Dear members, dear colleagues,

Every year, March means the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere. A time filled with the promise of things to come, with new beginnings and ideas blossoming.

That’s pretty much what is happening right now at UFI, with things taking shape for the coming months. The application periods for our awards as well as for our Next Generation Leadership Grant Programme are ending in the coming weeks, and both programmes are great platforms for our members to showcase their solutions and ideas within our global community. Plus – I remember personally, having won a UFI Award many years back during my time at Messe Frankfurt, how great it feels to be recognised like this. 

If you have not already done so, please encourage your teams to hand in their best work for the UFI Awards – deadline is 15 March, so you have a few days left. And encourage your best and brightest developing leaders to have a go for one of the NGL Grants – the deadline here is 9 April.

March is also the time when we are producing and preparing UFI’s Regional Conferences around the world. I am writing this en route to Kuala Lumpur, where we will welcome more than 200 colleagues for the first Asia-Pacific Regional Conference since 2019…and that feels great as well. As always, we are looking to evolve and develop these events so that they can serve the changing needs and priorities of you, our members. One of the new projects this year is the “Event Directors Summit” – an additional, by invitation only, programme for 50 show directors that we run just before the European Conference to give a platform for new connections and exchanges for this core group in our industry.

In the UFI team, there are new beginnings as well. We have welcomed a few new colleagues to the team, and we will make sure to introduce them to you here and elsewhere. They bring new ideas, new impulses, and fresh voices to our work. We have decided to add additional positions to the team to bolster our ranks, especially around advocacy, collaborations, and content.

This is all in line with the recently passed updated UFI strategy that will guide us through the year until 2025 – UFI’s grand jubilee year, as it will mark 100 years of UFI.

March – always a special time!