Nat Wong speaks in Seoul

Posted by
Barry Siskind
UFI’s Community Manager

Nat Wong is the President of Reed Exhibitions China. He will be presenting a must-attend session at UFI’s Congress hosted by AKEI in Seoul. The title of his presentation, “The Future of Management” promises to be one of the highlights of this year’s Congress. I asked Nat a few questions so that our followers will get the flavour of what’s ahead. Here is what he said:


The title of your presentation, “The Future of Management,” almost seems to suggest that traditional management may become obsolete. How would you respond to that suggestion?


There is nothing traditional about management. It is an ever evolving and constantly changing phenomenon. As we face the changing times reflected in our external and internal environments, evolutions by managers to address these changes are inevitable. The organization which is able to adapt and make appropriate changes or adjustments along the way will be able to secure its profitability and longevity. Similarly, the exhibition industry will face the same challenges as well as the movements in the industry sectors they serve. The ability of exhibition organizers in addressing the environmental changes and challenges in innovations, market trends, buying patterns, communications and distribution will also determine an organizer and an exhibition’s sustainability.


In your opinion, will the changes in the management function be the same across all cultures?


People, religion, ethnicity and pace of modernization all have an impact on the pace of adoption of the management function. Generally, the trend tends to flow from the West to the East, the most famous exception being the adaptation of Sun Tze’s Art of War in modern day management. China boasts some of the most mega and modern cities in the world. However, Chinese culture had been entrenched for thousands of years and modern management found its way into an under-transformation Red China only some 20 years ago. Today you can find the most expensive, innovative and advanced things here but the ways in which they are being used are very different, sometimes simply for the status of being seen and not for their functionality.

While the gap has closed over the years, it is still very different, marked distinctly by the chasm of cultures. Having said this, China is indeed ahead of some other countries and cultures. I hope this helps us to see that changes in the management function will not come as a one-size-fits-all where cultures are concerned.

This year UFI’s Congress will be held from November 14th to 16th in Seoul, Korea. If you haven’t registered yet there is still time. See the entire agenda at or follow on twitter #ufiseoul

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