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IELA WS21 Building the Future of the Exhibition Logistics Industry – Post-Covid


During these challenging times, education is a crucial element in getting ready for the “New Now” and the restart of events in 2021. On January 28th, IELA launched a new agenda of online events to support its membership. It kicked off with the 2021 Online IELA Winter Seminar from January 28th to February 2nd, organised by the IELA Education & Training Programme Working Group (E&T WG).

Sudhir Dhavan, R.E. Rogers India & chair of the IELA E&T WG, overwhelmed with the announcement of the students’ performance results, highlighted “the value of education and training events is what will make the return to exhibitions and events smoother and faster, with professionals well-trained and ready, as always, to adapt to any situation. With almost 0 activity within the Exhibition department for our members over the past year, exhibition freight forwarders can assure they are ready to resume activities as soon as events restart. 

Ute Wiezorrek, Cretschmar MesseCargo GmbH & vice chair of the IELA E&T WG added “The programme sessions were run again primarily by our senior IELA colleagues who are outstanding experts and offers high quality educational sessions focused on the day-to-day life of exhibition freight forwarders and On-site operations - all volunteers to whom we extend our immense gratitude. We thank also the external keynote speakers giving special insight into important vertical aspects linked to the global exhibition logistics.”

The emphasis of the programme is on real-life experience. All the topics are linked to the hands-on job of an international exhibition freight forwarder: all steps in the delivery chain are covered from export, domestic & on-site agents to customs, communicating with the organiser, customer service, packing, and insurance. This is all carried out in appliance to IELA Standards and the latest Safety Measures and Covid Guidelines.

Fiona Ostoja, Agility Fairs & Events Pty (Australia) Ltd & vice chair of the IELA E&T WG highlighted “We thank all those who invested their time and effort in this exercise. We hope that this first online edition gave the students the extra knowledge and strength to combat the challenges at the return of events in 2021.“

The students were divided into 6 teams. Each group was accompanied by a coach who is a senior expert of the Exhibition Logistics industry. Teams met in special teamwork sessions & presentations on “Lessons Learned - Our Industry Post-Covid”. 

On Wednesday, February 10th, the International Exhibition Logistics Association concluded the 10th Edition of the IELA Winter Seminar rewarding Performance, Innovation, and Teamwork, adding the “Best Team Award” to the traditional « Best Student Award ». Associations no longer only reward intellectual performance but also place value on specific management skills like innovation, coordination and engagement. 

During the Certificate Hand-out & Awards Ceremony, the Masters of Ceremony, Alexandra Erdmann from Swiss Expo Logistics Ltd. Switzerland & IELA Board Member and Ute Wiezorrek, warmly congratulated all the students for their commitment throughout the programme and announced the WS21 Best Student, Ujjwal Gupta from BIG Logistics India Pvt Ltd, India, and the WS21 Best Team, Team 1.

The Best Student was closely followed by Jeffrey Ochsner, Swiss Expo Logistics Ltd., Switzerland in second place & Nicole Lau Li Ting, Agility Fairs & Events Singapore, Singapore in third place.

Together with the support of their coach Sudhir Dhavan, Team 1 members included:
- Neha Bharadwaj, from P S Bedi & Co PVT Ltd, India
- Ujjwal Gupta, from BIG Logistics India Pvt Ltd, India
- Neethu KB, from Schenker India Pvt. Ltd, India
- Nicole Lau Li Ting, from Agility Fairs & Events Singapore, Singapore
- Steven Ma, from Sinotrans Beijing Company, P.R. China.

The team performance was evaluated by all coaches (except by their own coach) and they agreed that the overall quality level was high. Emmanuel Pitchelu, coach of Team 6, highlighted ”It was really difficult to choose between the groups! Every group has shown a tremendous effort in delivering top notch analysis, proposals and innovations.”


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