Dear colleagues, dear friends,

I hope many of you had the opportunity to enjoy a little break between the busy seasons our industry is going through again this year. I for my part have returned energised and excited about where we are as an industry right now. Looking at our most recent UFI Global Barometer, it is nothing but astonishing that – give or take a few percentage points – globally and on average we have grown back this quickly to the size we had in 2019 when we look at the industry revenues.

This message was also picked up again by financial institutions right after the Barometer was published. Did you know that investment banks and financial advisors regularly analyse UFI research and send out investor notes? One analyst recently wrote that “…the UFI Global Barometer is one of the best insights we have into the mood of the exhibitions industry“. Quite some praise, as bankers are generally not known to be too cheerful, right? What started 15 years back when Cliff Wallace was our president has certainly “gone beyond” since then.

“Go beyond!” is also the theme for our Global Congress in two months in Las Vegas in the US. And isn’t that well timed? We will go beyond our previous top revenues, but we will also have to go beyond what we are doing in many ways in the coming years – on digitization, on staffing and talent acquisition, on our responses to the climate challenge, and so on.

I had a look at the sessions that the UFI team is preparing for Vegas, and I am pleased to say that they are covering all our industry’s “hot button topics” – as we report them in the Barometer. Colleagues from more than 50 countries are signed up already, and the registration numbers are tracking ahead of previous years. If you have not yet signed up, please do so quickly (

This year will also be the first time that UFI’s Global Congress will take place in the USA, one of our industry’s three global leading markets. UFI has been a valuable part of the industry ecosystem there for the last two decades, partnering with our good friends from SISO and many others. We held a Sustainable Development Forum co-located with SISO in 2018, for instance – which started the conversations that led to the joint industry project that became the “Finding the Future Together” report released last year. And, of course, UFI is as one of the ten associations backing and funding our industry’s advocacy presence in Washington, DC – the ECA and Tommy Goodwin.

Over the years, we have seen the number of UFI members from the US and North America rising steadily, and this year we are growing to more than 100 members in North America. This by now represents a double-digit share of our global membership – reflecting the grown interest of our colleagues there to connect with their global peers and vice versa. We are discussing how we can serve you all best going forward, always from UFI’s unique and clear positioning: to never duplicate the work of national industry associations, but by always being the international and global partner for every business in our sector in every market, focusing on connecting our members and industry leaders from one market with the global UFI community, driving exchange and creating business opportunities and insights. Or – helping them, and you, to “go beyond” as well.

Have a great month!