for the exhibition sector, which has such a huge effect on global business.

As part of this framework, UFI awards its recognition to leading exhibitions, which are particularly successful in their fields and markets, and important to the local economies.

In order to receive the UFI recognition, exhibitions need to meet certain conditions - most importantly, the exhibition must be audited by one of the several UFI-approved auditing companies. This independent company makes an official count of the number of exhibitors participating at the exhibitions, the mix of international and domestic exhibitors, the size of the exhibition space occupied, and the number of visitors.

In the new countries of the CIS, many organisers have emerged, who do not adhere to the international standards demanded by UFI and the international exhibition industry. Numbers of visitors are exaggerated, and most blatantly, the number of exhibitors participating is tripled or quadrupled!

When exhibitors arrive on-site, they find they have been tricked, as the plans they had seen beforehand, turned out to be greatly inflated by "Dead Souls" exhibitors, who are not participating, and never intended to.

This practice damages the reputation of the country, where the exhibition takes place, and creates am impression of a pirate and undeveloped economy.

For this reason it is very important that transparency and honesty is applied to exhibitions in these new market economies. The UFI-recognition is the major standard for measuring this transparency, and TOO Iteca is pleased that the first exhibitions in Kazakhstan to be awarded this status, are its oil and gas exhibition Kioge, construction exhibition Kazbuild, its IT event Kitel; it is currently in the process of being audited for another 4 of its exhibitions.

Of course, the process is expensive, but Iteca say it is worth it. Once UFI-recognition is provided, then it is much easier to attract international exhibitors, by increasing the network of agents, trade associations, and government bodies who are responsible for organising groups of exhibitors from their countries. Typically, an agent will be expecting 30-50% commission for working in an emerging market, and UFI-recognition allows the organiser to charge a higher price, which the exhibitor knows will give value for money.

Often international government bodies insist on the high standards demanded by UFI, before subsidies can be awarded to national groups.

It is thanks to Iteca's relations with ITE Group, the major international organiser of exhibitions, that the UFI-recognition was awarded. ITE, as an active member of UFI, has been encouraging all its partners, especially in the CIS, to apply the highest international standards to its exhibitions.

TOO Iteca is also working with other exhibition companies, to establish a code of conduct in the Kazakhstan exhibition industry, to ensure that exhibitions and their marketing meet international standards, and that a practice of fair play is establishing, which will demand that all the exhibition organisers in the republic operate according to the law, and do not employ unfair or malicious practices. Any transgression will be properly reported to the appropriate domestic and international authorities, and to the world exhibition associations, such as UFI and AEO.

As Kazakhstan prepares itself for entry into the WTO, the implantation of the highest international standards and adherences to free and fair trade is a priority of the Government, and the exhibition industry is one sector which is easily monitored, with its established code of practice, and balanced mix of international and domestic organisers, suppliers and exhibitors.

Iteca, together with other exhibition organizers, who are committed to fair play and an honest code of conduct, looks forward to building exhibitions the region can be proud of!

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