The IFES (International Federation of Exposition Services) conducted its annual meeting at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, England. The meeting was attended by exhibit service providers representing 31 countries, ten from the U.S. The event was hosted by the ESSA (Event Supplier & Service Association) from the UK.
One of the hot topics at the meeting was sustainability in the exposition and event industry. A panel discussion was led by Justin Hawes from Scan Display in South Africa. One of the guest speakers was Dr. Rebecca Saunders from Sustainability Events Ltd. Saunders helps companies achieve BS 8901 (future ISO 20121), the British standard for sustainability management.
With the 2012 Summer Olympics quickly approaching, this standard will be a requirement to be followed by all suppliers providing services for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Saunders was joined by Dr. Dirk Walterspacher, the director of CO2OL sustainability firm in Germany.
After full discussions about need and strategies regarding this important topic, several audience participants stated that there are many
other exposition issues that are critical in their own countries. In the end, all countries agreed that we each must take any steps possible to address sustainability in the exposition industry.
“This issue will continue to grow in importance as we move forward to unify our IFES members who are world suppliers in the exposition industry,” said Bruno Meissner, IFES president.
IFES discussed the idea of establishing a Sustainability Committee to begin to identify ways to design and service our events and exhibits more responsibly.
“We must also determine ways to measure the effects of sustainability initiatives when exercised in the exposition industry,” said Hawes.
Another topic of interest and concern was the formation of an IFES Code of Conduct document. The code discussion was first initiated and presented by Torsten Heinze from Germany at the 2010 EDPA meeting. The code was drafted to capture mutual concerns for acceptable behavior when servicing partners and their customers from one country to the next. The code address human rights, work regulations differences, payment term expectations, confidentiality, client respect, and professional service behavior expectations.
“As IFES continues to grow and attracts new companies and countries to join as members, we must agree to follow common and acceptable business practices. This bond of agreement between companies makes IFES a stronger organization of unified exhibit service suppliers,” said Koen Bogaert from Publiganda in Belgium.
All companies voted in favor of the new Code of Conduct, which will be required from all new and existing member companies going forward.
Two upcoming industry meetings were also presented.
Larry Kulchawik, past president of EDPA & IFES, invited all IFES members to attend the next EDPA ACCESS meeting in Las Vegas, to be held Nov 30 to Dec 2, 2011. This year’s meeting will have a special focus on doing business in China. Preliminary registration forms and further information were provided.
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