Sergey Alexeev_February 2016  Kai-Hattendorf_rezided

Blogger: Sergey Alexeev, UFI President and Kai Hattendorf UFI Managing Director

The British people, in their referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union, have spoken out in favour of leaving the Union. The markets have reacted as expected, with sharp losses, signalling question marks over the economic future of both the U.K., and Europe. Uncertainty about the future is rising. What will this mean for our industry?

The exhibition industry provides the world’s market places for trade and exchange, and is hence strongly linked to global economical developments. Ripples from the U.K. referendum will be felt in our industry, mirroring developments in other sectors.

That being said, exhibitions and other types of events, are particularly crucial in difficult times – as we have seen in the global financial crisis of 2008/09. As leading figures and companies of industry sectors gather at their international and global trade shows, they will take stock of the situation. There will be exchange, collaboration, and trade. And, in addition to the economic context, trade shows will continue to bring together people from different nations, cultures and religions, to work together and help their respective industries and economies to grow.

Naturally, as an association promoting and representing the trade show industry, we support ease of travel to allow people to attend trade shows and do business together. We make a stand for transparent rules and laws on trade, to support economic exchange and growth. And we champion openness and exchange, as a „face to face“ industry.

After the U.K. referendum, the global exhibition industry remains ready to support business in the U.K., in Europe, and worldwide, for the best possible future for all.