Jamming together

Kai Hattendorf

Kai Hattendorf, UFI chief executive, provides his regular update, underlining the importance of collaboration and revealing how to download the exhibition playlist.

We have just wrapped up a busy first half of the year – with UFI events around the world, and UFI’s presence at many industry events again in person. And it does feel good to live again face-to-face. Now we are shifting our focus to the 89th UFI Global Congress this November in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Work on the programming is underway.

To reflect the financial pressures that many parts of the industry still feel, we are – for the first time – offering an early bird rate, which will allow you to lock in last year’s reduced ticket price for this year. Please see www.uficongress.org for details.

Beyond this, planning has already started for our 2023 events, with the 90th Global Congress in Las Vegas, the GCS, and our regional conferences. You can always find the up-to-date calendar for confirmed events at www.ufi.org/our-events/ufi-events-calendar

For the first time since the 1970s, UFI will return to North America in 2023 for the Global Congress. In recent years, our association’s presence and reach in this market has grown organically, as more and more UFI members expand their business there, and as we have welcomed US-based businesses into our organisation. UFI research is a highly regarded source of information, and our advocacy work globally in collaboration with all our association members continues to make an impact.

Today, UFI works closer than ever with the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO). We are a founding partner of ‘Go Live Together’, and now one of the industry associations funding and backing Washington, DC-based Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), the North American counterpart to the EEIA office we are already backing with EMECA in Brussels.

In fact, I am writing this column on my way back from the annual summer conference of ESCA (the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association), which has recently joined UFI as an industry association as well. There, I again experienced how we all benefit from our US colleagues being more connected to the global industry community.

To reflect all these developments, we are happy that we can now draw on the experience and expertise of two trusted US colleagues. Martha Donato and Marty Glynn from MAD Event Management will work with us to evolve further in North America, acting as our official representatives. As our industry evolves, UFI also evolves as your global association.

In closing – I owe you all a playlist. In my last column, I asked you to share songs for our industry’s summer soundtrack this year. At our recent Global CEO Summit, we collected more entries and put the playlist on Spotify. So – if you want – you will need to visit this page on the digital version of Exhibition World to download it.