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UFI in Zurich: Five trends that also move trade fairs

10.06.2024

This year, the global association of the exhibition industry is set to hold its European Conference in Zurich from 11 to 13 June. The UFI conference will once again be hosted by the MCH Group.

It has been eight years since the European Conference of the global association of the exhibition industry (UFI) was last held in Switzerland. Back then, Messe Basel, operated by MCH, presented itself to the delegates in a new guise. The exhibition professionals met to tackle the “challenges of change”, with a focus on digitalisation. Change continues to play a major role, but the motto for the upcoming conference in Zurich is a little broader: The overarching theme of the European Conference will be this year’s “five trends”. Speakers and delegates will address the exhibition industry’s most pressing challenges and opportunities, structured around the five main trends that define our current and future landscape. These trends are: focus on the changing customer; reinforcing our identity; Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here, and it’s a game changer; climate crisis and sustainability; industry consolidation and new players.

On 12 and 13 June these five trends will be addressed in individual sessions. Experts will offer in-depth insights from the exhibition industry and beyond. Before that, Stephane Garelli – a well-known name to many UFI delegates - will hold the opening keynote. Garelli is professor emeritus at the Institute of Management Development (IMD), University of Lausanne, and was managing director of the World Economic Forum in Davos. He has already spoken at various UFI events. The full title of his opening speech is: “Business impact of a fractured global economy: emphasising the new expectation of civil society and the mindset for success in this new environment”.

Once again, the UFI conference is the most important annual gathering of exhibition industry leaders in Europe. Connected to the main event, Zurich will also host the second edition of the Event Directors Summit on 11 June - a “by invitation only event” for 50 exhibition and portfolio directors, launched at the 2023 European Conference. “We are also excited to welcome the Event Directors Summit,” emphasises Roman Imgrüth. “Of course, this select group is very attractive to us as a leading host for guest events in Switzerland,” says the CEO of MCH Exhibitions & Events, pointing to the venues in Basel and Zurich belonging to the MCH Group.

The UFI European Conference will take place at Messe Zürich in the vibrant Oerlikon district. The early summer event is located just a few minutes by tram from the city centre and the international airport. In any case, Zurich boasts excellent connectivity and transport links, as UFI points out. This makes Switzerland's largest city a very convenient destination for all conference delegates. Moreover, during the event, guests will get to enjoy another pleasant side of Zurich. The traditional networking dinner on the second evening will be in a classic, stylish restaurant on Lake Zurich. 

 
 

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