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19Exhibition World | Country ProfileAs a result, exhibitors have begun to approach theirchoice of exhibition project and stand design morecarefully.""The construction industry was one of the first to feel theeffects of the crisis. As a result, constructioncompanieshave been forced to cut their advertising budgets byceasing to participate in exhibitions. However, thereare now positive trends in the industry."Some industries flourish in times of crisis. Securityexhibition SFITEX, for example, showed growth. "Thedifficult financial and economic situation in the countryhas, of course affected the criminal situation," saysTarasova. "This has given new impetus to thedevelopment of security equipment."According to Pavkina Al'fiya Ansarovna, generaldirector of the JSC District Exhibition Centre, venueand organiser in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomousregion, much of the region's exhibition businesscentres on local industries. "In 2009 our exhibitionswere visited by 77,700 people, about two-thirds ofwhom were specialists in different branches of theautonomous region's industry," she says."Exhibition measures conducted in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district play a significant role inthe process of renewal and modernisation of theindustrial potential of the region. Our exhibitioncompany tries to cover different subject areas reflectingdifferent sectors of the region's industrial productionand social and cultural aspects of local life."Exhibitions in the oil and gas sectors have specialimportance to the region because the extraction andprocessing of these is central to the area's economy."The building sector exhibitions have sustained heavylosses due mainly to the state of the Russian economy,"says Ansarovna, "compounded by the fallout of theglobal economic crisis. Exhibitor and visitor numbers, aswell as total exhibition space, have decreased."Ansarovna says support from local government isscarce and undervalues the industry, highlighting theTHE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NETabsence of any sort of local development programme.Multiple exhibitions were cancelled in 2009, includingInformation Technologies of the 21st Century, UgraTour,Ugra Ecology, and Investment Forum. These exhibitionswere mainly organised by the executive branches ofpower in the Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district. However, several shows were launched in 2009,including the World of Beauty and Health, MunicipalServices, Housing and Communal Services, andBusiness of Ugra 2010 shows. The District ExhibitionCentre saw an eight per cent increase in visitor numberscompared to 2008.According to a spokesman for Siboexpocentre inIrkutsk, the most common difficulties of organisingexhibitions in Irkutsk include not only the financial crisis,but also the remoteness of the region and its poorly-developed industry.At Siboexpocentre, 2009 visitor numbers remainedstable at about 210,000. However, income generatedfrom exhibitions dropped dramatically, by about a third.Although no exhibitions were cancelled, many reporteda drop in total space.Exhibitions hit hardest include Car and Truck inSiberia, Techmachexpo, Forestry Management andWood Processing Industry of Siberia. Unlike in Khanty-Mansiysk however, construction-sector shows buckedthe trend by showing growth.As would be expected, Russia's internationalexhibition industry is focused in the large, well-knowncities of Moscow and St Petersburg. But the vastregions, with their wealth of natural resources, arenatural staging grounds for powerful national-levelindustrial shows. Despite the remoteness of regional urban centres,coupled with lack of local government support and poorinfrastructure, the Russian exhibition industry outsidethe major cities has the potential to tap multiple heavyindustries and boost business in the wake of therecession.| September|