This year’s in-person UFI MEA Conference is, “The focus is equally about case studies, lessons learnt, collaboration and the way forward,” said UFI Regional Director MEA Naji El Haddad. The first UFI face-to-face event takes place Wednesday, May 26 at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE. Naji continued, “All of the speakers will be on the stage. All of the delegates will be in the seats (safely, of course). It’s 100% in person!”

Speaking more about the content design of the UFI Middle East Conference, Naji said one of his goals for the event is for delegates to take back, “tangible and concrete tips and tricks from best practices. We hope to challenge the status quo and talk about what works and what does not with reopening in-person events as well as hybrid.”

To that point, there will be case studies by Wouter Molman, EVP, Informa Markets and Andy White, SVP, dmg events from recently held shows planned for May and June 2021. They will include the utilization of digital tools, feedback on the expos and share real numbers and results.

His Excellency Helal Al Marri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Centre, host of the UFI Conference, will officially open the event. Later in the morning, delegates will be briefed by Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), on how the Emirate has safely re-opened for tourism and exhibitions – two industries that the government understands and supports.

New this year will be two separate Open Mic Sessions. Naji describes this as a, “chance for the Conference delegates to take the content reins and talk about their concerns, successes, and whatever else they want to. We have so many knowledgeable Senior Executives in the room; it makes sense to let them talk about what’s on their minds.”

Other scheduled sessions include the latest GRS-Explori study results, a CEO panel with a focus on business strategy, shareholders’ appetite post COVID, and trends in MEA. The Tech Talk concentrates on new technology supporting face-to-face engagement including matchmaking, touchless registration, content streaming and data analytics.

Bringing the conversation to the most important resource in the exhibition industry, the people, there is a panel on the Women in the Industry discussing the impact of women empowerment on the rehabilitation of the industry, and two Ted-style talks covering Human Resources (what skills are needed now) and talent acquisition and retention.

The day wraps up with a panel discussion focusing on better collaboration between government owned venues and organizers followed by a closing reception at the Conrad Hotel. To register for the UFI MEA Regional Conference, please click here: