Crocus International has been operating since 1990. By 2000, its programme already included 15 exhibitions covering the widest variety of branches of the economy. In its first 10 years, the company held a total of more than 100 international specialised trade exhibitions in such fields as computer equipment and information technology, telecommunications and the like, electronic and electrical household equipment, TV and radio, photography and photographic equipment, the food industry and food products, textile production and fashion, perfumery and cosmetics, sports equipment and clothing, and goods for the home.
Dozens of Western firms entered the Russian market thanks to Crocus exhibitions: Compaq, Danone, Nestlé, Cadbury, suppliers of high-fashion clothes from Italy, France and Germany, manufacturers and suppliers of electronic and electrical household equipment. Crocus International and the American company Comtec International were the creators of such world-famous Russian exhibitions as the “Comtec” and “Netcom” IT exhibitions, “World Food” for food products, “Moda” for ready-to-wear high-fashion clothing and “Teleradiobroadcastexpo” for television equipment.
ВВЦ = AEC (All-Russian Exhibition Centre)
The exhibition complex is managed by the state company “Vserossiysky vystavochny tsentr” (All-Russian Exhibition Centre”), 70% of the shares in which are owned by the Russian government and 30% by the Moscow administration. AEC hold about 150 exhibitions each year. AEC is visited by about 15,000,000 people a year, a third of who are specialists in the relevant industries. The history of the exhibition complex officially began with its opening in 1939 as the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. In 1959, the complex was widened in scope and became the Exhibition of Achievements of the USSR National Economy.
There are now a number of subdivisions of AEC organising exhibition-type events:- the directorate of organising exhibition events;
- the department of exhibition and congress activities;
- and the department of advertising activities and event holding.
Apart from these, there are two specialist enterprises for organising exhibitions and trade fairs: ZAO AEC International Exhibition Complex and OAO Specialist Exhibition Complex of state company AEC.
Another one is ZAO AEC Economic Management, which has also been operating in the exhibition services market since the year 2000.
КВЦ = CEC “Sokolniki”
Exhibitions have been held at Sokolniki since Soviet times: from 1959, in the capital’s green zone. There is a gilded cupola in this park, which is a favourite place of leisure for Muscovites, and alongside it are other exhibition pavilions.
The first exhibition held here was the “Exhibition of Industrial Products of the USA”, preparations for which included the reconstruction of the park, giving it a new image. Since then, exhibitions at Sokolniki have become regular events. A new enterprise was created in March 1990: Kongressnovystavochny tsentr “Sokolniki” (Congress and Exhibition Centre “Sokolniki”)
The main task of the CEC is to provide each Russian industry with its own professional exhibition, which must not only demonstrate technical and technological achievements, but also give a true indication of changes within the industry in question. For this reason, each exhibition is accompanied by a full business programme, including seminars, conferences and round-table discussions on the most topical themes for the specific industry.
Today, CEC “Sokolniki”, together with ZAO “MVK” (= MEC, Moscow Exhibition Centres) and its partners, organises and conducts more than 80 specialized exhibitions a year.
As long ago as the middle of the last century, the All-Union Chamber of Commerce created an exhibitions department, which later became the Directorate of International and Foreign Exhibitions in the USSR. This was succeeded by the Expocentre exhibition complex. In 1959, Expocentre held a huge exhibition of industrial products of the USA in Sokolniki Park. It was opened by Nikita Khrushchev and the then Vice-President of the USA, Richard Nixon.
In the mid-seventies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the USSR applied to the government to build a new up-to-date exhibition complex on the bank of the Moskva river next to Krasnaya Presnya Park. The first exhibition pavilion opened there in 1978. Pavilions 2 and 3 came into use later, and also the “Forum” pavilion, with its unique architectural structure in the form of a glass pyramid. “Forum” became the symbol of Expocentre. In 2002 came the opening of the seventh pavilion, which for the first time implemented the idea of a two-level exhibition complex with divisible halls. Twenty-three Expocentre types of exhibition have been awarded UFI marks (UFI = Union des Foires Internationales, a worldwide organisation for the exhibition industry). These were: Chemistry; Consumer Expo; Health; Produce Expo; Furniture; Forestry and Timber Machinery; Metal Processing; Agricultural Production Machinery; Communications-Expocomm; Electro; Light Industry Machinery; The World of Glass; Oil and Gas; The World of Childhood; Footwear: the World of Leather; Advertising; Stores, Transport and Logistics; Photonics: the World of Lasers and Optics; Inter-lacquer-paint; Toys and Games; CJF Children’s Fashion; Healthy Way of Life; and 5pEXPO.
Expocentre was the first exhibition organisation in Eastern Europe to become a member of the European Major Exhibition Centres Association(EMECA), in 2012. The total exhibition area is 165,000 sq.m., including 105,000 sq.m. under cover and 60,000 sq.m. in the open. Over 100 exhibitions are held here every year. They are visited by more than two million specialists. More than 700 congresses, symposia and conferences are held.