Following three years of stagnation – also a reflection of the situation in the Russian construction industry – the organisers of the ICCX Russia have now registered an increasing number of participants again. More than 750 participants came to the 13th edition of the ICCX Russia in December 2017. This positive trend was confirmed by both exhibitors and visitors alike, who are all looking forward to the coming year with hopeful expectations. The high-class programme of lectures and the multifaceted trade exhibition with suppliers from all over the world is typical of the ICCX Russia. This event is without doubt one of the most important meetings for the concrete industry in Russia and beyond its borders, but why? Because it works!
The trough in the Russian construction industry seems now to have been passed. The good mood of all the participants in the ICCX Russia 2017 points to a good development in the order situation in the entire Russian construction sector. The fact that numerous conversations between visitors and exhibitors were quite specific in terms of content and questions leads one to believe that there is a serious readiness to invest. It is above all the companies who stood by and helped their local business partners during the difficult economic years that seem to be benefitting from this situation.
Visitor record for the technical course
The technical course marking the annual start of the ICCX Russia registered a record number of visitors this year. Well over 220 participants took the opportunity to get information on the latest state of the art and technology from the two internationally recognised concrete technologists Michael Khrapko and Prof. Viktor Mechtcherine. They dealt with questions concerning the attainment of high-quality and economically efficient concrete mixtures and highly effective technologies for the transport and pouring of concrete as well as the latest findings with regard to 3D printing with concrete. The course was held in Russian as usual and all participants received a handbook containing the slides from the lectures for the subsequent reviewing and archiving of the contents.
The numerous questions asked during and after the seminar were proof of the listeners' great interest and thirst for knowledge. This teaching event, for which a certificate is also presented to the participants, supplements the information on offer at the ICCX Russia in the most valuable way possible.
Optimisation of the overall concept
In order to improve the overall concept and the selection of the contents of the lecture programme, the organisers of the ICCX Russia initiate a survey each year to gauge the satisfaction of the visitors and, for the first time this year, that of the exhibitors, too. Suggestions are naturally taken seriously and implemented if at all possible. In fact it is not easy to constantly reinvent an event of this type. Nevertheless, changes should secure the added value of the ICCX Russia in the long run in comparison with other events in this sector in Russia. Apart from that, each year random interviews are held with visitors. These can be read in the course of this report and also in the initial announcement of the coming event. The requests and wishes of the participants change dynamically and therefore the offering of the ICCX Russia also changes continuously (even if it sometimes goes almost unnoticed).
The trade exhibition
The exhibitors presented themselves to the professional visitors at a total of around 100 booths and every visitor was able to obtain comprehensive information on trends and current products of the concrete and precast industry. Both Russian and international exhibitors from 15 different countries from all over the world presented a comprehensive wealth of information. Well-known companies were represented from the fields of plant, mixing, formwork and processing technology, conveying systems, concrete chemistry, fastening systems, installation systems, reinforcing steel plants and IT products. It is precisely this variety who makes the ICCX so unique and interesting for the concrete industry in the whole world.
A clear statement about the expertise of the exhibitors and the technologies on offer can also be discerned from the interviews. The clear words speak for themselves!
The conference programme
Once again the trade visitors got their full money’s worth from the programme of lectures at the ICCX Russia 2017. Worldwide recognised speakers reported on current developments in the concrete industry. They showed the trends that are developing in the concrete industry in general and in the precast and ready-mix concrete industry in particular. The programme of lectures included topics such as current developments in the harmonisation of standards and directives in Russia, the manufacturing of decorative precast concrete facades through the efficient control of key parameters during manufacture, innovative concrete compaction systems, developments in reinforcement and mixing technologies and even such exotic topics as self-healing concrete.
The high level of participation in the lectures and the intensive dialogue between audience and speakers proved once again that the choice of topics and the mixture of international and Russian experts were correct. In fact, never have so many questions been asked in the plenum as at this latest edition of the ICCX Russia. This open dialogue was due not least to the provision of a simultaneous interpreting service.
ICCX Dinner Party
The evening event of the ICCX Russia, the so-called ICCX Dinner Party in the Paulaner Brauhaus Restaurant at the Conference Hotel Park Inn Pulkovskaya, has been a highlight for some years now. The Brauhaus once again offered around 600 guests the ideal opportunity to intensify the discussions that had begun during the day and to let the first day of the conference draw to a close in a relaxed atmosphere with typical Russian live music.
Factory tours top the event off
The factory tours, which traditionally form the conclusion to the event, are a further benefit that the visitors to the ICCX Russia gladly take advantage of every year. This time the participants could choose between five different factory tours with different production directions in the St. Petersburg area. A total of 200 participants divided themselves between the concrete plants of LiderProm, FinnGrad, DSK-5, BASF/Metrobeton and LSR Zhelezobeton-SZ.
The date has already been fixed for the next ICCX Russia. The entire Russian and international concrete industry will meet at the top-class event once again from 4 to 7 December 2018. The planning of the ICCX Russia 2018 has already begun.
Maximilian Perereev, GLB LLP, Astana, Kazakhstan
It’s the first time I take part in ICCX Russia and I can say that all my expectations regarding this event were fully justified. I can also admit that there’s a certain activity this year. One can meet many interested people with specific questions. Our plant is situated in Astana, quite far from here. While during the conference I managed to communicate with colleagues, to find out the stages of development of their companies, to learn about their business partners and competitors. I should note that there are many important suppliers of equipment present at the exhibition. Among them there are many companies that can help us in implementing specific projects and in organizing the business as a whole. My visit to the conference can be definitely considered successful. I would also like to mention interesting lectures. It was useful to listen to the speeches of foreign colleagues and draw new knowledge, which, I am sure, will be useful to me in everyday work.
Ulyanov Sergey, Brayer Group, Moscow, Russia
I regularly attend ICCX Russia. I try not to miss your conference, because, firstly, it takes place at the end of the year, when the season is over, it’s easier to find time, and maybe it’s even better financially. Secondly, one get a number of questions during the year, and ICCX Russia is exactly the place where I have these questions answered, whether at a seminar or while communicating with exhibitors. The level of organization and format of the event is more than satisfactory for me, I cannot even find a thing to be changed, everything is perfect!
Sergey Bliznetsov, EffektDekor Ltd., Tver, Russia
From the very first moment, when I came in, I was pleasantly surprised by everything that was happening. I was given a bag with all the necessary brochures, everything was so competent, I really liked it. It’s not so often that I visit such events, but here I immediately noticed a number of advantages. First of all, it's handout materials and a rich conference program. This is not just a minor seminar, but a whole complex of presentations, all highly specialized and interesting. Secondly (no matter how trivial the matter of food may seem), it’s impossible for the participants to feel and to even think of hunger here, indeed! And, you know, when one is not occupied with the thoughts like "Where to have a bite?", it’s easy to concentrate on work. I would call this organization approach client-oriented - the organizers have made everything for the comfort of the guests. Just come here and feel free to study and communicate! As for the conference, as a manufacturer of architectural concrete I can point out the lecture by Mr. Oecknick and Mr. Erhardt. Very lively performance, a lot of useful information and interesting details. The best lecture, in my opinion, and the perfect presentation of information!
Andrey Adianov, TD BarnaulBeton, Barnaul, Russia
I came here for the first time. The concept of the event is very good. One can communicate with people who are engaged in research work and can share their ideas. Also there is an opportunity to talk to experts who have already managed to apply innovative solutions in their own production. I find this concept very convenient for all the participants of the event. I would like to point out the competent approach of exhibitors to communicate with visitors - all information is provided in the right way and amount, and detailed answers are given to all the questions asked. I spent a great time visiting the exhibition and seminars. Listening to reports on new trends in the field of concrete production, one can clearly feel how great the difference between what we once studied at the university and what is being applied in practice now. Last but not least. As a technician I want to mention one thing: everything must have its own system. And the organizers of ICCX Russia managed to develop such an effective system: its elements work smoothly with unfailing regularity. The resulting product can be compared with high-tech equipment that combines ergonomics, power and flawless operation. I want to thank the organizers for such an event! I received an invitation, got acquainted with the topics of the lectures and decided that I definitely should attend this event. Our company is located at the other end of Russia, and, of course, I wanted to meet, communicate and exchange ideas with people who are united by one passion - producing concrete.
Valeriya Khamraeva, Stroykomplekt, Saint Petersburg, Russia
I must say I’m really impressed! And I want to thank the organizers! Everything is on the highest level possible – both, the conference and the exhibition. As a director of the company, I often attend industry events and I can say that there are not so many highly specialized conferences held in Russia. On my opinion, ICCX Russia is characterized by focused specialization, rich information content and captivating delivery. No unnecessary information – only the things one really needs to learn!