Blogger: Kai Hattendorf, MD of UFI and Paul Woodward, MD of UFI
One of the great and unique values of our industry is constant change. Globally, trade shows and exhibitions are the central platforms for showcasing innovations and latest developments. Walk down the aisles of any of the thousands of exhibitions UFI members are organising, hosting, or supporting globally each year, and you experience how whole industries evolve and change. Change is what drives innovation, innovation is what drives markets, and markets are what drive the exhibition industry.
In response to that, UFI is also of course evolving and changing constantly. The last five years have seen a 25% increase in our membership numbers all over the world, the emergence of China as our largest member country and an increased focus on regions such as Latin America with its new Regional Chapter. Our activities have increased in scale and scope, both in person and online, with more ambitious meetings and new, flexible forums such as the Special Interest Groups and multiple digital channels. A constantly evolving list of issues engages our leadership groups and committees as we focus on what is concerning our members today and help them know what they need for tomorrow’s success.
From time to time, change also includes those who drive and execute these developments within the organisation. For UFI, such a time is now. In the coming weeks until the Congress, we will not just focus on delivering to you, our members, a congress worthy of UFI’s 90th anniversary. We will also work together to ensure a smooth transition of the Managing Director’s responsibilities, in order to build on UFI’s achievements and continue, as the one truly global voice of the exhibition industry, to connect and support our member associations and partners all around the world. Many of our CEO members agree that our industry will change faster than ever in the next five to ten years, and it is our aim to stay ahead of this curve.
We are both looking forward to welcoming you to Milan next month for what promises to be a memorable UFI Congress.
Check www.ufi.org/milan2015 for more information and keep an eye on #ufimilan on Twitter for regular updates.