IFES World Summit in Review

The IFES World Summit 2017 took place in France last month, in June 2017. Nicole East from Compex had the chance to not only attend the conference but also continue on to Almelo in the Netherlands to join an Ospi exchange programme, visiting Paris in between, and heading to Amsterdam with the Expovorm team afterwards.

One of the largest gatherings of international exhibition stand builders across the globe, the IFES Summit was all about innovation, networking, knowledge-sharing and sustainability. Taking place in Le Grande Motte, Montpellier, in the South of France, this three-day summit was a busy event featuring workshops and speakers, and a range of topics varying from marketing to education and sustainability.

Key Insights from IFES World Summit 2017

As the Compex representative on the scene at the IFES World Summit 2017, Nicole had plenty to report back on her experiences and insights over the course of the conference. Some of our top highlights over the course of the event included the following:

The venue:

The summit took place at Club Belambra, Presqu’île du Ponant, in Le Grande Motte, Montpellier. In 2012, this French town was listed in The New York Times list of top 45 places to visit. The town is fast gaining a reputation as southern Europe’s largest business destination, making this the ideal choice for the IFES Summit 2017.

The speakers:

The calibre of speakers were excellent, and it was clear that internationally, the industry faces many of the same challenges, as well as the same common goals and strategies. There were also some interesting panel discussions on Business in France. Martin Joos from Adunic spoke about the emotive aspect of our industry, Pablo Nakhle-Cerruti spoke about ways that venues can transform events into unique experiences, Detlef Wintzen from Insglueck spoke about the German narrative of future energy, and Jeremy Stubbs hosted a collaboration workshop that focused on issues such as demand for IFES and exhibition expectations, and how the industry is continuing to grow.

Greatest impact:

There was a speed design challenge presentation done by three speakers that made a huge impact, showcasing design features and trends from Euroshop and global shows. This was very informative, showing us how European trends are developing and shaping the industry. The German pavilion presentation on Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan was an eye-opening experience. The technology used in this pavilion was high tech, and the vision from these designers was mind blowing. Nicole really enjoyed the team brainstorming sessions, where industry ideas where discussed, as well as what IFES could do to assist the global network. Sustainability was also a key topic at this IFES Conference.

The difference in SA industry vs the industry in Europe

On a global platform, it was clear that we face similar challenges. Many European partners build numerously cross-border. In Africa, we are one of the few companies that venture north into Africa to build, such as Nigeria, and Rwanda. There are no IFES members currently based in these regions, therefore the potential for Compex partnerships in these countries is promising.

The networking opportunities:

Nicole found the networking opportunities phenomenal. She shared that these engagement opportunities are important as it gives all companies the chance to partner globally and focus on business partnering, as well as to learn from each other.

All in all, it goes without saying that the IFES World Summit 2017 offered plenty of insight and value to all who attended. The Compex team is proud to be represented at this major industry event.