RUSSIA EXPO

04.11.2023–08.07.2024 MOSCOW, VDNH

MOSCOW, VDNH
04.11.2023–08.07.2024

Natalia Virtuozova: "Exposition is a sea of creative energy"

Natalia Virtuozova: "Exposition is a sea of creative energy"
Expo News
Photo: provided by the RUSSIA EXPO press office
28.03.2024

Natalia Virtuozova, Director General of the International RUSSIA EXPO, became the heroine of the educational project "Women". This is an international educational project of the Senezh Management Workshop of the platform "Russia - Land of Opportunity". The project is based on four interviews with women who have managed to realize themselves in various professions. Maria Afonina, Vice-Rector of Senezh Management Workshop, spoke to the Exposition's director.

The text of the interview is abridged, watch the full interview in the video below.


Natalia, you are in charge of an amazing project. In several locations unique things that are characteristic of our regions are collected, in fact, the entire recent history of our country is gathered here. Many people have already visited the exposition, I know that the leaders of our country attend it. Why is it necessary to come there?

You have probably noticed how much energy of life, energy of creation we have at the exposition, and what a wonderful environment it is. Our exposition is very sunny. We will now walk through the exposition, and you will see our visitors - these happy, joyful, sunny faces. And it is not just one or two days, I have been walking around the RUSSIA EXPO for five months and I see these happy faces. And each person transmits this energy of joy and creation.

And this environment of love and warmth is not created by the management, it is created by people and all the participants of the exposition. Because every region, every ministry, our public organizations and corporations have brought the best here. They want to show how proud they are of what they do, of the place where they live, and this pride, which overflows, can only be creative. It is a whole sea of impossibly creative and happy energy. It is spread from person to person, and that's what you have to come here for - to live and create.

I know that pride is always next to records. The exposition has many records, can you share the most important ones?

Our most important record is, of course, our visitors. Even in our wildest dreams we did not expect that we would have such a flow of guests every day. And this flow is not only not decreasing - it is increasing. The whole pre-holiday week before February 23 was a record week. On a weekday we had 120 thousand people - it was an absolute record. We had more than 25 thousand people in one hour - it was also an absolute exposition record. In a week it was about a million visitors.

The symbol of our program is the sun, the sun has many meanings. The star called the Sun warms us and lights our way. If we talk about the educational functions of the event, what do you emphasize?

This is our most important function. We do not have a single exposition that does not have a deep educational content. And it is designed for a completely different audience: from the youngest guest to the most senior adult. We discover something ourselves every day. Before this exposition, I thought I was a fairly educated person. Now I no longer have that illusion. We know very little about our country and ourselves. It seems that the exposition, paradoxically, has become so clever that it teaches us every day. It is not us who create it, but rather it tells us what to do to keep up with it. The energy of exposition lives its own life, it teaches us, it educates us. Of course, we sometimes feel like awkward students, we don't get everything right, but we learn, and we will certainly change a lot after the exposition.

The word "Russia" in the title of the RUSSIA EXPO is written in some amazing letters and font. Who came up with it and what does it mean?

Our trademark style was invented by a very famous, very talented, I would say genius artist Andrei Shelutto. Our style is not simple, it is very deep. The letters in the word "Russia" are written in different historical fonts of our country. For each letter there is documentary evidence that it was written this way in the font of a particular era, and it was used when writing the Gospel or the charter. There are fonts that were used under Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great. And, of course, there are our modern fonts too.

And this combination of letters has a special idea - the word "Russia" contains the whole history of our country from its creation to the present day. Our beating heart became the symbol of the exposition. I believe that Russia is the heart of the whole world, such a patient, huge, infinitely generous and very beautiful bottomless heart.

What managerial qualities do you need to lead such a huge project?

I will now only talk about the things that concern me. I believe that it is impossible to work if you are not interested, especially as a woman. The work you do must be interesting to you. Then, of course, it is responsibility, it is efficiency, it is self-discipline. And you have to constantly learn, learn from those who are better than you. And you have to recognize that there are a lot of people who are better than you. You have to look up to them, recognize your weaknesses, your mistakes, your incorrectness, your inadequacies. And learn from those around you. And you have to learn from yourself. You need to be able to talk to yourself very honestly and learn from yourself.

We talk a lot about the importance of being free of illusions ...

You know, there must be harmony in everything. In recognizing your mistakes, it is important not to slip into soul-searching and self-reflection. It's important to be brave. Even if you fall a little short somewhere, it's okay, you'll make it up along the way. If you fail, it's okay, tomorrow you will learn, tomorrow you will be better. Don't be afraid, don't be afraid in any case, you should talk to yourself honestly and from this honesty be even braver and go forward with confidence.

It is impossible to go on without inspiration. What inspires you in the exposition? What inspires you in this project?

I am inspired by life itself, by our country. I am lucky in the sense that I get to interact with the most talented people. This also applies to the people who are making this exposition. We are supported and helped by strong high-ranking people. It's a huge honor to interact with them. I talk to a lot of people in our country every day. They criticize for something, they suggest something, and from this huge amount of sincere communication you realize that you need to go even faster. We've been surprising for 4 months now, and every day we have to surprise some more, and more, and more. What inspires me? Well, it's the people that inspire!

Spring has just arrived, and some of the regions have moved to spring faster, started surprising faster, which means we, as organizers, have to be even faster. There is not a single minute of respite. And of course, there are simple things, it's traveling, when you go, look, peep and admire. All of that is what inspires me, but first of all the people. Since we have claimed such an exposition, we want it to get better, more interesting every day. Every morning I walk through the exposition, and I marvel at it.

Do you have a favorite place at the exposition?

It is, of course, the expositions of the regions. I myself come from the Altai region. I go there very often to gain strength and emotions.

Does your family support you? Do you have enough time for your family?

I believe that the most important thing for a woman is her family. Many women are overly focused on their children. But the most important thing is that they should be happy, that they should be independent. And in this independence, they will find their happiness. And we can only be a support for them.

Of course, I have enough time for my family. Despite the fact that I'm at the exposition almost all weekend, we have a big family dinner on the weekend. Both my mom and my sister - we gather around the table as a family. Before New Year's Eve, we have a family pelmeni-making party.

And I try to go traveling. Maybe, the vacation isn't very long, but it's enough for me. In winter I love Altai. And now that spring has come, our family trips to Crimea, to Sevastopol, will begin soon. My daughter grew up there.

I see how our regions are changing, I see what kind of wineries there are in Crimea. For me, wineries are not about wine, they are about beauty. The winemakers plowing the land, the way this vine sprawls. The labour of a winegrower is incredibly difficult. You can only tie the vine with your hands. And there is such incredible love in this labour! I admire the people of labour.

What is your dream?

For a child to be independent and happy. That there will always be love in life. And that the next endeavor would be no less interesting than this one.

Natalia, do you have a place of power?

Of course, it's home. And the spot where you sit and look at the sea. I look at the sea, listen to the wind, feel the sun and ask them to always give me a little bit of what they possess.

The online educational project "Women" is an international educational project of the Senezh Management Workshop of the platform "Russia - Land of Opportunity".

The project is based on 4 interviews with women who have managed to realize themselves both in the family and in various, sometimes "non-feminine" professions. The program also includes 4 webinars with an expert methodologist who will share useful tools for self-development in four areas of life: "personality" - "society" - "business" - "family".

The online project will be held in a Telegram channel, the link to which will be available after filling out the participant application form. The dates are from March 18 to 29. The training period will require about 40 minutes daily on weekdays. Women and girls from 14 years old can participate. The program will be of interest to the male audience as well. Upon completion of the online project, all participants will receive individual digital certificates.

International communities are invited to participate, so the educational content will be translated into English. 

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