What many thought impossible, CPI worldwide has made a reality: the ICCX Russia 2020 took place from 1st to 4th December 2020 in St. Petersburg, for the 16th time at the usual place. With appropriate security measures and an exemption from the St. Petersburg government, ICCX Russia was again a safe place for good business last year.
Even though the Corona pandemic had undoubtedly left its mark and many visitors and exhibitors had to forgo personal participation in ICCX Russia in December 2020, those present were in absolute agreement that it was the right decision to hold ICCX Russia and to participate actively in it.
In 2020, there was no other way to obtain information about current trends and developments in this form in person, and the feedback from the 380 or so participants was correspondingly grateful. Although this represented only a third of the number of participants in the previous year, it in no way diminished the quality of the visitors and, given the special circumstances, could certainly be considered a certain success.
Combination of offline and online presentations
This time, the technical course of Prof. Viktor Mechtcherine was presented via zoom conference. This circumstance did not prevent the participants, who were sitting at a safe distance from each other in the large conference hall in the Park Inn Pulkovskaya Hotel, from listening and participating with interest. Especially the questions following the individual sessions, which were transferred live to Prof. Mechtcherine in Dresden in Germany via an on-site camera, seemed almost more intense than at a purely offline event. The conference programme for the following two days also featured zoom connections to speakers who could not attend but who nevertheless made their contribution to the success of the conference.
This year's conference programme featured exclusively speakers from Russia, who spoke about current developments in the fields of concrete technology and precast concrete elements and in some cases received a lot of questions from the audience, which underlined the interest.
Again and again, the special challenges in the current times of crisis were discussed, to which a panel discussion on the topic of “Sales and Marketing” was dedicated for the first time on the afternoon of the second day on stage.
Trade exhibition with regulated visitor flow
The conditions of the hygiene protection concept for the ICCX Russia included the need to control the flow of visitors in a predefined manner. With the help of numerous belt barriers, route markings and distance signs on the floor, it was possible to ensure that safe contacts could be established between the visitors and the 70 exhibitors.
In fact, it was very unusual, especially for those who knew the ICCX Russia from other times, but it was very important for all present to finally be able to re-establish personal contacts that could not be maintained to the usual extent for almost a year. All the more interesting and open-minded were the discussions on site, which were once again characterised by a high level of technical questions.
Some companies were unable to travel to the ICCX Russia in December due to travel restrictions or quarantine regulations, but still participated in the exhibition with unmanned “presence booths”. This form of support was very well received by many visitors, as it shows that these companies remain loyal to their customers in good times as well as in difficult times and are already looking forward to a personal return in 2021.
Factory tours under special circumstances
On the last day of the event, it was again possible to conduct factory tours, also thanks to the increased safety precautions. With an appropriate distance between the participants in the buses, as well as in the plants themselves, the interested participants were able to see the technology live in action. Factory tours have always been an essential part of the ICCX concept, which has often been copied but never achieved. Especially not in 2020, when the ICCX Russia was the only trade event in the industry in Russia to keep the flag flying, even if not with the number of visitors who come to St. Petersburg in “normal” years, but with a once again smooth and well-functioning organisation.
In this respect, one can already look forward to the ICCX Russia 2021. From 7th to 10th December 2021, the 17th ICCX Russia will be organised again at the usual place, then hopefully under normal circumstances. Save this date!