A Venue Rating System to be introduced at UFI’s Open Seminar in Asia

Posted by
Barry Siskind
UFI’s Community manager

UFI’s Open Seminar in Asia on March 6-7 in Bangalore, India is fast approaching. The theme of the seminar is Exhibitions: A Puzzle with Changing Pieces.

One of the presenters, Jochen Witt, the President and CEO of jwc GmbH, is no stranger to UFI members. His presentation is called, Venue Quality – An Essential Basis for the Trade Fair and Conference Business.

I asked Jochen to give our followers a flavour of what to expect in Bangalore.


In your presentation description you state, “….much of the focus of show organizers was laid on the virtual world…..However; the physical world is still an essential basis for our business.” Are you suggesting that the exhibition industry needs a newer business model?


An increased focus on venue quality doesn’t mean we need a new business model. In the past the industry’s focus has shifted away from the physical part of our business and tended to focus more on the virtual side of things. But the physical part has a strong impact on the perception of those attending the show. Visitors, exhibitors, media and other stakeholders generally do not differentiate between venue and show quality. Venues are still the basis for our business; we cannot be successful without them. In other words: A venue of high quality can be very beneficial to the quality of a show, a venue of poor quality can be detrimental to the success or future growth of a show. Just consider for example the case of a fatal accident at a show; such an accident would have strong negative consequences not only for the venue owner/manager but also for the organizer and the show itself.


What was the motivation behind your development of the “Venue Rating System?” How has it helped organizers and venues?


We observed a very wide spectrum of what we call “Business Management Systems” where each venue operator/owner has invented its own measures, processes and structures. This is neither efficient nor resourceful. With our rating system we want to help venues to increase customer satisfaction and profitability at the same time.

In order to be relevant to organizers, we developed a system that provides top quality venues to all our stakeholders. There has been some joint industry activity concerning venue safety but this does not go far enough to provide venues with specific and concrete information on how to secure the highest possible safety standards. In particular we see that necessary measures to improve venue safety are frequently unknown to venue owners/¬¬¬¬operators and that each venue is inventing its own structures, systems and processes. This is very demanding on resources, not efficient at all and bears high risks. Our rating system is based on check lists, predefined structures and systems to provide specific safety guidance to venues and organizers.

To see the entire agenda for this UFI Open Seminar in Asia click here: www.ufi.org/bangalore2014

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