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UFI Blog – The platform for the Exhibition Industry

UFI brings together those who build, maintain, and support the world’s market places: trade show organisers, venue owners and operators, service providers, and national as well as international associations of our industry.

The UFI Blog shares the voices of industry professionals around the globe. We invite you to become part of the community, supply your comments and share your ideas.

Enjoy reading – Your UFI team

Koelnmesse GmbH wins the 2022 UFI Operations and Services Award

The main goal of the UFI Operations and Services Award 2022 is to honour and recognize outstanding initiatives in organisations that have successfully prepared for the restart. The theme for this year was "How to get back in operations with our services & providers in uncertain times". After tough deliberations, the jury has awarded Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)'s B-SAFE4business project as the winner of the 2022 UFI Operations and Services Award. Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer at Koelnmesse remarked, "It was a challenge to organise safe trade fairs due to and despite the pandemic. We are very pleased that our approach not only convinced our exhibitors and visitors, but also the jury. Our Corona security concept #B-Safe4business, the implementation in the #B-Safe Village and the newly developed digital ticketing process were only made possible by the excellent teamwork across numerous Koelnmesse business units and intensive collaboration with around 80 service partners. Based on this, we jointly developed effective complementary measures from a consistently customer-oriented perspective and presented them to our trade fair participants in our #B-SAFE4business Village. In combination with the digital ticketing process, we have thus successfully mastered the re-start of our events.” B-SAFE4business, Digital Signage, Eingang Nord “Koelnmesse presented [...]

Jaarbeurs wins the UFI Sustainable Development Award 2022

“Best carbon emissions reduction initiative” is the theme of this year’s UFI Sustainable Development award competition and the jury selected Jaarbeurs (Utrecht, the Netherlands) as the winner. This recognition highlights their innovative approach to food and food waste by changing the assortment to mostly vegetarian choices and by using new innovative partnerships in the complete food chain. Marloes van den Berg, Chief Sustainability Officer at Jaarbeurs declared, “Winning the UFI Sustainability Award 2022 is a great honour and a great recognition for my team and our partners here at Jaarbeurs. Step by step we are realizing our ambition in becoming the most sustainable venue in Europe. With this application we hope to inspire others in the industry by setting a standard that other venues and organizers can follow. Together we can deal with our responsibility towards next generations and make a huge step towards zero emissions.” The Chair of the UFI Sustainable Development Working Group, Stephanie Mathas, commented, "Congratulations to Jaarbeurs for their initiative focused on the important topic of food. We also applaud the two other finalists: Ifema Madrid for their strong energy efficiency programme and Fiera Milano and Salone del Mobile in partnership with Rete Clima, for their [...]

Tips on Rebuilding International Participation

UFI in conjunction with mdg, a Freeman company, presented, “Rebuilding International Participation” at Freeman’s offices in the Washington, DC area on May 31st as a pre-ECEF Conference seminar. Speakers were Anjia Nicolaidis and Vinnie Polito, mdg, Caitlin Reed and Adeline Vancauwelaert, UFI, and Mary Larkin, Diversified Communications and UFI Past-Chair. Mary set the stage by sharing the most recent UFI Global Barometer results which showed organizers are optimistic but not complacent, with 71% expecting to reach or exceed their 2019 turnover. However, there is still much to do post-Covid. The Barometer indicated the top challenges for our industry are: covid remaining in play, management issues (including a possible global recession, lack of personnel, supply chain shortages), and a lag in digitalization. The Barometer also predicts that as COVID wains, sustainability will come to the forefront in importance to the industry. She also presented a global industry update. Anjia then shared ideas on focusing recruitment efforts primarily on where and when to recruit international visitors to your shows. To pinpoint countries you plan to attract, start with the basics – who will be able to travel to your show? What is their status for vaccinations, airlift capability, quarantine regulations upon returning [...]

Newly Launched Shows to Stage in Thailand for Lucrative Business Opportunities

A bright journey of Thai exhibition industry has already started. International exhibition stakeholders around the world are invited to explore and capture post-COVID business opportunities through strong Thailand’s exhibition platform which are propelled continuously by comprehensive support schemes and facilitations by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).   In tandem with the “Thailand 4.0” policy, TCEB has led a way to power up international exhibitions and global partnership, as well as co-creates the exhibition future in Thailand by positioning itself as a strategic partner, an opportunity connector and a growth driver. Despite COVID-19, TCEB has utilized the pandemic as an opportunity to prepare industry’s readiness and bring back confidence while formulating numerous subventions and facilitations to drive a strong return of the industry and meaningful collaboration.   Throughout 2022, there are up to sixteen newly launched trade exhibitions under TCEB’s support, which near the number of new shows pre-COVID in 2019, reflecting a strong exhibition rebound in Thailand. The world’s iconic “Cosmoprof CBE” and “Asia Fruit Logistica” are among those new shows to be on stage.   Alongside, there is a greater number of new shows confirmed to be organized in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), ASEAN’s newest trade and [...]

June 2022: An Update from the President

Dear colleagues and friends, I’m really proud to be part of this Industry. We are BIG and on Global Exhibitions Day we proved the spirit of connection and collaboration were at the heart of our industry’s purpose. Participation in this year’s Global Exhibitions Day has been amazing! GED 2022 definitely is a recognition and a celebration of this spirit of innovation and resilience in the industry. We showcase who we are as an industry and what vital role we play. We’ve seen thousands of event professionals celebrating across the globe, and saying how proud they are to be part of the industry and how much they value face-to-face events. This memorable day raises awareness, as we demonstrate our passion, purpose and power! From videos to meetings, from webinars to events and gatherings, from webcasts to social campaigns, and more, industry professionals and organisations from more than 100 countries and regions highlight the tangible impact of exhibitions on global economies, the intangible value to unite people from all different countries and cultures around the world and our proactive contribution to sustainability. I would like to thank all of you involved for your precious engagement. I invite you to save the date [...]

Update from the CEO: June 2022 – Collaboration

Dear colleagues, dear UFI members, Collaboration is at the core of the work of every successful association. By definition, industry associations exist to serve industries, to support developments, and to represent the industry’s businesses and activities. Last week, Global Exhibitions Day 2022 again showed us all the power of collaboration. When we work together, we make a difference. Luckily, teamwork is part of our industry’s core identity, our very own DNA. And it serves us well in many ways. Take our UFI education programme and the “UFI Certified Professional” designation that we launched a year ago. This month, we are already running the 4th edition of the “Exhibition Management School” programme, assisting another strong group of industry colleagues on their professional journey. As we are all facing the challenge to bring new colleagues into the industry after the pandemic, we as well have to provide upskilling and re-skilling to our colleagues. Thanks to the guidance from HR leaders in our global UFI community, we have addressed this early on, and developed completely new programmes with the “Exhibition Management School” and the “Venue Management School”. Multi-day compact learning – delivered online as well as in-person – covering today’s relevant issues as [...]

Revised Globex forecasts: Solid global growth in 2022 but recovery will be slow

By Athan Siah, Co-Editor of Globex published by AMR International   It’s great to see the continuing return of live in-person events. The recent success of the UFI European Conference was a fine example of just how important it is to bring people together. Events are certainly picking up. AMR’s Globex analysis indicates that 2022 should still yield global growth of c. 40% on 2021 – this applies across most countries. However, the road to recovery will continue to slow. As we look ahead, the global exhibition industry may only recover to pre-COVID activity and revenue levels by early 2024.     In this blog we provide an update on AMR’s revised forecasts: Revising global forecasts For AMR’s Globex 2021 report, we spoke to dozens of industry experts and forecasted that the global exhibition market in 2022 would be 23% smaller than its pre-COVID size. Changes in prevailing market conditions since the beginning of 2022 have given us reason to unfortunately downgrade this forecast: we have now corrected this forecast downward to 28% largely due to the lack of exhibition activity in China, Hong Kong, and Russia. Furthermore, broader macroeconomic uncertainty will also have a negative impact on exhibition markets [...]

Update from the CEO: May 2022 – Forging Ahead

Dear colleagues,   I am just off a call where a colleague, sounding equally excited and exhausted, shared the results from a show they had run in the past days in Europe. I sensed the pride, and the emotions, and could congratulate on the success (more buyers than at the last show pre-pandemic!). We ended the call, and I noticed that I had gotten goosebumps.   In this month on May, leading up to our 7th Global Exhibitions Day, we are an industry that – in most parts of the world – is busier than ever. Shows are back, calendars are tight. Buyers buy, and sellers sell. Experts and leaders meet. Ideas are born. A buyer at a show told me he has not seen so many new products at a single B2B show before. He paused, and then said how impressive it was to see how his industry had managed to “soldier through” the pandemic.   Global Exhibitions Day, on June 1st this year, is the day when we can put a spotlight on this, and if the past years have taught us one lesson, then it is that we have to stand tall as the exhibitions and business [...]

Are You Ready to Reconnect and Regain Business Momentum in Thailand?

In-person exhibitions have successfully bounced back in Thailand! International exhibition stakeholders can now embark on fruitful journeys, and discover lucrative opportunities to develop your business together with the industry’s co-creator, Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).   Thailand is more than ready to welcome international arrivals. During the first quarter of 2022, up to 476,000 foreign travellers entered the country from January to March 2022, with more than 189,000 in March. Starting 1 April 2022, international arrivals to Suvarnabhumi International Airport have almost doubled to around 12,000 passengers per day, reaching near pre-pandemic levels. According to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), starting 1 April 2022, international travellers are flooding back into Thailand as they are no longer required to have a pre-flight negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result. More international arrivals are expected in the next few months as Thailand plans to ease travel regulations in line with the timeline to label COVID-19 an endemic disease in July 2022. In particular, from this end-May onwards, fully vaccinated business travellers can enter Thailand without any requirements on COVID tests and quarantine.   To substantially co-create exhibition future in Thailand, TCEB also prioritizes business win with Thailand’s 12 strategic industries under [...]

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