IELA just trained 39 new industry professionals -WINTER SEMINAR 2019


IELA held its 9th edition of the biennial IELA Winter Seminar in Zurich from January 16th to 20th. This event offers an exclusive training programme dedicated to addressing the complex issues and procedures of the exhibition logistics industry.

Focusing on the younger generations and newcomers among IELA staff members, this year’s edition welcomed 39 students representing 38 member companies from 24 different countries. Practically three quarters of the 2019 WS class were under 35 years old and over 50% of the participants had less than 3 years of experience in the industry.

CONNECT: The dedicated networking sessions (e.g. Speed Dating) throughout the duration of the seminar secure a professional, effective and personal network. Being in the early stages of their career, this brings unbounding positive effects for each attendee and enhances their potential.
Furthermore the students had the opportunity to get to know each other personally during the accompanying social events. A real IELA team spirit was created at the Day in the Snow.
The IELA Board of Management had the pleasure of meeting the young professionals at the Board Reception and therefore strengthened the connection between IELA and the students
LEARN: During the three intensive days of training and networking the students experienced, 11 lectures, 3 case studies, 1 role-play session and 1 fairground tour, taught by IELA professionals and external speakers.
IELA Veterans Bas Wiendels (Valverde B.V.), Dominique Geiser (BTG Suisse AG), Jim Callaghan (European International (Fairs) Ltd.), Alessandra Dellavedova (Expotrans S.p.A.), Vicki Bedi (PSBedi Group), Emmanuel Pitchelu (E.S.I. Expo Service International) & Daniel Bataller (Sempex AG) made sure that the IELA professionals of tomorrow are being trained today
SUCCEED: Many Winter Seminar alumni play a vital role in the industry. In a very short timeframe, past participants take part in the annual IELA Congress as representatives of middle and high management from IELA member companies. We will soon welcome our delegates at the Congress. In addition, a new Task Force has emerged from the after-hour Campfire session to support the IELA Sustainability Guidelines objective.

Experienced event professionals representing venues & organisers offered the students a different angle to improve the overall understanding of the industry as a whole.

Christina Beuth (Head of Traffic Management & Logistics Department, Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH) discussed the challenges and needs of large venues to ensure a functional supply chain before, during and after an event to give the students a better understanding of how to professionally work together as partners.

Rowena Arzt
(Director of Exhibitions, WZF) gave insights in the workings of organisers and their requirements not only for a fluent logistics concept but for the whole planning process for international trade shows.

Tobias Schrödel
, an IT security expert, illustrated the dangers of modern technology and the necessary security measures which everyone can easily implement to make complete operation systems in companies more secure.

Besides having external speakers, IELA experts gave valuable lessons in the workings of the exhibition logistics industry. They not only conveyed the basics but presented that “little bit extra” which an IELA member possesses in order to give them an edge over the competition. From role-plays to case studies, every aspect was designed to give them the highest amount of knowledge in the short time available.
The three intensive days of training and networking were followed by "A Day In The Snow". A refreshing way to create bounding moments!

The next edition of the Winter Seminar will take place in January 2021.

The IELA Winter Seminar, launched in 1987, is designed by the IELA Education and Programme Training Working Group to offer high quality educational sessions focused on the day-to-day of the exhibition freight forwarders and on-site operation business.

IELA wants to extend their heartfelt thanks to all participants,volunteers helping organising this event and offering their time to lecture the students as well of course our sponsors without the event would not have been possible.


IELA International Exhibition Logistics Association
4, rue Charles-Bonnet
P.O. Box 399
1211 Geneva 12, Switzerland



TQ Consulting GmbH
66060 Sarnen, Switzerland

T +41 41 661 17 18
F +41 41 661 17 19