“Building Bridges to the Future in Istanbul”

Brussels / Frankfurt

2016-06-02-17.15.54-3More than 150 international exhibition and event services professionals convened for the 2016 IFES World Summit, held June 2 – 4, in the world class city of Istanbul, deemed the crossroads of Europe and Asia – “Where the Orient meets the Occident.”  This year’s theme:  “Building Bridges to the Future.”

The 2016 World Summit began with the IFES AGM (Annual Global Meeting) .  The meeting featured informational updates on IFES operations, completion of reformed IFES statutes and the re-election of Executive Board members, President Voicu Sferdianu (President), Peter Theodorides (Vice President Membership), Justin Hawes (Vice President Finance) and Torsten Heinze (Vice President Strategy).

Sferdianu and Theodorides personally greeted 17 of the 30 new IFES members with an orientation and welcome program.   It quickly became a clear sign that IFES is poised for growth, now and into the future, thriving despite the current world challenges of terrorism, wartime refugees, and increased political tensions.

During IFES President Sferdianu’s opening remarks, he addressed the topic of overcoming disruption.  Sferdianu declared that nobody should scared by the rapid changes in communication that is a product of the online age because, “Nobody can email a handshake!”  Meaning there is no substitute for the value of personal communication that only occurs through live communication events.

2016-06-02-15.10.22-1Sferdianu went on to proclaim that as IFES members we remain more insistent that ever that the spirit of international cooperation and collaboration triumph over political tension and disruptive forces because the nature of our industry requires us to routinely and efficiently work across borders from one country to the next.  The IFES community strives to work together with colleagues and partners from all over the world. We do this without worrying about countries of origin or religious affiliation. We can, because we work together with partners we know and trust. “This should be the policy simply expected and adopted by all of us!”

“The World Summit featured a variety of lectures, workshops and business meetings, offering ample opportunity for each attendee to feel they are an active participant in the Building of Bridges to the Future,” says IFES managing director, Uta Goretzky.

The Summit started with the Managing Partner Advisory of PricewaterhouseCoopers Turkey, Hüsnü Dincsoy, and the Managing Director of Hannover Messe Turkey, Alexander Kühnel, who shared their perspectives on Turkey’s market potential, growth and future development.

Prof.Baris Karapinar, TEMA (the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats) shared his ideas how Non Profit Organisation help to change the world. Elif Kalan (Co-Founder of Ihtiyac Haritasi – the NEEDsMAP) presented an online platform that represents a switch between necessities of needy schools and educational institutions, people who want to meet those needs

Nicholas de Klerk, Architect & Owner Design and Display, inspired delegates with “Junk Talks to Me!” his presentation on using discarded materials creatively for live events.  And finally, The Eurasian Dr. Amin Talab focused on intercultural competence, in his Keynote “How to Negotiate Across Cultures”.

Another highlight of the second day of the event were five separate workshops on the development of business opportunities in Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America.  The third day featured sessions on current issues including: “Employee of tomorrow,” and “Lost in Translation – Intercultural Competence.” Day two and three also featured prescheduled B2B-meeting sessions designed to help delegates find the right project partner.  Each participant could meet up to 15 business partners during these sessions.

The World Summit Supplier Showcase featured enthusiastic delegates meeting and networking with 27 exhibition and event service providers from all over the world, who took advantage of this opportunity and to present recent innovations and the latest in new product and service offerings.

And of course, the networking possibilities were numerous.  The lunch and coffee breaks, the welcome reception cruise on the Bosphorus, the President’s Dinner, and the Farewell Party all offered time for new and old members of the IFES family to meet, chat and expand global connections. The host city of Istanbul was a perfect place to build bridges, experience unforgettable hospitality, enjoy vibrant nightlife and to taste the mélange of Orient and Occident. “Literally and metaphorically, nobody left hungry after travelling to the Bosphorus!” stated Uta Goretzky.

At the conclusion of the World Summit, the torch from Istanbul was handed over to Montpellier, France, where the 2017 IFES Word Summit will take place in the 21st-24th of June under the new theme, “Welcome to the Global Campus.”

 About IFES:

IFES stands for the International Federation of Exhibition and Event services.
Founded in 1984, it celebrated its 30th birthday in 2014, aiming to preserve the years to come, their status as the most recognized association within their industry worldwide.
Today, IFES represents more than 250 members, which are composed of companies and federations from 36 countries worldwide from every continent of the globe.
Sharing knowledge, global network and international collaboration as our motto states are the core objectives to satisfy our customers’ needs in the exhibition and event industry. To achieve this, IFES drafted a Code of Conduct in 2010 in which every current and new IFES members has to abide by these set of rules and regulations.
Another aspect of IFES work and in order to boost contacts with trade show organisers and exhibition ground owners, IFES is member of UFI (Union de Foire International), which enables all of their members to be kept up with the latest rules and regulations that exist in every fairground worldwide.

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