Over 450 global event professional representing UFI members in more than 54 countries have gathered in St Petersburg, Russia, for the association’s global congress, taking place from 31 October to 3 November.
The event kicked off with the 2018 UFI General Assembly, chaired by 2018 president Corrado Peraboni of Fiera Milano. Peraboni commented: ““It has been a busy year serving the growing global community of UFI members around the world. Never before has the UFI team organised this many meetings and events for our industry, and we have seen a record number of participants. After a year as UFI President, I can say with conviction that there is no other global community like this in our industry.”
During the global congress the association will release two new studies:
- Global Visitor Insights, produced jointly with UFI research partner Explori, will provide global trends on visitor experiences and expectations at trade shows. Based on a sample of more than 13,000 survey participants, the study is based on the biggest ever international data set collected.
- Women in the exhibition industry, a joint research project between UFI and media partner m+a, will provide insights into questions relating to the advancement of women in our industry.
UFI is also looking at the event as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, highlighting a five per cent rise in members, the third Global Exhibitions Day on 6 June, an expansion of the Next Generation Leadership Grant and the launch of the Latin American Conference in Mexico City.
Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director/CEO commented: “The UFI team around the world is working every day to make sure we can serve our global member community of over 50,000 industry professionals. The fact that more industry leaders and professionals are attending our events, using our research, and joining our educational offers than ever before encourages us to continue on this path. We are very happy to welcome additional members into the UFI network around the world – the knowledge and experience they bring enables everyone to get together to explore new business opportunities in our fast evolving industry.”
Craig Newman (pictured centre), CEO at Johannesburg Expo Centre will serve as UFI’s 2019 president alongside executive vice president Mary Larkin (pictured left) of Diversified Communications. As Corrado Peraboni will leave the association due to starting a new enterprise, he cannot serve as outgoing president. Therefore, Dr Andreas Gruchow (pictured right), member of the managing board at Deutsche Messe AG Hanover, will stay on the presidential trio for an additional year.