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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

Five Summertime Suggestions for the Exhibit Floor

As many of us are gearing up to head out on summer holidays (in the Northern Hemisphere), now is a good time to think about injecting some fun elements into our business-to-business events. With the recent announcement of UFI members RX (Reed Pop) taking over E3, formerly the largest B2B video gaming show in the US for years, I started thinking about how organizers can inject some of the elements of B2C exhibitions into B2B ones. Some suggestions: Think about social media moments! Place an easy access step-and-repeat banner in the lobby. Include other places on the exhibit floor with show branding for visitors (and exhibitors) to take selfies to post on social media. Don’t forget to feature your event hashtag so it’s easily included on posts.Festivalization does not mean bringing games and rides into your event. It does mean having experiential areas. If you have an industrial show, can you feature a live, working shop on the exhibit floor? Or can you add a demo area – inside or outside the venue? These showcased zones may be sponsored by a variety of exhibitors, ultimately paying for themselves.What have you done to revamp/showcase new product pavilions? The number one reason [...]

July 2022: An Update from the UFI President

Dear colleagues, dear friends, Last week, leading voices within the UFI community met in Hamburg, Germany to participate in the Global CEO Summit 2022. Also known as the “GCS”, this annual event is UFI’s most exclusive, gathering industry leaders from around the globe. It has been quite the journey from the last face-to-face GCS, which took place in Rome, Italy in 2020. We were delighted to welcome 100 individuals from 27 different regions and countries to once again meet face-to-face. It was a great few days of networking, inspiring content, and reconnecting with one another. After these two difficult years, we are still standing, stronger, and more connected than ever. The pace of recovery is now accelerating, and it is thanks to our industry’s flexibility, resilience, and ability to come together around a common goal. Globally, the exhibition industry is slowly, but surely getting back to business. There is reason for optimism, but the recovery will be uneven. The good news is that exhibition markets in the U.S. and Europe are clearly getting back to it. Around the world, the power of face-to-face has been reinforced by the global pandemic. Around the Asia-Pacific region, the appeal and power of face-to-face [...]

Update from the CEO: July 2022

Dear colleague, dear UFI members, We are wrapping up a busy first half of the year – with UFI events around the world, and UFI being present at many industry events again in person. Just a few days ago, we held a successful Summer Edition of the Global CEO Summit in Hamburg, thank you to all of you who attended for your positive feedback! Now we’re shifting our to the 89th UFI Congress this November in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Work on the programming is underway! To reflect the financial pressures that many parts of the industry still feel, we are – for the first time – offering an “early bird” rate for the Congress, which allows you to lock in the reduced ticket price from last year for this year as well. Please see www.uficongress.org  for details. Even further on, scheduling is underway for the 2023 events – with the Congress in Las Vegas, the GCS, and some regional conferences already fixed. As a reminder – you always find all the confirmed dates in our events calendar here: https://www.ufi.org/our-events/ufi-events-calendar/. 2023 will be the first time UFI returns with the Congress to North America since the 1970s. In the past [...]

IFEMA wins the 2022 UFI Industry Partners Award

The UFI Industry Partners Award is designed to recognise industry partners who demonstrate innovative concepts, creative campaigns or original projects that drive the success of the exhibition world. Industry Partners were invited to showcase their successful alliance with exhibition organisers and / or venue operators. This year's winner is IFEMA (Spain) for their "Success Stories - Alliances shaping the future of the exhibition industry" project.  According to Jaime de la Figuera, Director of International Expansion at IFEMA MADRID,  “In recent years, we have been developing a strategy of partnerships aimed at combining forces that affect sustainability, as we are aware of the strength that uniting assets and desires represents. So it is an honour to receive the recognition of this highly important UFI Industry Partner Award for the carpet transformation project, which has been made possible by promoting a triple partnership that enables this sustainability project to be sequenced in three stages: recycling the carpet, converting it into pellets and reusing the material to manufacture trade show furniture, thus completing the cycle of sustainability in the trade show setting, thanks to the collaboration of specialised companies”. Pictured: IFEMA presenting their award during the 2022 UFI European Conference in Poznan, Poland [...]

2022 Winner of the UFI Marketing Award: TCEB

Since 2001, the UFI Marketing Committee has organised the “UFI Marketing Award”, whose main purpose is to reward the best marketing initiatives undertaken by exhibition professionals. Since 2006 this competition is open to UFI members and non-members alike. The UFI Marketing Award 2022 invited the most innovative and successful strategies for exhibition organisers to sustain, grow and remain successful in this ‘changing world of events’ to step forward. The award recognises the strategy that best demonstrates, in a comprehensible and measurable way, how the company’s marketing objectives, campaigns and activities have been tailored to meet the new demands of their target audiences in a post-COVID-19 world. After deliberations, the 2022 UFI Marketing Award was granted to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) for the "Best marketing strategy in a changing exhibition industry". TCEB President, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said, “This UFI 2022 Marketing Award not only is a great honor but further gives us confidence in our commitment to supporting the MICE innovation to stimulate sustainable growth and further create a meaningful impact to the country’s economy, particularly in times of difficulty. Thailand Exhibition and Convention Bureau had promoted MICE innovation during the challenging time to be followed [...]

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 [...]

Thailand Exhibition Industry’s Readiness Confirmed at UFI Global CEO Summit. TCEB’s Diamond Sponsorship Continued for Higher Visibility and More Collaboration

Confidence Goes High as Exhibition Industry Players Unite to Support Economic Recovery Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, the Thai Exhibition Association (TEA) and trade show organizers together celebrated the seventh annual Global Exhibitions Day (GED) with the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). The panel discussion event in Thailand highlights the vital contribution of physical trade shows on business growth, reconnecting peers in the global exhibition industry as well as showcase TCEB’s readiness to deliver opportunities for international businesses seeking to capitalize on Thailand’s economic reopening, a market ripe with growth potential. Your Next Exhibition Destination is Thailand According to the latest announcement on 1 June by the Royal Thai government, it has eased nationwide COVID-19 controls, allowing business operations and leisure events to continue under the health authority’s guidelines. Meanwhile, the Thailand Pass registration scheme will be lifted on 1 July, removing almost all COVID-19 border measures. With restrictions easing and borders opening, it’s a chance for international businesses looking for a thriving and competitive destination to invest. In terms of boosting more business confidence, TCEB said it is looking forward to bringing updates on the economic reopening of Thailand and business opportunities in [...]

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 [...]

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