Dear colleagues, dear friends,

For the first time, I am writing to you here as your UFI President.

I am hugely honoured to be in this position, and I will ensure that I will work hard with the UFI team and the Board to bring back our industry from the challenges of Covid and other economic and geopolitical matters which have affected both our business and personal lives.

I would like to express my thanks to Monica Lee-Müller for leading us during this last extraordinarily difficult year.

We are going to be rebuilding our industry, revitalising it, reigniting the spark in our hopes and plans and dreams of us here and of all our staff across the globe. The resilience that is shown in our Trade Fair  and Business Events industry is strong and ultimately rewarding over many areas.

This industry of ours is a ‘catalyst”, it is a wonderful way to bring people and communities and our hopes and aspirations together. To also point the way to giving people, especially our young, a road to a career, a change for the better, hope for the future and thousands of businesses creating new business opportunities.

The shows of today are also quite different from those of the past, as we work tirelessly to meet carbon requirements in the efforts for us to combat climate change.

Covid has in its strange way helped us by us having to review also the digital routes in our businesses. I am sure all of us have over these past 2+ years made huge inroads into how to monetise and use data with our clients and for our clients. It’s been said that “Digital is not going to save us but digital will enable us”- and I would like to think that we will, with these tools, use them to “navigate through these digital canyons of data’’!

Looking through the list of our recent Presidents showed how diversity has been necessary to concentrate on. The work that has been done in recent times for the place that women leaders have in our business, has been an upward one, and we are not finished by any means. Next year, when all of you will elect the next UFI Board and leadership – I will call on you to continue to drive forward our joint work on this!

As President, I know many others want to leave a legacy for this industry we love. We can do this as to how we behave and as to how we seek opportunities in the future each year.

Take the challenge of climate change as an example. As your president, I will continue the recent work of Mary, Anbu, and Monica, to drive this issue forward. After a lot of hard work, and in collaboration with many others, we now have the famous “seat at the table” with the “Net Zero Carbon Events” initiative. For me personally, this is such a great example of UFI’s hard, consistent work on the issues that matter. The pandemic has taught us (again) that “When it matters, people meet”.

It’s an honour to be your President for the next year. Thank you for the trust, and for all your support!”