FRANCE – Exhibition industry association UFI has appointed the deputy director of the bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination as its 2013 president.
The board unanimously approved the nomination of Chen Xianjin, current chairman of the Organising Committee of China Association for Exhibition Centers, who become the first Chinese president in UFI history.
The association will officially unveil its next presidential trio, which includes 2011 president Eric Everard and 2012 president Arie Brienen, at the 78th UFI Congress in Valencia in November. The UFI system builds on a three-year UFI presidential cycle, one year as Incoming-President, one year as incumbent President, and finally one year as Immediate Past-President.
Brienen will succeed Everard as president in November this year, and Xianjin will take over the presidency at the 79th UFI Congress in November 2012, in Abu Dhabi.
“I am honoured to have been selected to this important position by my colleagues from around the world,” Xianjin commented. “UFI plays a unique role as the association representing the leaders of the exhibition industry and I will be encouraging our Chinese organizers and venue managers to play an active role within the association. I look forward to continuing the good work of my predecessors as UFI promotes the business benefits of this dynamic marketing medium.”
There are 82 Chinese members in UFI, representing 15 per cent of the association’s total membership. Xianjin has been chair of the UFI Asia/Pacific Chapter since 2006.
UFI MD Paul Woodward said UFI is “remarkably fortunate” in having the strong support of the exhibition industry’s global leaders.

The 2011 edition of UFI’s European Open Seminar closed in Belgium
last week, equaling the event’s peak delegate attendance record.
“I am very grateful to the members of the new trio for their commitment to UFI and, having spent more than 26 years visiting exhibitions in Shanghai, delighted that Mr. Chen will receive recognition for his contribution to the industry when he steps up to the president’s role in 2013.”
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Exhibition WorldExhibition World, produced in partnership with global exhibition industry association UFI is the magazine for the international exhibition community. Read by leading exhibition organisers, venues and service suppliers across the globe, Exhibition World tackles the issues affecting the exhibition industry.