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INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA KOZLOVA

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FIRST-TIME exclusive interview with a cleaning professional. Cleanexpo Exhibition director Victoria Kozlova shares information on Russian cleaning market!

You have twisted fortune with cleaning. When did it happen?

It is better to say that I started my exhibition activity, or rather became a member of Primexpo company, the organizer of international industry trade shows, where I have been working since 1996.

Victoria, what is “cleaning” for you and what place does it take in your life?

Since the work, and therefore Cleanexpo trade show, is of a key importance in my life, CLEANING as an industry, with its up-to-date problems, achievements and personalities – is an integral part of my life.

Now let’s move closer to a main topic of our conversation. Not all readers, unfortunately, can be familiar with Clean Expo. How long has the exhibition existed?

For the first time Cleanexpo trade show was held in 1999 in St. Petersburg. Since 2006 we are the organizers of Cleanexpo exhibition in Moscow as well.

The prehistory of its long existence is interesting. So how did Russian market develop such a large-scale project? How did it all start, and how did the idea of such a trade show in Russia appear?

For the first time, Cleanexpo in St. Petersburg gathered only about 50 exhibitors.  Even at that time there were foreign guests from Italy and Finland among the exhibitors. Now Cleanexpo is a leading Russian event, which attracts a large number of guests from abroad

Victoria, what difficulties did you and your team face with the implementation of this project?

Since Russian cleaning is a relatively young industry, during the first years of Cleanexpo, much attention was paid to the educational content: what is a professional cleaning? What are the latest methods and technologies used in the world? What types of machines and chemical products will bring better results and remove difficult stains and soil? – for many of our visitors during the years these issues have become a revelation. In the beginning of 2000 cleaning in Russia developed rapidly.

I know that you did not stop at one project and now Cleanexpo is taking place in 5 cities! Can you tell us a little in what sequence the trade shows have been opened? Why was the choice made in favor of these regions?

For now, except for Moscow and St. Petersburg, Cleanexpo has been conducted in Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Kazan and Yalta. We chose all the cities, having studied the wishes of our customers and their readiness to try their hand at this or that region.

How international is the trade show? What countries are the exhibitors from?

As the time is extended , Cleanexpo has become a truly international event: annually exhibitors membership includes up to 30% of foreign manufacturers looking for ways to discover a very  prospective  Russian market.

What does a new exhibitor get from the first participation?

We are not an exception: any well-organized specialized trade show gives the exhibitor a strong pulse for the development and sales growth, namely, new customers,  reinforcement of the image ,  different vendors , acquaintance with market trends, and monitoring of competitive activity .

How often do foreign companies exhibit? What is the trend of participation of foreign companies? Does it happen once or do the exhibitors return again and again?

In most cases, foreign exhibitors find Russian partners in the first year of participation, which allows them to come to the next year’ show just as VIP guests, supporting their dealers. Some of foreign exhibitors reserve booths once per 2 years, but there are also those who are our  long-term customers for 15 years now!

How does the economic situation and sanctions affect the participation in the trade show?

Sanctions led to a reduction in the number of foreign exhibitors, but Cleanexpo remained an international exhibition in which the place of European exhibitors was taken up by manufacturers from India, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. At the same time, the number of Russian producers exhibiting in the trade show has significantly increased and their growth continues to increase. One can say the sanctions stimulated the development of domestic cleaning!

Finally. What are your plans for the future? Are you planning to open in other cities?

The plans are to organize a spring CE in a new region, soon we will announce this on our website.

 

 

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