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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

Update from the CEO

Dear members, dear colleagues, Ahead of our Global Congress in Las Vegas, I have had the opportunity to connect with our members and community in Asia, Europe, and North America in recent weeks – having been in Bangkok, Düsseldorf, New York. And when you read this, we will be in Singapore with a team, jointly producing the Asia CEO Summit, a collaboration between AEO, SACEOS, SISO, and UFI.

Why the long visa wait times to get into the US?

Tommy Goodwin, Vice President, the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) is chief lobbyist in Washington, DC for the business events industry in the US. The organization comprises of ten organizations including UFI. He will be providing an update on legislative efforts at the upcoming UFI Congress in Las Vegas, 1-4 November 2023. One of the topics we lobbied for back in June with ECA’s Legislative Action Day was about the wait times for B-1/B-2 tourist visa appointments for non-visa waiver countries. Interestingly, the UFI Congress will be almost 2 years to the day when US international travel reopened. I spoke with Tommy about why the wait is insanely long. For example, the wait for an appointment at a US Consulate or Embassy is over 700 days for Mexico and more than 500 days for India. Background: During the COVID shut down in March of 2020, the State Department, which issues visas, was told to stop processing them due to travel restrictions. So, they did. However, visa requests continued to come in. When the process resumed, there was a backlog of more than 2 million B-1/B-2 visa applications. Because China was closed longer, processing between the two countries only resumed in [...]

Globex 2023: Market Recovery: Real or Driven by Inflation?

In the latest edition of the Globex report, Stax forecasts the global exhibition market will exceed its 2019 pre-pandemic size by 7% in 2024, and 16% in 2025. Compared to the previous year’s edition, our forecasts have been largely revised upwards.

Letter from the President

I hope many of you had the opportunity to enjoy a little break between the busy seasons our industry is going through again this year. I for my part have returned energised and excited about where we are as an industry right now. Looking at our most recent UFI Global Barometer, it is nothing but astonishing that – give or take a few percentage points – globally and on average we have grown back this quickly to the size we had in 2019 when we look at the industry revenues.

The future of exhibitions is dava-driven

In an era marked by digital transformation and rapid technological advancements, the exhibition industry is set for a data-driven future. As we venture further into 2023, the significance of data remains steadfast, with professional exhibition organizers in Thailand and beyond eagerly embracing the transformative potential to amplify innovation and deliver new business outcome to its organizations and stakeholders.

Update from the CEO

The whole Paris team is back in the office after having used the past two months to take some time off respectively. Recharged and energised, we are working now to prepare our Global Congress in Las Vegas. We will have a unique event for all of you, and with colleagues from more than 50 countries around the world signed up already, we may see our most international event ever this November. Check out this UFI Info for more updates, and don’t forget to register.

Nest Sustainable Events Summit | 2023

The inaugural Nest Sustainable Events Summit, supported by UFI and JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) takes place at the Javits Center in New York City on September 21 this year at 8:30 AM ET. This half-day, interactive program is limited to only 120 people and will be a combined update on the Net Carbon Events initiative, global industry sustainable efforts, and interactive Think Tank.

A Talent for People

A Talent for People How to develop a talent narrative to attract community builders to your organisation Caitlin Read, Director of Operations, Arc Network One of the skills our industry most prides itself on is adaptability, which is extremely useful for an industry that will always be in the midst of a pivot. According to the most recent UFI Global Barometer, right now that looks like exploring the new paths being created as a result of artificial intelligence (AI) and meeting the changing expectations from our customers. It also means looking at macro-trends like climate and deglobalisation, among others. As an industry, we are adapting to internal and external forces all the time.  Critically though, tomorrow, it will be something new that will be the catalyst for our next adaptations. This is why reports like the UFI Barometer show us time and again that people topics are constantly at the forefront of our mind. Talent is what enables adaptation, and then drives capitalisation, on change. This is why it's of the utmost importance that the ‘people agenda’ is at the center of all our strategies. We need to be developing and attracting incredible and diverse talent to be ready for [...]

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