Dear colleagues, dear friends,

This edition of UFI Info goes out to our annual “Global Exhibitions Day”. As you read these lines, colleagues around the world are putting the final touches to their activities and posts for this biggest advocacy day of our industry. Across the time zones – from Auckland in New Zealand to Las Vegas in the US – a flurry of on site and online activities will hit local venues and social media alike.

I am confident that, in its eighth year, our industry’s global day of advocacy will be a success in many ways. And it is worth reflecting that this is happening on the back of what is probably one of the most remarkable comebacks ever of a whole industry.

On this GED, everyone involved invites you to join us in celebrating the extraordinary comeback of the exhibition industry a remarkable story of resilience, transformation, and triumph. With the overarching theme, ‘We Run the Meeting Places and Marketplaces for Everyone,’ exhibitions have emerged as the driving force that propels economies, fosters connections, and ignites innovation. From zero to hero, our industry has raced out of the pandemic slump, defying all odds and confirming the strength of our business model. The exhibitions industry has not only weathered the storm but has emerged stronger than ever before. Our purpose has been reignited, and our colleagues have demonstrated unparalleled dedication, going above and beyond to serve our customers. We have witnessed the indomitable spirit of exhibitors, organisers, suppliers, and attendees who have collectively played a pivotal role in reigniting economic growth and shaping the post-pandemic world.

I remember well the first edition of GED, back in 2016. Where there had been talk about doing something aligned for years, it was the UFI team that took the project lead, and provided coordination, framework, and structures to bring together a global network of supporting associations. In working groups and workshops, themes, messages, and motives were agreed on, and with as little as 5 months preparation from scratch, the first GED took shape.

In itself, the story of how GED came to be is a testament to both the power of our industry to collaborate, and to the role that UFI plays in – or better even – for our industry: With the capacity to connect, to collaborate, and to communicate globally, in true partnerships with national and regional exhibition and event industry associations around the globe.

In many ways, every day I am working with the team, or am involved in UFI projects and activities, feels a little bit like a daily Global Exhibitions Day!