Interview with Natalia Lomunova, TransRussia Event Director, for LOGISTICS magazine
The 26th International exhibition of transport and logistics services, warehouse equipment and technology TransRussia will be held from 12 to 14 April 2022 in Moscow at Crocus Expo. The 2021 exhibition was a great success and proved the value of b2b events during the pandemic. Today the exhibition is continuing to gain momentum, developing and transforming to meet the needs of the audience.
On the eve of the largest industry event, we met with Natalia Lomunova, director of the TransRussia exhibition, to discuss the upcoming event.
-Natalia, could you please tell us about the preparations for TransRussia 2022?
-We are making intensive efforts to prepare for the exhibition. The exposition is almost fully completed, and the business program elaboration is in full swing. Last year, the exhibition staff accomplished something extraordinary: we held the event with great success during a period of complete uncertainty. Some participants and visitors doubted to the last that the exhibition would take place. This year no one has any questions or doubts about TransRussia 2022. The participants are getting ready to present their services and solutions at the stands, and visitors are actively registering.
-Will the exhibition be larger this year? Which companies have already confirmed their participation in TransRussia 2022?
-Yes, this year's exhibition will be much larger. The main part of the exposition has been formed at the 2021 exhibition. The traditional participants will include: Delo Group (TransContainer, Global Ports, DeloPorts, RUSCON), FESCO, PGK, New Logistics Company, RTK Group, OTLK ERA, MODUL, Modum-Trans, NOVOSTRANS, Eurosib, Istkomtrans, OVK, SASCO, AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG, LeaderTrans, RTL, ARRC Line, DVTG, Globaltrans, and many others.
Among the foreign participants: East-West Gate, Rail Cargo Austria AG, BUDAMAR LOGISTICS, Camco Technologies, NAVIS, GIRTEKA Logistics, the ports of HaminaKotka, Hanko, Kokkola, Helsinki, and Oulu, Stena Line, TT Club, and others.
Also, more than 70 companies will take part in TransRussia 2022 for the first time: Volga-Dnepr, SOVTRANSAVTO, Volga Shipping Company, Usady Multimodal Centre, QUBE, East Global Logistics, and others.
Many of the companies missing the 2021 exhibition are back. There is still uncertainty regarding foreign participants, but we are doing our best to make sure that these companies can arrive to us.
-Last year we speculated a lot about what would happen to the exhibition industry during the pandemic. Now you have a case of holding an exhibition under the new conditions: are there any significant differences? Has the exhibition changed over the past two years?
-Yes, of course, there are significant differences. First, the quality of the visitors has changed. The exhibition now attracts more target visitors, that is, professionals who come not just to have fun, but to solve business challenges and find new partners and suppliers. These are not just words, these are real statistics and feedback from our participants and visitors.
Secondly, the approach of visitors to the exhibition and the products presented has changed. This is due not only to the pandemic but also to the transformation of the market. In two years, the amount of work tasks has multiplied, and many people are no longer ready, unable and unwilling to spend a lot of time searching for various services. They just want to have all services from a single provider. The development of digitalization, multimodality, and market consolidation have greatly contributed to this. For example, it is not enough now to find just a trucking company. The selected provider should also provide all the services that the client requires, and the client would be able to track all the processes via smartphone.
From the second point comes the third: the exhibition is being transformed to meet the needs of the audience. TransRussia has always been a gathering place for the transport and logistics industry. As the industry changes, so does the exhibition. Seven years ago, TransRussia consisted of only four sections, and people came to it only for transport logistics solutions, but what happens now? The audience would like to see all services and solutions at the exhibition: transport and warehouse logistics, supply chains, IT, and eCommerce. We are constantly moving forward and developing exhibition sections to meet the needs of our audience. 71% of our visitors, which is about 10,000 people, do not attend other industry events in Russia. So we have to make every effort to ensure that these 10,000 people find everything they need at the exhibition.
-This year you will be presenting a new SkladTech special project. Please tell us more about the project.
-A SkladTech special project is dedicated to warehouse logistics and technology. The exhibition will feature materials handling equipment, conveyor lines and racking systems, automation and robotization for warehouses, equipment and materials for order picking and packing, WMS, identification and labelling technologies and solutions.
Last year we launched an active development of the warehousing equipment and technology section. After TransRussia 2021 we have received a lot of positive feedback from our visitors concerning this section, and even more requests to make it a separate zone, and this is how the SkladTech project was born. The exposition will be located in the first hall, and everyone can easily find warehouse equipment and solutions.
-Which companies have already confirmed their participation in SkladTech?
-First Logistic, Bristol Group, Mikron Experimental Plant, Noblelift, Octron, Semargl, MZIK JSC, iplast, STELLMART, Ateuco, Umny Service, EcoSklad, Urovo, Infotech, SCANCODE and others confirmed their participation in SkladTech. We are currently in negotiations and signings with a number of other companies.
-What will the business programme look like this year? What activities are you planning to hold?
-As always, the business programme will be up-to-date, intensive, and interesting. The following events will traditionally take place as part of the TransRussia Transport and Logistics Congress: International conference for cargo owners and carriers TransRussia, Outsize and heavy-lift cargo carriage conference BreakBulk Russia, IT-Solutions in Transportation and Logistics conference, and a conference on management and optimization of Supply Chain.
Last year, the first Logistics in eCommerce conference was held; this year, we will continue to discuss current topics in eCommerce logistics. Also in 2021, we introduced TransRussia Lecture Hall, our new project: a content zone featuring practical sessions on insurance, factoring, and the transportation of LCL and temperature sensitive cargoes. We received a lot of positive feedback about the speakers and the format, and we will continue with the project this year.
This year we are launching SKLADTECH Academy, a content platform dedicated to warehouse logistics. The Academy will include the “Intralogistics: Complex Issues in Simple Words”, a conference on the management of enterprise intralogistics, as well as practical seminars.
-Hyve, the TransRussia organizer, held several major events in the autumn and winter that were declared "Covid-free" What feedback are you receiving?
-Hyve Group has gained extensive practical experience in conducting business events and ensuring effective operation in the face of the pandemic, restrictions, and constantly changing domestic and foreign policy environments. As a result, we held all scheduled exhibitions in 2021.
Since autumn, our exhibitions have received the COVID-free status. This means that the venue complies with all the requirements set by the authorities: you cannot enter it unless you have a QR code confirming the status of "vaccinated", "had a disease" or "negative PCR test". To get to the event, you need to pass the QR code check and then receive a special wristband. You can only enter the exhibition hall if you have a ticket and a wristband. Even though the exhibition is declared Covid-free, it is necessary to wear a mask in the pavilion. We are closely monitoring the situation and will promptly inform you of all changes.
See you at TransRussia 2022!