Christos Alexopoulos – TIF HELEXPO annual exhibitions

“A renaissance off innovation, invention and discovery and forming of Balkans Digital Platform this year in Thessaloniki”

On the occasion of the upcoming events at the biggest fair in the Southeastern Europe, Thessaloniki International Fair, among which the most innovative exhibition is announced as Beyond 4.0 which will be held from 1st to 4th of October, 2020 we have talked to Mr Christos Alexopoulos, representative of TIF in Serbia. Mr Alexopoulos have told us about the history of TIF HELEXPO, annual exhibitions but also the advantages of broadening the network of associates in the Balkans and Serbia.

Mr Alexopoulos what is the distinction between HELEXPO and TIF?

HELEXPO is known for speaking the language of international business, forming powerful bonds between peoples. While implementing a dynamic exhibition policy, realizing dozens of trade fairs annually, organizing national pavilions abroad, holding conferences and cultural events they manage the facilities of Thessaloniki International Exhibition and Congress Centre and Helexpo Maroussi, Athens Exhibition and Congress Centre.

Thessaloniki International Fair is an annual international exhibition event held in the first week of September since 1926, and its opening is traditionally marked by a series of  statements by the Prime Minister of Greece. The Exhibition Centre covers a total area of 180,000 sq. m., of which 62,000 sq. m are indoor exhibition areas, distributed into a complex of 17 pavilions. The exhibition facilities are complemented by conference centers, parking areas, sports and recreational facilities, catering areas, citizen service centers, museums, banks and developmental agency offices.

What are the major exhibitions in TIF?

The Thessaloniki International Fair, over 15 trade fairs, Philoxenia, Agrotica, Zootechnia, EnergyTech are just some of the pages in TIF-HELEXPO’s exhibition agenda, which adds new exhibitions every year and promotes different proposals. The ‘exhibition agenda’ of TIF HELEXPO also includes successful partnerships with powerful foreign exhibition bodies, a significant presence in the Balkan markets, participation in the largest primary and secondary production and service sector exhibition events.

What are the current circumstances at the Thessaloniki Fair and why openness to the Balkans and Serbia at this moment?

The TIF is at crucial juncture in its history. The trade-craft acquired over more than eight decades and the experience accumulated at home and abroad has paved the way for bold new departures in three separate directions. The first is the renewal of the exhibitions organization and its expansion into new activities. The second is internationalization, a wager we placed from the first moment of our administration and which we are slowly but surely winning. The third new front is the development of the THESSALONIKI International Exhibitions Centre.

They have announced a renaissance off innovation, invention and discovery through Beyond 4.0. What does it mean?

Beyond 4.0 will take place for 4 Days from 1-4th of October 2020, Thessaloniki, Greece, at Thessaloniki, incorporating a thought-leadership conference with keynote speeches from top-tier international pioneers, featuring high-calibre panel, parallel workshops and seminars, exploring trends, models, theories and disruptions that will provide special solutions to specific issues. All the stakeholders of Change will have the chance to pitch their ideas, present their game-changing products or services, network with related parties and explore potential business opportunities. Intelligent connectivity and exponential technology are achieving global adoption at an unprecedented rate, transforming the way we connect, communicate and collaborate. Everyday life is pivoting, and the shift is extremely fast due to technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Genomics and Biotechnology, networks, nanotechnology, etc. With game-changing technologies, break-through innovations and growth platforms we can expect the rate of acceleration in 2020 to be the fastest up to date.

Who is welcome?

Big corporations, start-ups, mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, universities, research centers, government executives BEYOND 4.0, is designed to be a hybrid amalgamation of a cross discipline and cross industry  “exhibition meets summit” platform bringing together the movers of this evolution, from South  Eastern Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa. To this extraordinary idea, I would also add my own proposal, which I have put forward so far, that it would be a good idea to form a common digital platform with a strategic goal of developing digital future in the Balkans. As digital Greece and digital Serbia, all digital countries should be united in one platform in the Balkans, and Thessaloniki is the right place to do so.

What are the benefits for Serbia?

I believe that Serbian economy will benefit profoundly by accepting extroversion as a model that we shall implement. I see extroversion as a kind of lever for Serbian economic development. Greece managed to recover their economy and Serbia should look up to their example. Participating at the fair would be a pillar of extroversion by which Serbia would strengthen the network with other countries, encounter with new technologies, create contacts and establish new trade network. It would also be a great opportunity for Serbia to position its products in the international market as well as form a common product for a third market.

What are future plans in Serbia?

In the near future, probably in April this year, we plan to organize a conference in Belgrade, EXTROVERSION AS A PILLAR FOR SERBIAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT with the President of TIF Helexpo Mr Tassos Tzikas as a Chairman and other experts from Greece as guests. We also expect and invite all relevant participants to join and further distribute the experience and suggestions.

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