Dear colleagues, dear friends,
We are two months away from this year’s Global Exhibitions Day – the 7th of June! Launched by UFI and many many other industry associations back in 2016, this day has quickly become a true force of advocacy for our sector.
It unites us as an industry. By working together and being active in hundreds of actions, big and small, everywhere around the world, we are creating visibility for our sector. We are making an impact – one that continues to grow, year after year. Please do join in again this year, and be active! You’ll find more information in this edition of UFI Info and on www.globalexhibitionsday.org
It is indeed a much-used phrase that “advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint” – used just as much as it is true, and captures the challenges involved. Just like how every long-distance runner needs tactical training, precise planning, and solid stamina, everyone working on advocacy for exhibitions and business events needs persistence. But every milestone on the way, every achievement reached, propels us on and empowers the next step, the next segment. We have come a long way in the past years, and at the same time, we’re busier than ever.
You will have noticed that UFI has extended its advocacy work in recent years. Take the “Global Policy Leadership” series. Take the partnership with EMECA to run an advocacy office in Brussels – the EEIA. Take UFI’s part in the Washington, DC-based advocacy office – the ECA. Or the leading role in organising two “Joint Leadership Summits” with AEO, SACEOS, SISO, and STB in Singapore. And that is just the work outside of all the advocacy efforts that went into dealing with the pandemic…
Then look at UFI’s work as a liaison with the “International Standards Organisation”, ISO, or the involvement with the OECD. And – of course – our organisation’s role as one of the main drivers of the UN-backed “Net Zero Carbon Events” initiative that is now facilitated by JMIC.
This work leads to results – policymakers take note. The reputation of our sector is growing. Our core messages are finding their way into policy papers and discussions. For instance, at our recent Asia-Pacific Conference, I was able to meet the Malaysian Minister of Tourism, YB Dato’ Sri Tiong King Sing, and we discussed the role exhibitions and business events have in their government plans. The Minister, who was recently appointed, used our event for his first major public appearance and policy announcement. I was very pleased to find a great amount of understanding and support. As your president, I will continue to use every opportunity I have to make our industry’s case to political leaders around the world.
As the UFI leadership, we have named advocacy as one of our core activities for the coming years. And to empower the UFI team to do this best, we have added a new Programme Manager role to the team, focusing on advocacy and alliances. You’ll surely meet our new colleague soon – definitely in your work around Global Exhibitions Day!