FlowersExpo, one of the largest Russian flower and plant exhibition in Eastern Europe, is about to open their doors and this year, it will be held physically and virtually. The exhibition will be held from September 8-10 and since the decision was made to hold the show in 2 formats, it has been a bumpy and uncertain ride with a lot of questions that could not be answered. Now, just less than a month to go and with final preparations in full swing, the organization is pleased with the interest and attendance. In this article the organization gives more about the show, the exhibitors and the activities that are being held during the 3-day event.
A picture of the 2019 edition.
Decision 2 formats: conventional and online
Acting quickly and decisively, while adhering to the precautionary principle. It is the only correct approach in the uncertain situation that COVID-19 presents and this tactic was chosen by the organization.
After the quarantine was over, the organizers decided to conduct this important business project in two formats — a conventional one and online. But there were a lot of issues. Most importantly, there was no concrete decision on mass events such as exhibitions until July. There was no understanding as to whether foreign participants would be able to come or not, as the borders remain closed. Will Russian companies decide to participate in the exhibition after a severe quarantine and in the conditions of economic crisis? Will visitors attend the exhibition? What should be the business program?
Following tactics to act quickly, a back-up plan was prepared, namely the modern exhibition online-platform. It would seem, a solution had been found, however many participants doubted whether the clients would find the time or whether they would want to catch up by video link.
Presence of foreign companies appealing for Russian exhibition participants
When it was decided to resume exhibition activities, something happened, the organizers could not foresee. For the majority of Russian exhibition participants the presence of the foreign companies at the exhibition is quite appealing. It is a well known fact that Russia is the largest consumer of cut flowers in the world. The turnover of the Russian flower market in 2018 was one billion dollars. However these important business partners are unlikely to be able to attend the exhibition under the prevailing conditions.
This was a difficult moment for the organizers, and it had to be overcome either way, finally this obstacle is partly tackled. Even in such difficult situation of 2020 not only Russian, but also foreign participants have decided to be a part of FlowersExpo so far. Among them are the bravest, faithful and advanced ones will attend the exhibition with their showcases stands and online, such as - Dekker Chrysanten, De Ruiter, OZ Export (Netherlands), an international company Inotura, representing Colombia, Ecuador and Kenya, will make its debut in the exhibition. Maori Group will arrive from Lithuania, and for the first time, a Japanese flower auction will be presented.
In this format they can also easily negotiate with partners and consumers, as if they were at the exhibition in Moscow. For that purpose, the laptop will be on every showcase.
More foreign companies to present their products remotely
The number of foreign participants who are able to visit Moscow, though decided to present their products remotely, has also increased. Including a number of companies from Holland (Hoek Flowers), Ecuador (Jet Fresh Flowers, Agricola EL Shaupi), Germany (Rosen Tantau), Venezuela (Agromiranda), China (Plusrite Electric) and Poland (plant nurseries Cieplucha, Homa-Kosakowska, Ważyńscy) and others.
On the Russian side, the exhibition is attended by producers and suppliers of flowers and plants, ornamental trees and shrubs, machinery and technologies, products for landscape and floristry.
Famous companies such as Novaya Gollandiya, Tsvetochnyy Ekspress, Tsvety ot Machelyuka, Florexim, JMP Flowers, IP Kharchenko, "Rassada.ru/ Shneider BV", nurseries Vashutino, Monblan, Agrosad and others will participate in the exhibition with their showcases.
It is also encouraging there are some up-and-comers. Russian flower producers Tsvetochnyy region from Vologda, and Kaluzhskiy tsvetochnyy kholding, as well as the company Strana roz, representing producers of flowers of Armenia, will attend the exhibition for the first time.
Domestic producers with high losses mainly choose the online format.
The new professional associations National Flowers Growers Association (Russian: Natsional'naya assotsiatsiya tsvetovodov) and Flowers Retailers Association (Russian: Assotsiatsiya tsvetochnogo riteyla) support the exhibition this year along with the permanent partners of the Association of Planting Material Producers (Russian: Assotsiatsiya proizvoditeley posadochnogo materiala, APPM), the National Florist Guild (russian: Natsionalnaya gildiya floristov), the Association of Teplitsy Rossii (russian: Assotsiatsiya «Teplitsy Rossii»).
Approval of AIPH
It is also important that in 2020 the exhibition FlowersExpo, as to meet all international requirements, received the approval of the International Association of Horticulture AIPH, by which support the world green EXPOs are held.
There will be foreign flowers on display
As the exhibition is held in post-epidemic conditions, visitors have many questions. Whether and how the cut flowers will be presented in the exhibition halls. The organizers reassure, the flowers will necessarily be presented not only from Russian greenhouses, but also from foreign plantations, even though to a lesser extent. They will be displayed on the participant's showcases, as well as in floristic shows and competition works.
Diversified business programme
The business programme is also to be diversified. That implies the conferences, seminars, presentations by specialists and experts, webinars. All of them will focus on business concerns, in particular, how to successfully recover from the global crisis, restore demand and logistics, reestablish producer-consumer communications.
Three-day conference on prospects for the post-crisis revival of the Russian flower business, FlowersCONF, and a webinar of world retail expert John Stanleym Garden Center after COVID 2019, these two events will be held on a fee-paying basis with mandatory registration.
An extensive floristic programme is being prepared. Traditionally, within the framework of the exhibition the Russian Open Championship on professional floristics Russian Florist CUP 2020 will take place, as well as the Competition of students of floristic schools Towards perfection (Russian: Prikosnoveniye k sovershenstvu). These will be followed by two new competitions, such as Russian florist prize Russian Florist Awаrds and the competition for the title Best flower salon of the year (Russian: Luchshiy tsvetochnyy salon goda).
Bright and colorful floral shows, Day of Russian floristics and show of Araik Galstyan 'Day of Top Floral Design' will take place on the main stage of the exhibition. The participants of the Instagram-project 'Flowergames' will run 'Russian national costume and headgear' (Russian: Russkiy natsional'nyy kostyum i golovnyye ubory) show. The schools of floristics also will hold their show.
For the first time at the exhibition, a co-working space will be available to connect the laptop, charge the phone, watch online broadcasts and visit the showcase to anyone interested via QR system.
Registration: free for all visitors
It is very important, registration this year is free for all visitors of the exhibition. This allows attendance to the exhibition in Crocus Expo, as well as it provides access to events on the online-platform where, in addition to the main business programme, many participants have special events planned. The organizers pay closest attention to the quarantine measures, providing participants and visitors with effective protective equipment. Thus, everyone attending the exhibition 'FlowersExpo' at MVC Crocus Expo will be provided with efficient means of protection and safe working conditions.
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