‘Best is yet to come’, says IELA as it gets back to F2F and charts journey to net zero carbon

After three years without meeting in person, the International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA) will gather its members for its 37th Annual Congress in Bruges, Belgium. From 27-29 June delegates will focus on net zero carbon events and address how the new reality is affecting their companies.

Two hundred delegates are expected to attend from 130 companies and from 47 countries. The Congress will be followed by the 9th IELA Partnering Event which runs until 1 July.

Guido Fornelli, 2020-2022 IELA chairperson and managing director of Expotrans S.p.A., Italy, says we are still living in great uncertainty, “but the massive restart of exhibitions in the last couple of months makes me feel that ‘the best is yet to come’. We must understand how to respond to market changes and rise again, adapting our services to new needs and, in particular, to business sustainability which will be a main focus at our Congress.

“Greater co-operation among partners will be key in the future and IELA provides once again the best platform to develop new business during its Congress period.”

Christian Druart, UFI, and Olivia Ruggles-Brise, Greenview, UK, will open the 2022 IELA Forum and launch the discussion by sharing the advancements in the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative Road Map and how to get started.

IELA will also present in Bruges a new code of conduct written by its Power Up Task Force. The code is designed to promote and activate the integration of sustainability, equity and respect for individuals and the environment in a wide range of differing aspects.

The IELA Partnering Event which follows the Congress is open to non-members and this ninth edition will offer opportunities for international networking and the exchange of experience between exhibition and event logistics experts and partners around the world. It is designed to enhance business opportunities and provide an introduction to the association. On 1 July additional networking opportunities will focus on Fine Art, Sports, Entertainment, Mega Events and Project Logistics.

Sandi Trotter, 2020-2022 IELA vice-chairperson and director of TWI Group Inc. (Canada), comments: “At this critical point in our industry, it has never been more important to sustain our networking opportunities and prospects.  We all share the common goal to build back better and stronger. This is the most valuable instrument for success.”

She also highlighted the need for in-person events, explaining that “Technology provides us with many ways to stay in touch, to make business and develop relationships. However, even with all these tools at our fingertips, face-to-face meetings remain a compelling, valid and necessary aspect of business life.” 

Elizabeth Niehaus, executive officer of IELA, added that the industry could and must do better. “As an association, we can embrace change and challenges much better together… IELA has applied several measures to reduce actively the waste and carbon footprint generated by the Congress. We look forward to sharing the journey with our delegates, reporting our progress on the different sustainable initiatives.”

For the very first time, the association’s Working Group meetings will take place as hybrid events.

More information about #IELAbruges22 www.iela.org/events/upcoming-events.html