Sochi Summit: Russian Railway Hosts Global Forum

How Russian Railways builds communication with the global transport community-DDG

Russian Railways is developing exhibition and forum activities aimed not only at recognizing its own brand abroad, but also at developing the market for railway transport services. In a week, the international transport and logistics forum will hold in Sochi.Secretary of State – Deputy General Director of Russian Railways Anatoly Meshcheryakov sheds light on the event in an interview with Gudku. 

– What are the goals of JSC Russian Railways in holding conferences and exhibitions?

– If we talk about foreign events, then one of our key tasks is to increase the level of brand recognition, the so-called brand awareness, as well as the company’s worldwide reputation. Awareness of the brand of Russian Railways affects the competitiveness of the products we offer in the domestic and foreign markets, and therefore, the long-term growth opportunities. Due to the brand confidence that has arisen, our potential client is inclined to believe in advertising messages and information about our products and services. And trust is not only a key component of image and reputation, but also one of the criteria for success. 

In the modern economy, a popular brand is closely associated with business development, access to IPOs and international markets, with the sale of shares or companies, the reform of the holding, and human capital management.

Before key events, the company constantly receives proposals for joint presentation and business formats at the exhibition stand of Russian Railways from our partners, and the site itself is often used by state authorities and large business structures for presentations, signing official documents and important meetings. Representatives of the company’s management, and above all, the chairman of the board, the general director of Russian Railways, Oleg Belozerov, are always welcome guests and speakers in business formats of the main events of the year.

As for exhibition activities, given the global trends, the main emphasis in the formation of expositions is placed on the interactivity and versatility of the materials on display. In 2018, we presented to the public an interactive map of key and promising projects for Russian railways, combining projects for the organization of passenger transportation, large-scale construction (Sakhalin, Northern Latitudinal Railway, the development of high-speed traffic, the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway), and freight services.

This product has no analogues with other representatives of the transport industry and allows you to integrate the whole range of services and activities of Russian Railways into it to create a unified presentation picture of the holding. We constantly continue this work, supplement and update the information provided.

I believe that all of the above can be considered a certain indicator of the success of our exhibition and conference activities. 

– Russian Railways has its own brand “PRO // Movement”. How did it form?

– The company took part for a long time and organized various business events on its own, at which key issues of interaction with state authorities, business structures, industry, the scientific community and public institutions were discussed. At a certain point, the need arose to unify this type of activity under a single principle with clearly built ideology and management. Therefore, creating a new communication platform on the market, we tried to reflect in the name something that would unite all participants of the transport industry.

At the same time, it was important for us to maintain emphasis on the railway theme, and the railway is movement. Therefore, the idea was born to talk about the movement, hence the general brand “PRO // Movement” was formed. Forum, in turn, First of all, it unites all broad gauge railways. And so the name “PRO // Movement. 1520” was born. Moving forward is the main slogan, 1520 – as a reference to the railway gauge.

– Russian Railways are a partner and take part in many forums. What are the criteria guided by the company when deciding whether to participate in an event? 

– We annually participate in more than 30 events in Russia and abroad. 
Of course, there are purely technical criteria for participation – the distribution of time for events according to the calendar, the scale and tradition of the event, the actual level of participation, budget parameters. But the main thing that we pay attention to is the presence of our target audience, the coverage, importance and relevance of the topics discussed in the business program. Of course, we focus on participation in the events of opinion leaders and the expert community in order to hear their position on a particular issue and to be heard ourselves.

We are an open and socially oriented company, therefore we pay a lot of attention to communication with the media, take part in almost all events of the state and international scale, such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Eastern Economic Forum, the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, the Innotrans industrial exhibition, and the international Logistic exhibition Transport Logistic, held every year in turn in Munich and Shanghai, as well as in many others. In addition, we hold the so-called Days of Russian Railways in the Federation Council and the State Duma. 

– What are the features of the forums “PRO // Movement. 1520” in comparison with other similar events?

– First of all, I want to note that both the PRO // Movement forums and the PRO // Movement.Expo Biennale are the only such events on a broad gauge in terms of the scale and scope of countries and participants. Moreover, given, for example, the average number of representatives of foreign countries and railway administrations (more than 20, including Germany, France, Italy, Austria, India, Iran and others), we have already gone far beyond this space. Our salon is generally the largest railway exhibition in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries in terms of the number of natural exhibits.

All events of the PRO // Motion line are unique international communication platforms for meeting representatives of major companies, experts and specialists in the field of railway transport and logistics, as well as demonstrating and promoting modern technologies, services. All participants of this format note that the events of the PRO // Motion brand are of strategic importance for the development of railway transport in Russia and around the world and for strengthening international cooperation. 

– How will the PRO // Dvizhenie.1520 forum, which will take place on October 28-30 this year in Sochi, be different? How was the theme of the business program developed this time?

– The purpose of the forum is to bring together representatives of the Government of Russia, large Russian and foreign companies, industry experts, as well as expand a constructive dialogue between business, the public sector, investment and expert communities. The forum in Sochi again promises to become the main platform for discussing key issues in the development of the railway industry and building a dialogue between all market participants.

The discussion focuses on issues related to increasing global competitiveness in the railway transport sector, the formation of new transport corridors in the Eurasian space and the development of transit traffic, increasing the capacity and carrying capacity of railway infrastructure, ensuring the growth of economic and technological efficiency of operation and repair of rolling stock, the development of high-speed rail and intermodal passenger routes, the application of new “green” standards. 
For fruitful and comfortable work of the forum participants, the program provides for a wide range of events in modern formats, focused on various audiences and tasks.

Last year’s PRO // Motion.1520 forum was attended by over 1,100 people representing 16 countries and 340 companies. Following the event, agreements and memoranda were signed. As expected, this year’s upcoming forum will be even more representative and productive. Our current and potential participants are representatives of regulatory authorities, heads of CIS and European railway administrations, heads of transport companies, banking and investment sectors, major Russian and foreign shippers, as well as key participants in the railway engineering market. 

– Are there any topics on the forums that you consider especially important for yourself?

– At Russian Railways, we do not divide topics into more or less important ones. Given the scope of the company, our work somehow affects almost all aspects of the industry and our state as a whole. The revival or decline of global trade, the rise and fall of oil prices, the level of demand for domestic and international transport, the emergence of new logistics routes, international transport corridors, the renewal of the rolling stock fleet and its maintenance, ecology, energy efficiency, urban development, social activities – you can list endlessly .

At the same time, for myself, I would single out a topic such as distance economics. After all, if you look at the past, today and predict the future a little, then throughout the history of mankind, the development of technology has had an impact on reducing the time and cost of movement, which, in turn, have changed the picture of the world. And today, the distance economy continues to play a decisive role in global socio-economic development. Changes in the spatial economy create new markets, innovative types of business, a new way of life and expand prospects in all areas. Therefore, it is always interesting and useful to listen to professionals on this topic. What changes will bring future transformations? How to evaluate the upcoming changes? What new business models can be expected? Is there an infrastructure stock of international transport corridors? What cargo volumes is it designed for? How to coordinate the development of the global transport system, taking into account the prospects for the development of world industry? What are the possible patterns of cargo movement in the short, medium and long term? We are forming answers to these and many other questions as part of the events of the PRO // Motion brand. medium and long term? We are forming answers to these and many other questions as part of the events of the PRO // Motion brand. medium and long term? We are forming answers to these and many other questions as part of the events of the PRO // Motion brand.

– What are the prospects for the development of this area of ​​activity in Russian Railways? Are there any changes in strategy or expansion of the scope of exhibition and conference activities? 

– We are not used to stopping at what has been achieved and, as in any other area of ​​the company’s activity, we are also constantly working on improvements and development. 
We widely use modern presentation technologies, including using 3D modeling, augmented and virtual reality, all of our video presentations are made in 4K format. But at almost every event, we try to show something new, constantly analyze existing trends in this area.

If we talk about expanding the scope, now, together with the involved divisions of the Russian Railways holding, the issue of organizing client events at industrial and transport exhibitions in Russia and abroad, aimed at attracting foreign shippers to rail transport, has been worked out. So far this is a project, but a preliminary plan for such events for 2020 has already been formed, which will be supplemented by its results. As a promising area, we see the holding of road shows in the countries of the origin of freight traffic, primarily in the Asia-Pacific region, with the participation of top management of Russian Railways, subsidiaries and railway leaders – branches of Russian Railways to demonstrate the benefits of rail transportations on the territory of Russia, the capabilities of the existing logistics network and the transit potential of the country. During the events, direct meetings can be organized with the leaders of railway, logistics and forwarding companies, provinces and city administrations, with cargo owners, owners of transport and logistics centers, rolling stock and containers, as well as other interested organizations. Of course, the best option is to hold road shows at major international exhibitions, which will attract the largest number of participants. as well as other interested organizations. Of course, the best option is to hold road shows at major international exhibitions, which will attract the largest number of participants. as well as other interested organizations. Of course, the best option is to hold road shows at major international exhibitions, which will attract the largest number of participants.

In addition, this year Oleg Belozerov, Chairman of the Board and General Director of Russian Railways, decided on the need to involve representatives of the railway business in the activities of the Council on Rail Transport of the Commonwealth member states. In general, such work is already underway, but specifically for these purposes we plan to create a permanent section at the site of the International Transport and Logistics Forum “PRO // Motion.1520” to consider improving international transport and logistics activities.

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