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The Mixed Economy and the IFES Concept for International Harmony – By Larry Kulchawik

The Mixed Economy is a US social institution, but the concept is shared by many other free trade countries. The Mixed Economy is a human solution to human problems. Trade shows are also a human solution to human problems/ challenges. A Mixed Economy is the marriage of private capitalism and public opinion that has created modern prosperity. Governments needs to support public opinion. This allows private capitalism, that supports public opinion, to grow and flourish. It then becomes a win-win arrangement for both groups. As in any marriage, the role of businesses and public opinion must meld together for markets to flourish.

After the conclusion of the Second World War the USA took a leadership role and created a foundation for mutual economic gains with its allies. This economic Pac could have not be achieved by individual countries acting on their own with their own views on “economic correctness.” Jointly, the US and their allies created a foundation and developed a system of rules and world standards to achieve economic harmony in trade. This economic harmony is based on the premise that mutual responsibility does not automatically enforce itself. What is agreed to be ‘correct behavior’ between nations must be clear, accepted, and followed by all. The views and interests of the larger countries should not overrule the views and wishes of the smaller countries, but in some cases they do. Mutual harmony is achieved through respect and by following the agreed principles set forth by the collective group. In the case of IFES, the economic benefits of cooperation between nations requires respect and leadership. The new IFES President, Voicu Sferdianu is the perfect leader for the new one world economy. The larger country members do not, and will not, rule the federation. Voicu represents Romania and he does not have an agenda about ‘correctness’. His mission is ‘fairness’ and ‘harmony’ for all. IFES supports a network of countries who work together for the sake of the exhibiting corporations (clients) who work with their regional IFES exhibit supplier members.

IFES has reached a point where the strongest members do not rule, but act cooperatively for the good of the whole. They play a strong role to achieve a cooperative spirit, but do not force their will. IFES leadership requires constant management and improvement to raise the expected standards of engagement among nations and to keep their commitments between partners. When the system is working, the IFES supplier predictability encourages countries, suppliers, and even competitors, to adhere to these common principles and code of conduct. In doing so, it is in the long term interest of IFES members, as a trusted partner, to be of true value to exhibitors in a one world economy.

There will always be political, religious, and cultural differences between nations, but when it comes to trade show marketing standards and conduct the IFES partnerships serve to pave the way for exhibiting companies to succeed in spite of political and cultural differences.

Each year IFES conducts its World Summit, this year in Montpellier, France June 21-23, 2017. Have a look at this years exciting agenda and registration at www.ifesnet.com. It is here where networking among partners to share knowledge and build relationships serves to strengthen the value in IFES membership.

“The IFES mission shows us how important it is to forgo national resentments in favor of a shared commitment to create together that which none of us can create alone. We do this regularly for our clients, and we do this, in part, for ourselves. It is a personally rewarding experience to expand our horizons, engage in new cultures, and learn new approaches for growing international trade show business,” says Voicu Sferdianu, IFES president.

In recent years, IFES has changed its bylaws as a federation to include both associations and individual exhibit supplier companies to be members. This opened the door for more country diversity where country associations do not exist. To date, IFES now represents 45 countries who can contribute their local expertise to fellow IFES partners. Of the 45 countries, 12 country associations are also members.

To qualify as a member, IFES has established many requirements. Each existing IFES member is asked to respond to new member applications with their experiences working with the new applicants. IFES wishes to secure that only the best of exhibit suppliers are extended membership.

Upon granting membership, each new company partner is asked to sign an IFES Code of Conduct agreement. This agreement states that you agree to play fair, honor country differences, pay invoices on time, and do not solicit services directly to the exhibitors who were introduced by their IFES partner. The Code of Conduct is not an extensive legal document, but serves as a commitment of your word to follow a common understanding of fair business practices.

In the event there is a disagreement among partners, IFES has established the Past Presidents Council who act to sort out differences and recommend a fair solution. This is not a legal court of international law but the experienced group provides a recommended solution to settle misunderstandings quickly. IFES believe that accountability plays a role between members, since they are both partners, and at times-competitors. A spirit of cooperation and respect between country exhibit suppliers is the key to IFES success between partners, and it delivers an added value to the end users- the exhibitors.

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Posted in Columns, From the Power People
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