IELA Congress & Partnering Event

Each year, the IELA members gather for the IELA Congress, our association’s annual flagship event. It is a mix of socialising, sharing knowledge, networking, and strengthening business relationships among members.

The event is divided into 4 parts: the General Assembly, the IELA Forum, the Working Group Meetings and the Networking Sessions. 

During the General Assembly, the membership takes a number of actions that impact the association’s future. The Board of Management, the Chair, and the Committee members are elected and many decisions for the association are made. 


Past Congresses:

26th IELA Congress, Seoul / Korea, 09. - 12.06.2011

120 attendees from 73 companies represented 37 countries at the 26th IELA Congress & General Assembly held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, Korea from 9th - 12th June 2011. 

The formal, decision-making General Assembly opened proceedings on the first morning with brief Reports by out-going Chairman (Achim Lotzwick, Cretschmar MesseCargo GmbH) and Treasurer (Christoph Rauch, BTG Messe-Spedition GmbH). This was followed by the election of new Chairman Robert Moore who runs Agility Fairs & Events Pty (Australia) Ltd and three new members to the Board of Management; Vicki Bedi P S Bedi & Co. Pvt. Ltd | PSBedi Group ,Tijen Ozer Ida Expo and James Ng Transit Air Cargo Singapore Pte. Ltd. who now join Lotzwick, Rauch, Feyzan Erel Gruptrans International Transport and Trade Co., Ltd. and Executive Director Alan Hunter GBH Exhibition Forwarding Ltd. 

Bob Moore built on The Vision that Lotzwick had reminded Congress which is »To see IELA known worldwide as a guarantee of professionalism in Exhibition Logistics, so that the whole industry - Venue Owners, Organisers, Exhibitors, Customs Authorities, Service Providers, Trade Associations - chooses IELA members for their events.« 

Bob spoke candidly to Congress about the work to simplify corporate structure from a two board, Swiss Co-operative to a more efficient Swiss based Not-For Profit company. He talked about Open Networking saying that immediately post the 27th IELA Congress in Barcelona in 2012, non-members may be invited to a 1-2-1 meeting event with the IELA members. The re-invigoration of the Regional Chapter meetings and the Ops Club for junior executives is also planned. 

Passionate People Produce was the mantra and delegates were urged to «˜Preach the Brand´ to increase global awareness by engaging more actively with local and regional organizer associations as well as with UFI. New Working Groups chairs were appointed for two of the five committees while a new Sustainability Working Group is also in the offing. 

Breakout Sessions saw delegates address the four hot topics of:

  • FUTURE CONGRESSES - The participation in an IELA Congress is an investment for all members. What elements of the present Congress should be kept, what are unpopular ones and what ideas to we have for inclusions to make the Congress more exciting. Should the Congress constantly move or is time and are travel costs too important.
  • IELA HAS OBJECTIVES - Should these be updated after 26 years and if so, how?
  • NETWORKING - We have constantly raised the subject of networking with the outside world! Should IELA hold a networking day following the Congress open to non IELA exhibition and event forwarders? If so what should be the format?
  • MEMBER BENEFITS - Association value: Access a unique global database of specialised customs procedures and regulations. 
    Take part in exclusive training and shared learning seminars that develop staff at all levels. 
    Access information, research, support or advice that may help your business; if we can´t help directly, we usually know someone that can! Focus on increasing the professionalism of exhibition transportation 
    Annual Standards Survey - A unique customer service development tool that benchmarks company performance.
  • EVENTS: Annual Congress. An ideal platform for informal social networking, with a platform for one-on-one meetings. 
    Winter Seminar. Education & networking event for operational staff Partnering events open to Non-IELAs
  • COMMUNITY: Opportunity to promote your business to the wider exhibition and event community. 
    Access to a network of over 100 specialist companies worldwide 
    Contact with potential clients through IELA´s partnerships with major event organisations such as UFI, IAEM, ECEF, EIA, AEO and others. 
  • MARKETING & PROMOTION: Website exposure a as member - listing, logo, synopsis and media releases. 
    Editorial coverage in the bi-annual IELA Report regarding new services and products. 
    Member only sponsorship opportunities at the annual IELA Congress, Winter Seminar and other networking events, giving great visibility among industry players. 
    Opportunities to meet and network with your peers by attending various IELA events 
    Opportunities to advertise on printed collateral and online 
    Sponsor Surveys - get answers to your own questions and brand exposure Do we need to sharpen or change these and what are the main priorities?

And the winners are ... The annual peer-to-peer, service-level based awards were presented at the Gala Dinner, sponsored by PS Bedi. 

  • TWI Group New York won the 2011 IELA Export Agent with IDA Expo, Turkey as runner up. 
  • Kemi - Lee Co., Ltd, Korea won the 2011 IELA On-Site Agent with OTIM, Italy as runner up. 

Past IELA Chairman, Greg Keh of TWI Group was awarded Honorary Member status and Daniel Bataller of Gondrand Switzerland was thanked in his absence with a Merit Award for his services to training the next generation at the bi-annual (every two years) Winter Seminar held in Zurich. 

We want to thank all Korean Host Members for their support!

25th IELA Congress, Paris / France, 24.-27.06.2010 

IELA's Silver Anniversary was certainly celebrated in style and what a spectacular city to celebrate it in. We worked hard and we played hard, but still met our objective of getting »Back to Basics« - networking, meeting friends and writing business! This is one Congress that will be remembered for a very long time. 

Well it is now all over for another year, but the excitement is already building up for next year as we move to the capital of Korea - Seoul! 

An old Korean proverb goes 'even if you have to crawl on your knees, get yourself to Seoul!' 

See you there!

24th IELA Congress, London / UK, 25.-28.06.2009

Back in Europe for the first time in three years, the 2009 IELA Congress is expected to draw more of the world's leading event logistics specialists than ever before. Now officially less expensive than New York for the first time since 2002, the weak British currency is just another great incentive to visit London and take part in the 24th IELA Congress.  

The UK's exhibition industry is very strong, arguably the global leader, with not only more than 800 major events held annually, but host to some of the world's most dynamic and innovative organisers. These organisers have cloned and rolled out their event portfolios into markets across the planet, creating opportunities for supplies of every sort. We are delighted to announce that delegates to this year's IELA Congress will have the chance to hear 'words of wisdom' from the very people that shape our sector, to meet them and interrogate with them!  

As with any family gathering, the 2009 Congress is a time to catch with friends from far a field and to get to know and welcome new ones. Following a record breaking year for new IELA members, come to London to meet, do business with and enjoy the company of fellow professionals from around the world at this unique assembly.  

But the IELA Congress is not all work«¦. There is plenty of time within our programme to let your hair down and enjoy some fabulous social events, while taking in historic and contemporary London. If you haven't been before, or it's been a few years since your last visit, grab this great opportunity to mix real business with real pleasure and book now to attend the 24th IELA Congress. 

23rd IELA Congress, Melbourne / Australia, 25.-29.05.2008

Experience Melbourne 

So what attracts more than 5.5 million people to a snake infested island? It's certainly not the rugby; maybe it's the cricket or could it be the wonderful climate, beautiful beaches, laissez-faire Ocker attitude, or the increasing business opportunities in this haven of economic solace at the heart of the raging Asian-Pacific tiger?   More than 80,000 exhibitors a year have found good reason to participate at events in Australia according to the Exhibition and Events Association of Australia who estimate the sector's added value contribution to the economy (for events of more than 500 square metres of net space) at more than A$1.2 billion annually. But with just 25% of exhibitions having an international component at present, the only way is up! 

Melbourne is therefore the ideal location for the IELA Congress 2008. Book your flights now and come and experience the delights of the world's most liveable city.

22th IELA Congress, Santiago de Chile / Chile, 24.-28.06.2007

We want to thank all sponsors of the 22th IELA Congress for their support!

21th IELA Congress, Athens / Greece, 18.-22.06.2006

  • IELA Board of Management: Guido Fornelli (Treasurer), Margaret Churchill, Phil Powell (Incoming Chairman), Ravinder Sethi (Chairman), Robert Moore, Maria Lorenz and Greg Keh

  • IELA Best Export Agent Award 2005 to OTIM Milan
    Giampiero Beltrami and Mario Carniglia of OTIM and Neil Goatcher, Chairman of the IELA Standards Committee

  • IELA Best Site Agent Award 2005 to Trans-Link Express Bangkok
    Ravinder Sethi, Chairman of the IELA Board of Management, Suthichai Techanarungroj, of Trans-Link Bangkok,  and Neil Goatcher, Chairman of the IELA Standards Committee

20th IELA Congress, New Dehli / India, 30.01.-03.02.2005

Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi

Sardar Patel Marg 

Diplomatic Enclave 

New Delhi 110 021 


Tel No.: (91-11) 2611 0202 

Fax: (91-11) 2611 0808, 2688 4848 

18th IELA Congress, Rome / Italy, 29.06.-03.07.2003

A year has gone by, and here we are meeting again in the beautiful city of Rome - an enthralling city from the middle Ages, combining old and new, past and future, hectic business, trade, fashion, passion and connoisseur cuisine.

Our annual General Assembly and Congress this year is another link in the long chain of our association's tradition to meet our members, friends, colleagues, network and learn what IELA has done for us - as well as for the whole industry - in the past year. Furthermore, the Congress is your area to bring in new ideas and determine our agenda for the coming year.

Elections of the Board of Management, as well as the Election Panel, will take place this year. We have extremely capable members, who are willing to contribute from their own experience, time and money for the association. We thank all the respectful candidates for agreeing to take on the heavy responsibility of carrying this burden for the term of two years.

What else have we got this year? The Committee Chairpersons are eagerly waiting to present their work. We have conducted a standards survey, prepared our bi-annual Seminar for Basic Exhibition Logistics, which will take place in Zurich next January and a surprising Executive Seminar will be presented. We shall hear interesting reviews of our meetings with Organisers associations, PR work and last - but not least - we are about to launch the "IELA EXPO" - a refreshing opportunity for the members to exhibit their services to the Congress attendees. The important role of our guest speakers, as a window of opportunity for all of us to learn and widen our scope, has not been forgotten.

Side by side with the official parts and the "Time to Meet" - we are going to experience the unique atmosphere of the beautiful city of Rome, visit some of its fascinating museums, art and. taste the flavours of heaven in its world-renowned cooking. Angel Hair? Gemelli? Linguine? Radiatore? Penne Ziti? Learn about all of these - and more -with IELA. Buon appetito.

See you in Rome! 

Chairman of the Board

Ron Berry 

17th IELA Congress, Las Vegas / USA, 12-16 May 2002

Long before the events of September 11th took place, IELA had already chosen Las Vegas as the venue for its 2002 Annual Congress. The fact that the choice of venue has remained and that the participation at this year's congress is very high, not only shows IELA's members' solidarity with the people of America, but also the importance of America in the exhibition business world.

Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, Orlando and Toronto are major tradeshow and convention cities of the United States of America. 

Some of the largest North American Tradeshows take place in Las Vegas, such as Magic, Comdex, NAB, and Networld Interop. 

All together, Las Vegas attracts over 4 million convention delegates and the economic impact is more than US$ 4 billion annually. With world-class convention facilities boasting over 4.5 million sq.ft. (405,000 sq.m) of total exhibit space, Las Vegas also has over 110 Hotels with over 2 million sq. ft. (180,000 sq.m) of total meeting space.

Many of us all witnessed the terrorism that has hit the US shores on September 11, 2001. The profound impact that this act has had is also significant to the North American Tradeshow Industry. According to show statistics compiled by Tradeshow Week, by the end of last year, the fourth quarter shows reported staggering decreases compared to 2000 in net square footage (-8.6%), exhibiting companies (-6.8%) and professional attendance (-20.4%). 

Other factors that have impacted the US Industry included airline safety, travel and monetary restrictions, and overall market depression.

However, we are also starting to see the signs of health in the industry. As of this writing, one of the largest shows in Las Vegas, the Conexpo-Con/AGG 2002 show has already set a record in exhibit space sales, surpassing the 1.7 million sq. ft. used at the last show in 1999. In addition, exhibitors are up by 23.3% from 1653 in 1999 to 2038 in 2002! 

In many respects the North American tradeshow industry is unique compared to the rest of the world. Such terms as exclusive drayage, forced freight, advanced warehouse, weight tickets, targeted move-in, are common at tradeshows in Canada and the United States, but unique to the rest of the world.

Have exhibitors complained about having labor forced onto them, rather than using their own set up crews? Have they complained about the Average U.S. Tradeshow Labor Rates, which is $50-66.00 per hour per laborer? No one I know makes this kind of money, but this is the going rate to pay in most exhibition markets. 

Most importantly, are these costs too high and are they restricting the market? Well, according to the latest reports from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the market in North America is a robust and vibrant one. Why North America? 

  • There are over 13,185 exhibitions held in Canada and the United States annually.
  • Total gross revenue generated was $ 10.4 billion. 
  • Total economic impact was $120 billion. 
  • Total qualified buyers were 44.4 million.

The "Top Ten" Exhibition Cities in USA are: 

1. Orlando 

2. Las Vegas 

3. Toronto 

4. Chicago* 

5. New Orleans  56. Atlanta 

7. Dallas 

8. New York 

9. San Diego 

10. Washington DC

16th IELA Congress in Beijing / P.R. China, 6-10 May 2001

More than 100 delegates representing 70 member companies participated in the 16th IELA Annual Congress in Beijing.

The choice of Beijing for this event highlights IELA's interest in China's flourishing exhibition industry and also

Due to the increase in membership it has also become necessary to raise the number of Board Members to 8 in total. The assembly voted for Ravinder Sethi of R.E. Rogers India as well as for Maria Lorenz of BTG Messe-Spedition as new Board members. 
The new Board of Management, elected for a period of 2 years, now consists of :

  • Thierry Demeure, Ziegler Expo Logistics
  • Sim Kian Kiat, Trans-Link Exhibition Forwarding Pte. Ltd, Singapore   
    Vice Chairman
  • Ron Berry, Amit Ltd., Tel Aviv
  • Thomas Luechinger, Natural Ltd., Basel
  • Ron Koehler, Schenker Sydney
  • Pentti Flink, Nurminen Prima Oy, Helsinki
  • Ravinder Sethi, R.E. Rogers New Delhi
  • Maria Lorenz, BTG Messe-Spedition GmbH Augsburg

IELA was honoured to welcome several guest speakers in Beijing. Mme Chen Ruowei, President of the China International Exhibition Center (CIEC), who is a highly respected professional in the exhibition industry worldwide and a good friend of IELA, reported on the new situation, new concepts and solutions of China's exhibition industry during the session of the Organisers Committee.Mr. Sun Gang, Deputy Director-General of the Exhibition Department of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) gave an interesting survey on China's overseas exhibition industry, its further development and trade and governmental policy.The presentation of the newly restructured IELA website, which was supplemented and updated to match the new layout (, was met with high approval by the representatives. Site contents will constantly be further developed and completed by a "chat" platform. Moreover, useful links for visitors will be added. During the Congress the participants were given more time to meet together for individual meetings, in order to establish new business contacts and enhance professional relationships. A lot of new members participated in this annual event for the first time and made use of the active collaboration and lively discussions on activities, current issues and problems encountered in China's exhibition industry. A 'cultural programme' had also been organised and the participants enjoyed, among other things, an excursion trip to the Great Wall and some presentations of the ancient Chinese way of living (art of noodle making, art of Qigong - to name a few examples).The annual meeting was regarded as a great success by all participants, however, the sudden passing away of Klaus Rauch - past Chairman and Board Member and well-known among the membership - a few days after the congress, cast a shadow over this meeting.The next annual event will take place in Las Vegas from 12 - 16 May 2002.


IELA International Exhibition Logistics Association
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P.O. Box 399
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