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UFI on the rise with two new reports at Global Congress

UFI, the global association for the exhibitions industry, has released a new 12-month report showing a steady rise in participation and membership.

It has also announced the release of two new reports at the Global Congress in Bangkok - the Global Exhibitor Insights report, and a comprehensive overview of the trade show industry in Latin America.

Participants at UFI global events grew 8% over last year, with the Global Congress currently taking place in Bangkok tying for the biggest UFI event ever. Over 550 participants are registered from more than 50 countries.

Following plans to promote activities in the Middle East and Latin America, UFI's Middle East / Africa Conference became the largest ever designated regional exhibition industry conference in MEA, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Craig Newman, UFI's 2019 President, commented: "Reviewing the past twelve months, I feel proud - proud of the achievements and developments UFI has seen. For me, three things stand out from all the work around the world: UFI's focus on collaboration, the development in UFI's smaller chapters in Middle East/Africa and Latin America, and UFI's research work.

"UFI is unique – we have more than 50 national and international exhibition industry associations as members. We work with and for our members. UFI does not compete with national associations. We don't run national chapters. We work together. This year, we have signed an agreement to take these collaborations one step further, to the global level – the Global Alliance with AIPC and ICCA. As the business models for exhibitions and conferences today overlap, we can learn from each other. Together, our future is brighter if the best global trade associations collaborate for the benefit of our members."


Strong educational global offerings 

Education and diversity in leadership are both strategic priorities for the association. After two sold-out editions of the UFI-VMA Venue Management School programme in Shanghai, a third edition will take place in Shanghai in December, and the programme will expand into South East Asia in 2020.

This year saw another edition of the International Summer University (ISU) in association with Kölnmesse and the University of Cologne. Along with the ISU several UFI-EMD programme courses were held around the world. 

Furthermore, the scope of UFI's talent recognition programme, the "Next Generation Leadership Grant" has expanded to include individual mentoring for grantees. 


The EW team on site at the Global Congress in Bangkok


Size and scope of research increases

UFI delivers regular research insights on global, regional and topical themes, and the association's activities in this area continue to evolve.

The size and scope of UFI's research available to members has grown significantly in recent years. To facilitate access to research, the association has relaunched its research portal at ufi.org/research.

UFI and Explori recently published a third Global Visitor Insights study, providing an in-depth review of participant expectations with regards to show organisers and venues. Including data from over 13,000 trade show visitors globally, this is the most extensive study of its kind.

At the Global Congress in Bangkok, UFI will release two new studies.

UFI also released the Global Economic Impact study. Produced with Oxford Economics and supported by The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO), the report provides both global and regional data on the total economic impact of the exhibition industry, most notably in terms of economic output, GDP (gross domestic product) and jobs.

At the Global Congress in Bangkok, UFI will release two new studies.

One is the Global Exhibitor Insights, produced jointly with UFI research partner Explori, which will provide global trends on exhibitor experiences and expectations at trade shows. Based on a sample of more than 1,500 trade show exhibitors, the study showcases developments as well as threats and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry. 

Furthermore, the Congress will see the release of the first ever comprehensive overview of the trade show industry in Latin America, covering all the markets in this fast-growing region.


UFI’s outlook for the future

Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO, said: "We are pleased to report another year where we have been able to support our members around the world. Their success is our reward, and we are happy to see that, globally, the exhibition industry continues to grow at a steady pace despite political and economic headwinds.

“With our global portfolio of events, research, education, and advocacy activities, we do our part to help our community of more than 50,000 industry professionals to make the connections, get the data, and have the knowledge and recognition they need to navigate successfully through tougher times."


2020 UFI events include:

- The annual Global CEO Summit in Rome, 5 -7 February

- Three Regional Conferences in Macau from 4-6 March, Buenos Aires from 20-21 April, and Gothenburg from 3-5 June

- The Global Congress in Muscat from 9-12 November

- Several UFI Forums: the Digital Innovation Forum in Macau on 4 March, a Forum on Sustainable Development in Paris (France) from 13-15 May, and a HR Management Forum in Gothenburg from June 2-3.

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