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by Larry Kulchawik

Each year, the International Federation of Exhibition + Event Services meets in a different country to share local tradeshow practices, to present relevant global data to members, and to create an environment for members to network and become partners. The 2018 IFES annual meeting held in Chicago from June 27-29 brought together exhibit suppliers from 32 countries to meet and share their views on effectively assisting their customers when exhibiting internationally.

IFES was formed in 1984 with six country members and has now grown to represent 45 countries. The last IFES annual meeting in the U.S. was held in 2001 in Miami as a joint meeting with EDPA. Now, 21 years later, Chicago was selected as the site of this meeting where relationships are formed and tradeshow knowledge is shared. Of the big three U.S. locations for tradeshow activity (Las Vegas/Orlando/Chicago) Chicago offers both the infrastructure to manage a large event and the economic base of business within the region to attract attendees and exhibitors. Chicago is home to 100 of the Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and served to be an excellent location for the 2018 IFES Global Summit meeting.

Every two years, IFES leadership is voted upon by its members. During the last election in 2016, the members voted to retain Voicu Sferdianu/XDS-Romania as president to continue a second two year term–serving a total of four years. Much of this decision was based upon Sferdianu’s ability to build confidence among IFES members and manage the transition of a new IFES management team brought on in 2015. During his four years as president, Sferdianu sought to achieve three major goals: 1. Bring financial stability to the association; 2. Bring in an efficient and effective association management team with full time attention to keeping the budget and association goals for growth on track; and 3. Attract new country members and sustain existing membership to meet their goals. He has achieved these goals; IFES is now financially on track, adding new member countries, and supporting programs that provides value to IFES membership.

“As IFES president for the past four years, I am proud to see how our association has grown and is respected among the other industry associations in the world,” says Sferdianu. “IFES carefully selects its members. All members are required to sign and abide by the IFES Code of Conduct. Quality partners are what we strive for. Attending IFES events gives each member the opportunity to meet global stand builders and personally get to know them and build trust.”

During the 2018 IFES Summit in Chicago, Peter Theodorides/Vision Ltd-Greece was slated to be sworn in as the new IFES president. Theodorides has been active on the IFES board as vice president for the past six years, providing bold marketing tactics and encouraging new members to join. “I am honored to serve as the guardian of our expo association now representing 45 countries,” says Theodorides. “My major focus will be to promote honesty, integrity, and openness among IFES members and to foster an environment for valued collaborations. I also will focus on our ever-changing marketplace and the attitudes and aspirations of the ‘next generation’ of expo marketers. Next year’s IFES Global Summit will be held in Athens, Greece with the theme being ‘The Summit of Inspiration.’ Together, we shall make every effort for new ideas and inspirations to position IFES as the global collaboration network.”

The International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services has been serving the tradeshow industry since 1984 and includes around 300 associations and companies from more than 40 countries–each member active in the design, conception, production, and services used at exhibitions, tradeshows, and events. All members are required to sign and abide by the IFES Code of Conduct. For more info, visit www.ifesnet.com.

This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Exhibit City News, p. 58. For more pictures and original layout, visit http://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecnflipbook_julyaugust2018_web?e=16962537/62860459

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