Global Exhibitions Day exceeds expectations, places global spotlight on the exhibitions and events industry

20 June, 2017

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Global Exhibitions Day exceeds expectations, places global spotlight on the exhibitions and events industry

Exhibition industry professionals around the world came out in force for the 2nd Global Exhibitions Day (GED) this week, highlighting the role of exhibitions and events as economical growth drivers, and turning GED 2017 into the biggest day of advocacy for the exhibition industry so far. This year’s theme put special focus on the people and jobs in the exhibition industry, under the title “Think Global – Act Local”.

By the end of the day, the UFI team in Paris had received reports on activities in 75 countries and regions from all around the world, including the respective industry leaders among organisers, venues, and service providers. Compared to the initial GED in 2016, numerous additional countries and players in the industry joined for the first time.

Coordinated by UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, 41 Global Exhibitions Day partner associations united behind this joint advocacy campaign. “The theme for this year’s GED was ‘Think Global – Act Local’, and this was reflected in activities and activations all around the world”, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI MD/CEO. “I am especially thrilled by the mix of senior industry leaders and young professionals who took part in GED events everywhere. The wide variety of activities really shows the creativity and the energy this industry has to offer. And the fact that exhibition and event professionals from all around the world have come together to promote our industry as a whole, clearly shows what we as an industry can achieve together.”

GED saw a broad mix of activities, both onsite and online, to promote exhibitions as business platforms as well as career and business development opportunities in the industry. Events and activities were arranged by many of the international and national organisers, by venues, by service providers, and also by national and regional associations.

Preliminary data analysis shows that on Global Exhibitions Day alone, the joint activities by the industry have reached a staggering 3.1 million people just on Twitter. UFI will publish a detailed report in the weeks to come.
The list of global GED activities is available at www.ufi.org/ged. UFI will be updating this list in the coming days as and when more activities are shared. Among the many activities around the world focusing on education and networking, here are some examples:

• In Australia, EEAA ran a series of events on 7 and 8 June across three member venues in Sydney including the International Convention Centre Sydney, Doltone House - Darling Island Wharf and Dockside – L’Aqua. These events included the EEAA Annual General Meeting, a specific Global Exhibitions Day Reception and the EEAA Leaders Forum.


• In Asia, over 300 exhibition professionals gathered at Bombay Exhibition Centre, NESCO, Goregaon (E), Mumbai to commemorate the common cause and objective of ascertaining exhibition industry’s growth. Keeping aside differences in Association alliances and business rivalries, this congregation of Exhibition organisers, venue owners and service providers focussed on promoting the Exhibition industry as a whole.


• In Africa, EXSA organised a “Tastiest Potjie” competition at the Johannesburg Expo Centre bringing together Organisers, Venues, Suppliers, Associates and all other industry stakeholders to network and celebrate.


• In Europe, RAI Amsterdam launched a “Start your Event” pitch competition to support new exhibition concepts for start-up organisers. The winning concept will be held in RAI Amsterdam in late 2018, and will be supported with both exhibition space as well as then know how and expertise required for organising events.


• In Middle East, IEA organised a conference and dinner ceremony on 11 June 2017. Venue managers, exhibition organisers as well as governmental representatives from all of the Iran provinces gather to celebrate GED and evaluate how to improve the exhibition performance in Iran.


• In North America, IAEE held a day of advocacy, bringing together industry professionals to talk to political leaders in Washington, DC, about the promotion of fair and free trade.


• In Latin America, AMPROFEC invited exhibition organisers, venues and service providers around a #GED17 cocktail to celebrate Global Exhibitions Day in Merida city on 6 June, in Mexico City and Monterrey on 7 June. In addition, they took pictures at different iconic places in Mexico with the GED logo.


In addition, sportive activities were on the agenda again as well. Co-organised by Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association and Hong Kong Exhibition Services Association, the First Global Exhibitions Day Friendship Football Cup was celebrated on GED. It provided networking opportunities to participants in an informal and relaxing atmosphere as well as to celebrate the people who work in industry. In Paris, UNIMEV (The French Meeting Industry Council) was holding the 2nd Global Exhibitions Day Run, at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre.
In the coming weeks, UFI media partner Exhibition World, together with the UFI team, will review all reported GED activities, and select best practice examples to be shared with the industry. Winners will receive the new “GED Award” in four categories: Most Creative Activity, Highest Profile Online Activity, Biggest Scale Physical Activity, and Industry Impact Award.

The network of partner associations also decided in 2016 to allocate a permanent date for future Global Exhibitions Days – always taking place on the first Wednesday in June. Therefore, GED 2018 will be held at June 6, 2018.
The 41 GED partner associations under the UFI umbrella are: EXSA (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AFECA (Asia), AFIDA (Central & South America), AMPROFEC (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), CAEM (Canada), CEFA (Central Europe), CENTREX (Central Europe), CFI (Italy), EEAA (Australasia), EEIA (EU), EFU (Ukraine), EMECA (Europe), EXSA (South Africa), FAIRLINK (Sweden), FAMAB (Germany), HKECIA (Hong-Kong), IAEE (USA), IDFA (Germany), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), IELA (Global), IFES (Global), LECA (Lebanon), MACEOS (Malaysia), MFTA (Macao), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia), SACEOS (Singapore), SECB (Singapore), SISO (USA), TEA (Thailand), TECA (Taiwan), TFOA (Turkey), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).