A Laser Focus on the Future at UFI’s 2019 European Conference

January 22, 2019

Trade wars and a turbulent global economic outlook. Global opportunities, changing business models and disruption. The need for show organizers to remain flexible as well as pragmatic in running and planning their businesses going forward. These are just some of the pressing industry issues that will be addressed at the 2019 UFI European Conference, set for May 15-17 at the Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham, U.K. 

Produced by UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, the annual event for exhibition professionals will focus on what organizers in Europe and beyond will be facing in these turbulent times.

Carrying the theme “The Organizers’ Future,” the two-day conference will cover global opportunities from a European perspective, including sessions on the U.S., China and Russia, as well as offer world-class industry speakers and premium networking in a relaxed and informal setting – from the state-of-the-art Vox Conference Centre to a gala dinner at the medieval Warwick castle built in 1068.

According to Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director and CEO, this conference will be the organization’s most important European event in 2019.

“It serves a crucial need for exhibition professionals from Europe and further afield to get together, take the pulse of the industry and discuss the issues of the day,” Hattendorf said. “The event has enjoyed double-digit growth year-on-year recently, and we’re working hard to deliver value for organizers, venues and service providers.”

The 2019 conference will also continue the debate from last year’s event in Verona, Italy, including how the basic business model for organizing exhibitions is changing due to the effects of digital and artificial intelligence, the evolution of the exhibition format and changing customer needs.

The recent UFI/Explori Global Visitors survey that featured responses from over 13,000 trade show visitors across the globe provided some surprising results that will also be discussed, according to Hattendorf.

The decision to hold the 2019 European Conference in Birmingham was made after the U.K. announced its intention to leave the European Union, Hattendorf said, so that participants could have a first-hand experience of a post-Brexit Britain if the country ultimately leaves the Union on March 29.

Taking place only seven weeks after this nominal date, the event will be a timely opportunity to examine the U.K.’s position as a home base for leading global exhibition organizers and Brexit’s ramifications for businesses in the U.K., Europe and beyond.

As with every year, UFI’s working groups will schedule activities around the conference, and UFI’s executive committee and board of directors will hold regular meetings.

Learn more or register for the 2019 UFI European Conference HERE. Registration is now open and early bird rates are available until March 15.


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