In the ever-evolving landscape of events, the UFI Next Generation Leadership 2023 class was selected to take on the mission of writing a new blueprint on how to plan and operate events that help industries to evolve, help businesses to trade and learn and help every participant to benefit personally from their participation.

This mission led the team to survey and interview more than 150 event professionals, spanning exhibitors, attendees, show organizers, venues, and event partners/vendors from diverse corners of the industry and the globe.

Unveiling the Findings at UFI Global Congress

The UFI NGL Team showcased the results of their endeavors at the UFI Global Congress in Las Vegas in November 2023. The presentation was not just a showcase of data; it was an interactive experience that employed an audience response tool, fostering participation and feedback. The stage was set with impactful quotes from industry professionals interviewed during the project, creating a narrative that resonated with the audience.

Key Insights and Takeaways

The UFI NGL 2023 class distilled their findings into three pivotal takeaways:

The New Event Blueprint:

  • Is Precisely Tailored & Ever-Captivating: The new event blueprint must be precisely tailored to acknowledge individual needs, preferences, and expectations. Personalization is the key to creating meaningful event experiences, recognizing that one size does not fit all. Over 80% of surveyed professionals affirmed the need for this shift, acknowledging the necessity for constant innovation and improvement.
  • Expertly Leverages Technology & Data: In the age of information, the blueprint advocates for the strategic use of data. It’s not just about data collection but informed decision-making, understanding attendee behavior, and leveraging technology like AI and VR to enhance engagement and efficiency. Visitors believe that blending physical and virtual elements can create more interaction and enrich experiences.
  • Looks Intentionally Towards the Future: The future of events lies in foresight. The new blueprint encourages event professionals to cast their gaze forward intentionally, embracing innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. It’s not just about where events are held or when—they must consider the ‘how’ in a rapidly changing landscape. Inclusivity, sustainability, and innovation were frequently mentioned across all groups, indicating a collective industry consciousness toward a more future-oriented approach.

Beyond the Project: A Journey of Growth

The UFI NGL 2023 class didn’t just stop at the project; they extended their learning by participating in the UFI European and Global Congresses. These experiences provided them with the opportunity to meet mentors from various facets of the industry, enriching their perspectives and contributing to their growth as leaders in the next generation of the events and exhibitions sector.

A Collective Call to Shape the Future

Armed with insights, challenges, and a shared commitment to the future, the UFI NGL 2023 class bids farewell. As they look forward to the next chapter in Switzerland, the industry is left with a blueprint—a blueprint not just on paper but etched in the collective determination of event professionals to craft tomorrow’s events today. An invitation to collectively create events that are not just planned but meticulously crafted experiences that leave a lasting impact.

As part of the presentation at UFI Global Congress, the UFI NGL class asked for audience members to pledge to something, however small, as to what one could do to shape the future of our industry. These inspiring results show just how passionate of an industry we are and the future looks bright.

To find out how you can apply to the UFI Next Generation Leadership Grant programme, visit: