Participation in MITT exhibition as part of cooperation with the St. Petersburg Convention Bureau

As part of a pilot project, conducted jointly with the St. Petersburg Convention and Exhibition Bureau, 2nd year students of the UNECON School of Service, Tourism and Hospitality, “Event Management” educational program (“Service” major) had the opportunity to participate in the exhibition MITT 2023 International Travel & Hospitality Show for the first time. The exhibition was held from March 16 to 18, 2023 at Crocus Expo Exhibition Center in Moscow.

Varvara Desyatnikova, Vladislav Naumov, Daria Noskova, group C-2101 students, under the supervision of Karina Mikhailova, Academic Director of “Event Management” educational program, were able to see the different sides of how a large international exhibition with a business program was organized and held.

This initiative gave the students an opportunity to get acquainted at first hand with various processes of organizing a large-scale international event, to develop skills in building communication and networking (in English as well), to take part in professional activities of St. Petersburg stand in accordance with the assigned tasks.

Such project allows to determine a new vector in strategic cooperation between the UNECON School of Service, Tourism and Hospitality and St. Petersburg Convention Bureau, to develop practice-oriented and project-based approach in the educational process of the Chair of Hospitality and Congress and Exhibition Activity, and to strengthen the position of the educational programs among the professional community. It is further assumed that the project will be implemented step by step to immerse students in professional and event-based activities.

Varvara Desyatnikova, 2nd year student, group C-2101: “It was really interesting and useful to visit an exhibition on this scale, because we were able to see everything from the inside, to observe the communication between foreign and Russian participants, to analyze the communication between the exhibitors and visitors. The most important point is that during those 3 days we were both visitors (when we explored the exhibition and collected contact data of the stand participants) and exhibitors of St. Petersburg stand. The acquired skills and knowledge will be very helpful and relevant for our major”.

Vladislav Naumov, 2nd year student, group C-2101: “As part of our education, we often talked about the importance of communication in our field, and the difficulties and barriers that can arise in personal interactions. The project with the St. Petersburg Convention Bureau allowed us to evaluate these aspects in practice and update our knowledge at the MITT exhibition. We were immersed into the atmosphere of B2B networking almost immediately; we had an opportunity to communicate with business representatives, look at the behavior of exhibitors in interaction with the participants; we evaluated the organizational aspects of the business program. This project is a good opportunity to combine theoretical knowledge with a practical base”.

Daria Noskova, 2nd year student, group C-2101: “The project by the St. Petersburg Convention Bureau is really helpful for students of our educational program. We often volunteer at various events, but this time we were on the other side. The show features and functionality changed a lot. We got an opportunity to communicate with exhibitors directly, to observe the work of the exhibition stands. In my opinion, each day of the MITT exhibition gave a very useful insight into the real objectives of the exhibition and the attitude of different segments of the exhibitors. I think that if we hadn’t participated in this project, the opportunity to gain such knowledge and skills would only have been possible during permanent employment”.

The Chair of Hospitality and Congress and Exhibition Activity expresses its profound gratitude to the St. Petersburg Convention and Exhibition Bureau for supporting the pilot project and looks forward to further fruitful cooperation and development of such an important initiative for core education in the event industry.

Photo courtesy of St. Petersburg Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg