Dear colleagues, dear friends,

Going through my daily dose of industry and showing news from the GCC and around the world is a joy. We’re certainly running on all cylinders around the world.

Quite a few of these media reports and clippings include references to the latest edition of our latest UFI Global Barometer. We covered its headlines in last month’s edition of UFI Info, which was released on the same day. Let me briefly recap:  

This year, globally, our industry is expected to grow revenues by 15%. This means we are on track to record the best year ever as an industry – surpassing the 2019 numbers, our current “all-time high”. More than half of all exhibition businesses worldwide are creating additional jobs and hiring new colleagues to join our industry. The “state of the economy in the home market” is the most pressing issue for most industry leaders, paired with global economic developments. Geopolitics and sustainability are fast-rising issues. Around one-third of all businesses in our sector already use generative AI in some business areas, and more than 90% see this technology as having a lasting impact on us.

For me, the barometer is a “must-read” report, and I pass it on to my leadership team whenever it is released. It has become a globally trusted data source, used across the boardroom and biz dev units in our industry, but just as well in financial institutions, by the general media, and many policy stakeholders.

As such, it is a prime example of the research work UFI does as our global industry association – with the Barometer as well as with the Word Map of Venues, with the annual reports on Europe and Asia-Pacific, and the many topical reports we research and publish. They all support our businesses and, at the same time, represent our industry to the broader world, showing the value and impact of what we do. If we look at the speed with which we have grown back after the pandemic slump, we are one of the – maybe even THE – biggest sectoral comeback stories after the pandemic. We can all take pride in that, for a moment, and then think about what we can do to spread that word, use that data, and showcase our size and quality. UFI will highlight this in the lead-up to this year’s Global Exhibitions Day on June 5.

The growth – its opportunities as well as challenges – will define many of the sessions at our UFI Asia-Pacific Conference, which gets underway as this UFI Info finds its way into your inboxes. Have a great event, everyone! I am thrilled to see the first edition of an “Event Directors Summit” is taking place alongside this event this week.

“My” next UFI events are lined up as well – I will be in Kigali for our MEA Regional Conference in April and in Zurich in June, of course, for our leadership meetings and the European Conference – all the dates are again in this UFI Info, always, and on See you there!


Geoff Dickinson, UFI President