Operational Excellence: Focus on smooth freight handling


In times of a fast moving exhibition world with tight build up and dismantling periods as well as growth of freight traffic operational excellence and efficiencies enhancing service standards is key for the global exhibition freight forwarding value chain.

The IELA Operations Summit is first and foremost a platform to lead a focused dialogue on operations management and market trends with venue operators, exhibition organisers and industry experts.

For the second time the IELA Operations Summit was held at the HKCEC in Hong Kong from February 1st until 3rd 2018.

The IELA Operations Summit brought together the organisers and the operations managers once again to strengthen cooperation improving the industry’s performance.

According to the theme "Operational Excellence" IELA offered a fully funded event to 61 delegates representing 53 IELA members from 27 countries and provided 10 engaging lectures by IELA experts from all over the world as well as valuable insights from Konstantin Stathopoulos, Head of Sales & Handling South China, Hong Kong & Taiwan of Lufthansa Cargo AG, with his presentation about Airline operations and the talk about logistics requirements of exhibition centres and their solutions by Ian Hume, Director Department Event Technology & Logistics at Messe Düsseldorf.

Topics included:

  • Emmanuel Pitchelu started off with an in depth presentation about the history of IELA and highlighted the latest IELA members benefits such as the monthly webinars and industry relations projects
  • The importance of the IELA standards of performance by Mariane Ewbank, IELA Chairwoman
  • Daniel Mithran shared his expertise in Occupational Health and Safety to set an example for the whole industry
  • Site Operations by Erkki Koski. A glimpse in onsite procedures of exhibition logistics experts
  • How to shift power to become a leader and enable oneself and colleagues to improve was presented by Vicki Bedi
  • Philipp Woll in depth presented why customs clearance in Russia is so complicated and how to declare shipments correctly.
  • Tania Khodayar focused on the generational shift in times of retiring baby boomers and ambitious millennials and showed how IELA members

Another highlight of the Operations Summit was a guided tour through the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with a close inspection of the logistical environment. The focus of the tour was on traffic regulation how to prioritise the trucks to this multi-story building through planning and hydraulic container lifts. 

In addition to the presentations, the well-known IELA 1-2-1 networking sessions offered the delegates a variety of fruitful meetings and discussions about their operations experience to develop their network as well as streamline customer service by improving collaboration within the IELA membership.

Even though the Summit took place in an exhibition peak time it was proven again by the number of attendance, that IELA created another knowledge platform in a personal and familiar atmosphere with a high level of knowledge and quality, good opportunities for face-to-face discussions and networking among event and exhibition logistics professionals.

IELA would like to express their heartfelt thanks with regard to all delegates that attend the 2nd Operations Summit, to all lecturers – especially Konstantin Stathopoulos from Lufthansa Cargo AG and Ian Hume from Messe Düsseldorf as well as all sponsors who made this event possible.


IELA International Exhibition Logistics Association
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P.O. Box 399
1211 Geneva 12, Switzerland



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