Dear colleagues and friends,

Normally at this time of year, the show season reaches one of the annual peaks around the world. Yet, one year into the COVID pandemic, venues around the world are serving as vaccination centres and emergency hospitals still in many cases, rather than welcoming show attendees.

At UFI, we are tracking the recovery of exhibitions and business events. Where shows have taken place, exhibitors and visitors have expressed their satisfaction with attending shows, as well as reporting good business. Confidence remains the key to reassuring customers and visitors that business events can be operated in a controlled environment, whilst adhering to local regulations and policies, and minimising associated health risks. Early indicators from events that have successfully taken place around the world sustain this argument. And to support the re-opening of events and the wider exhibition industry, the third edition of the Good Practice Guide: Addressing COVID-19 Requirements for Re-Opening Business Events is now available. The report produced jointly by AIPC, ICCA and UFI, is a wonderful example of collaboration. And this is the power of our industry, to collaborate so that we can meet again!

UFI is witnessing the need and request from the industry to meet again. We are thrilled to offer the MEA Conference as an in-person event in Dubai on May 26! In line with UFI’s mission and responsibility to connect and bring together the exhibition industry community, the association is committed to holding regional conferences this spring.

2021 will be a pivotal year for the global exhibition industry. We know our industry will recover thanks to a combination of on-site physical meetings and online digital tools, but “how” we do this will be the question going forward. How the future of our industry looks will be a key focus of the UFI MEA Conference. I look forward to seeing you face-to-face in Dubai. I can’t wait to meet leading players from the Middle East and Africa region and beyond, to network, exchange ideas and forge new partnerships.

Over the years, UFI Regional Conferences have become highly rated and relevant gatherings for learning and networking in the regions. Join us and don’t miss your chance to connect online and in-person with event professionals from all over the world!

Best regards,

Anbu Varathan, UFI President