ES. Please tell us about yourself and your organisation.
Vicky. My name is Vicky Dalkrani and I am from Greece. I am a Certified Exhibition Manager and holder of a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA). I am multilingual and I have been working in the Exhibition Industry for twenty years.
ES. Please share with us about your professional journey in this industry.
Vicky. I have been working at TIF-HELEXPO SA for twenty years. I have served in various positions during this time, such as Project Manager of field exhibitions, HR Manager, Head of the Foreign Trade Visitors Department, while I have been the Director of the Business and Exhibition Research and Development Institute as well as Head of the International Relations of TIF-HELEXPO SA since 2013.
ES. Please share your outlook on the present scenario of pandemic? How covid-19 has affected your business?
Vicky. I believe that no one has remained untouched from this pandemic and neither have we as TIF-HELEXPO. The outbreak of Covid-19 has found everyone in our industry unprepared and all of us have been trying to stay alive and overcome this huge obstacle, since the beginning of 2020. Although Greece hasn’t had as many casualties as other countries around the globe, still, our Government decided to put the country twice in lock-down, while the Congress and Exhibition Industry was among the first sectors to be shut down. It goes without saying that our revenue has been severely affected as a Company, however, with the proper administration and budget handling during the past few years and some recent Government support in terms of salary substitution and tax breaks, we managed to survive maintaining 100% of our staff and job positions.
ES. How are you preparing to function in the new normal?
Vicky. In the immediate future we will have to adjust to the “new normal”, by enhancing the digitalization of our Company, in terms of staff training, new software and probably adjustment of the character of our exhibitions.
ES. According to you, what would be the trends of the industry in 2021?
Vicky. It is a fact that the world is rapidly changing and that technology is invading our professional and every-day-life at the speed of light! Although live exhibitions cannot be substituted by any type of on-line event, still their hybridization shall be the industry’s new-normal.
ES. What is your take on virtual events?
Vicky. I do not think that Virtual Events can be as effective as live events, and certainly virtual exhibitions have nothing to do with the live ones. However, hybrid events, in which live and online events will be combined and complemented, are definitely the future of our industry.
ES. You have attended 87th UFI Global Congress virtually, please share your comments and feedback.
Vicky. Indeed, I have attended the live part of the UFI Congress, which was by no means virtual. It was an on-line event, where we had the opportunity to talk to our colleagues live, during the networking sessions and also listen to very interesting speakers. I believe that it was a very successful event, very well organized and totally professional in all of its aspects. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to meeting my colleagues from all over the world next year in Rotterdam in person!
ES. What are your upcoming plans?
Vicky. Our immediate plans as TIF-HELEXPO include the completion of the tender for the Construction of our New Congress and Exhibition Centre in Thessaloniki. Meanwhile, we shall start preparing ourselves for the new-normal era, by adjusting to the hybritization of our exhibitions and enhancing the IT skills of our staff. We are looking into the future with optimism, keeping our fingers crossed.