Posted by

Barry Siskind

UFI’s Community Manager

Are all businesses governed by the same economic models? While the principals of doing business are universal, in each case their execution is unique. Family businesses, for example, have always identified themselves as different than large corporations that report to shareholders and stakeholders. This difference was brought home on October 31, 2014 when the UFI Special Interest Group (SIG) met in Bogota, Columbia.

One interesting observation was the perception that family businesses have of the factors of competiveness which were discussed throughout UFI’s 81st Congress in Bogotá. The eight factors were: Branding, IT, Organization, Cost, Human Resources, Products/Offerings, Pricing and M&A.

The family business participants identified their top four being:

Human Resources

This discussion focused on the issue of second generation versus corporate employees and the need for transparency and clear communications in a family business.


While it was conceded that while the pressure of being right the first time was evident, family businesses often lack the resources to stay competitive.


The decision making process in a family business is often much quicker than that in a larger organization.

Branding and IT (tied for fourth.)

Corporate branding takes a back seat to the need for a strong product brand. It was more important that the public recognized a successful exhibition than the brand of the organizer.

The UFI SIG on Family Business is open to all UFI members who own and run their own exhibitions. The next meeting is scheduled to take place during the upcoming UFI Congress in Milan later this year.