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Kongres Magazine talked to Kyriakos Pozrikidis, Managing Director of TIF-Helexpo, who was recently named among the top 10 Most Influential Hoteliers in 2021. Kyriakos shared his advice for newcomers in the meetings industry and expressed his opinion on the future of events.

Q1: What does the title of the industry’s most influential individual in the region mean to you?

It is a great honour for me to participate in the competition carried out by Kongres Magazine on influencers of the meeting, event, and congress industry. My recognition charges me with even greater responsibility in responding to the major challenges the exhibition and congress market is currently facing.

Q2: Can we say that you are a newcomer in the meetings industry? What inspires you?

One thing is for sure; I am no newbie to the meeting, event and congress industry. For the past 30 years, I have participated in many organisations in the meetings industry, including the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). From the position of TIF-Helexpo CEO, I contribute to the openness of the Greek economy and the growth of Greek enterprises. At the same time, the implementation of the new Exhibition and Conference Centre of Thessaloniki is of extreme importance. It has attracted international interest, as it is expected to have one of the most modern exhibition infrastructures in Europe.

helexpo
Photo Credit: TIF-Helexpo

“It is obvious that trade fairs will play an important role in the recovery following the pandemic, but they must change.”

Q3: What is your prediction for the future of meetings?

Currently, exhibitions internationally are searching for a point from which to restart and regain balance. Exhibition activities with a physical presence are irreplaceable, but at the same time, hybrid exhibition events are expected to play an increasingly important role internationally.

It is obvious that trade fairs will play an important role in the recovery following the pandemic, but they must change. Every exhibition organiser must prepare a digital proposal for the market. However, digital exhibitions do not have a secondary impact on the local economy or local growth. The exhibition centre is more than economic infrastructure. There is a social aspect to it. Physically-attended exhibitions will never be replaced because they have the absolute advantage of meeting all five senses of visitors.

Q4: What is your advice for young colleagues making their way in the meetings industry?

Young colleagues are particularly well-trained and, in general, very well acquainted with current and future technologies. They need to be “armed” with patience and be prepared for effective teamwork so that they can hold their own in the exhibition, event, and congress industry. The future of exhibitions and conferences is very promising, with globalisation significantly contributing to this.

helexpo
Photo Credit: TIF-Helexpo

“Exhibition activities with a physical presence are irreplaceable, but at the same time, hybrid exhibition events are expected to play an increasingly important role internationally.”

Q5: In your opinion, who deserves the title of the TOP influencer if you had to choose from the finalists yourself?

The selection of the most influential people of New Europe by Kongres Magazine has garnered exceptional recognition in the international meeting, event, and congress industry, with the list including people who have left their mark on the sector. All the candidates on the list with the most influential individuals in the TOP HOTELIERS category could have taken 1st place. I would like to repeat that this distinction is a great honour for me and that the trust of our sector’s people will make me work even harder. I would like to thank Kongres Magazine for this recognition.

About Dr Kyriakos Pozrikidis

Kyriakos Pozrikidis has served as a member of the Board (1995 – 1998) and as President (1998 – 2000) of the European Tourism Trade Fairs Association. He is a member of the Board (2012 – today) of the International Fair Union (Union des Foires Internationals) and he is a member of the European UFI working team (Regional Chapter Europe). He has also served as the President of the Central European Fairs Alliance – CEFA (2016 – 2018). He is a certified member of the International Association of Professional Exhibition Organisers (IAEM). He held the position of Project Manager during Thessaloniki’s candidacy for the World ΕΧΡΟ 2008 and served as a Board member of HELEXPO SA; from 2007 to 2010, he served as the Executive Board Member of TIF SA and has been honoured by the Hellenic Tourism Organisation for his contribution within the framework of the International Forum on Congress Tourism. He currently serves as Managing Director of TIF-HELEXPO, the national exhibition agency.