In life as in business, closure is important. It marks a moment in time when something truly comes to an end. A few days ago, I felt a sense of closure, attending an industry summit in Shanghai. Again, for one more time and for one last time, I was at a major meeting where colleagues from our industry were meeting again for the first time after the pandemic break in their region.

Both at our UFI events and at other gatherings, I have had the privilege to be there when people re-connected all around the world. I saw the joy, the emotions. I felt the relief. I sensed the uncertainty and excitement about what would come next.

It took a total of almost two years. At UFI, our first event post-lockdown was the MEA Conference in Dubai in May 2021. 25 months later, at the UFI-supported Shanghai Exhibition Industry CEO Summit, we are done reopening.

Onward then, and upwards. In July, UFI will release the next edition of the Global Barometer, which will track our industry’s global re-growth around the world – watch out for that.

Onwards then, as well, for UFI’s ongoing evolution so that we can continue to serve you, our members, in the best and most relevant way. Last month, co-located with our traditional European Conference, we launched a new format, the “Event Directors Summit”, a dedicated format for show directors to connect this group and to learn about their specific needs and challenges. We’re eager to explore how to take this idea further.

Onwards as well for advocacy – after another astonishing “Global Exhibitions Day” campaign around the world a few weeks ago. Out of the spotlight, work continues, specifically in the work with ISO, on the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative, and with the OECD. The latter will release new policy documents in July, covering measurements around the impact of global events. For the first time, exhibitions (and business events) will be included in this type of paper. This may sound small, but it is a significant step ahead for our industry to not be seen simply as a subsegment of travel and tourism.

After a very busy first six months of this year, many of you will look forward to a short break over the next weeks – the UFI team is no exception here. UFI Info will take the usual break in August as well and be back in September.  In the meantime, follow us on LinkedIn for regular updates.