Expocentre is a Russian exhibition and conference company staging international trade shows in Russia, the CIS countries and Central Europe, and also Russian national pavilions at EXPOs (World Fairs). It owns and operates Expocentre Fairgrounds, an exhibition venue located in the Central Administrative Area of Moscow(near Vystavochnaya and Delovoi Tsentr metro stations) on the Krasnopresnenskaya Embankment between the Moscow International Business Center and the World Trade Center. The company is headquartered in Moscow.
In 1959 Sokolniki Park in Moscow hosted the first national exhibition of US industrial products, opened by Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon. From the Soviet side, the show had been coordinated by the Department for Foreign Exhibitions of the USSR Chamber of Commerce. The Department was later turned into the Agency for International and Foreign Exhibitions in USSR.
In 1964 Expocentre produced its first international trade show called Stroidormash (the Road-Building Machinery Show) which put on display the latest road-building machinery and equipment. The statistics of that first show were as follows: 377 exhibiting companies from 20 countries showcased their most advanced equipment and technology on the show floor of 54,000 m2. It had been co-organized by the National Committee for Construction, Road-Building and Utilities Engineering under the USSR Ministry of Construction.
Among numerous exhibitions put on in 1960s and 1970s there were some that deserve special attention including the Chemistry International Specialized Exhibition, whose first edition was produced in 1965 on the initiative of Leonid Kostandov, the then Minister of Chemical Industry of the Soviet Union. The Chemistry exhibition was the first to get the Approved Event Logo of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), in 1975.
The Chemistry show was followed by other events: Svyaz-Expocomm (telecommunications), Lesdrevmash (timber and woodworking machinery), Electro (power and electrical engineering), Neftegaz (oil and gas sector), Inlegmash (textile manufacturing and processing) and many others.
The growing number of exhibitions required more exhibition floor space and resources. So, in mid 1970s on the initiative of Nikolai Patolichev, the then USSR Foreign Trade Minister, the USSR Chamber of Commerce suggested to the Government that a modern exhibition centre should be built on the bank of the Moskva River next to Kransaya Presnya Park.
The first pavilion was erected in 1977, and as early as in January 1978 it hosted a major trade show Derevoobrabotka (woodworking).
1980s saw a rapid construction of the venue. Soon after Pavilion No. 1 had been built, Pavilions No. 2 and No. 3 were put into operation together with the Forum Pavilion – a unique structure in the form of a glass pyramid.
In the subsequent years the venue continued expanding – Pavilions No. 4, 5, and 6 were put up.
In 2002 Pavilion No. 7 – a two-level exhibition pavilion with fully flexible halls – opened its doors, which enabled Expocentre to boost its conference business so it has reached an entirely new level quality-wise. In 2007 Pavilion No. 8 was built offering meeting rooms and a conference hall with excellent acoustics.
In 2014 Expocentre marks its 55th anniversary.