Dear colleagues, dear friends,

It’s peak exhibition season still all around the world. So far, our industry seems to be on track to achieve the growth projected by hundreds of you in our latest UFI Global Barometer.

This time of the year is also the “peak season” for UFI’s regional conferences. Three hundred colleagues just met in Macau for the Asia-Pacific Conference. I could not be there in person, but I heard from colleagues on our Executive Committee that it was a good edition for the content and networking. Macau also saw the Asian launch of our “Event Directors Summit” format, the special programme designed exclusively for show and portfolio directors from UFI’s organiser members.

This month, Kigali / Rwanda will host the MEA Conference, which is being hosted in Africa for the first time. I look forward to attending there and being in June in Zurich, / Switzerland, host of this year’s European Conference. Going to Rwanda is a testament to UFI’s mission to also go to emerging destinations and markets, and we discussed in our recent leadership meetings how we can evolve the “UFI Expert Day” format to serve you, our members, in your need to explore new markets and opportunities going forward outside of our conferences.

Looking further ahead, registration is open for another “first” in the 99-year history of UFI: In September, Monterey / Mexico will host our inaugural “UFI Americas Conference” – jointly produced by our regional teams from North America and Central/South America. As trade patterns across the Americas shift, this is the time to build new bridges, forge new relationships and tackle shared issues – in UFI’s unique spirit to foster and drive collaboration.

And last but not least, I already have my delegate pass for November when our UFI Global Congress will take place in Cologne. Registration has also opened here, with a special offer for the first 91 members to sign up—more on this in this UFI Info.

And while this column turned out to be very events-focused, I do not want to close without encouraging all of you to look at this year’s “Next Generation Leaders” programme. The deadline for applications is April 7, so you need to hurry if you still want to nominate your best talent for this programme. I am frankly excited and somewhat scared in equal parts about my role as the head of the selection jury this year – I know we will have to choose from a great pool of applications. I promise we will do our best!


Geoff Dickinson, UFI President