Posted on Saturday 03 January 2009 - 14:00:00
Alexandr Kossatchev: A year has passed since our last talk for Russian Promotional Market Review. Will you tell us what changes it has brought about? What crucial events have happened in the life of your Association and its members?
Victor Levchenko: As much as a year! And a lot of events have happened, but it must be said, as every year. Let me focus only on the most essential, on the events that have influenced the industry as a whole and the life of the Association and its members. Increasing demand for exclusive and creative works was a key feature of the market. The trend had always been there, but this year the customers were especially active in their search of extraordinary solutions. Therefore more and more souvenir manufacturers are setting up a separate activity in their structure, to implement special projects, offering non-standard solutions to the customers, designing the unique items or creating unexpected sets of traditional promotion souvenirs. And it should be mentioned here that the importance of the package has increased – it is beginning to play an essential, at times even a leading role in creation of ingenious souvenirs.
A.K.: What is your evaluation of the process of European companies entering the Russian souvenir market? Have you introduced any services for the foreign market players?
V.L.: Firstly, it is surprising that it has taken them so long to, eventually, enter the market. Secondly, jokes aside, it does not threaten our market with anything bad. Arrival of foreign companies on the Russian market means appearance of new vendors of the same groups of goods which have been steadily sold here. I.e. the competition is escalating, which can’t but stimulate the market, if it is healthy, of course.
A.K.: What are the targets you are setting for the coming year? What projects are you expecting to implement? What are you going to do to cheer up both Russian and foreign players of the souvenir market?
V.L.: The main streams of our work in the coming year are traditional autumn exhibitions, business conferences (in October we experienced them for the first time in Chelyabinsk) and further development of our Internet website which was updated in September.
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