Around 700 UFI members from more than 50 countries and regions attended the 87th UFI Global Congress, which took place online from 16 to 19 November.
Following a series of well attended physical trade and consumer exhibitions in October, another four trade fairs were held successfully at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) during 11 - 13 November 2020.
UFI is very pleased to announce the results of the elections for the new UFI Board of Directors for the 2020 – 2023 mandate.
TravelRevive - which will take place live from 25-26 November, 2020, at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre,will bring together the travel industry to exchange ideas, bridge knowledge gaps, and reimagine how the future of travel will look like.
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled its Operational Plan for fiscal year 2021 (FY2021) aimed at lifting Thailand’s meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry out of crisis and strengthening the industry’s fundamentals for sustainability.
UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, confirms that this year’s Global Congress will be a digital-only event, taking place from 16 to 19 November. The event’s main theme is “Resilience”.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited ("HML") today said it welcomes the announcement that the Hong Kong SAR Government will launch the Convention and Exhibition Industry Subsidy Scheme (“Subsidy Scheme”) on 3rd October 2020.
UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, is pleased to announce the two congress hosts of the physical congress locations. The two on-site events will be hosted by Dubai World Trade Center (UAE) and by MCH Group (Switzerland).
An increasing number of markets around the world have begun to reopen business events with varying Covid-19 protocols in place. While some cities in China are now operating full calendars, increasing number of exhibitions and live events are taking place in Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. Despite the necessity to shift to digital only events in recent months, numerous studies have shown that companies are eager to return to meeting face-to-face at live events as their preferred marketing channel to reconnect with customers and suppliers and rebuild their businesses following the pandemic.
Shenzhen World, the largest trade fair venue globally, has successfully hosted the Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition, which took place from August 20 until 23. With the gradual reopening of the exhibition business in China by the central Government many venues have restarted operations. To date, however, most shows have seen significant reductions in size and attendance.
The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has unveiled a new support scheme to help organisers of international tradeshows in Thailand get back to business in the wake of Covid-19.
From 19 to 21 August, the 10th Expo Project Fair for International Cooperation （Nanjing）2020 (EPFIC 2020) was successfully held in Nanjing Air-hub International Expo Center. The theme of this event was "ten years of dream building, rise in water". It was co-organized by the People's Government of Lishui District of Nanjing City, China International Conference and Exhibition Magazine Agency. The event made great breakthrough and remarkable achievements in the aspects of the number of participants and trade effect.
The German economy is currently experiencing considerable declines in sales due to the corona pandemic. Investments and private purchases are often postponed or even cancelled. At the same time, the trade fair industry, otherwise the most important instrument of business-to-business communication, has difficulties getting back on track, partly because many exhibiting companies are now asking themselves: do we rely on trade fair participation to get our own business going? Or do we rather prefer waiting until the industry recovers, because then the success of the trade fair will probably be greater and other basic conditions will have improved?
UFI and Explori are today releasing new findings from the ongoing “Global Recovery Project” research. The study programme is conducted by live events research specialists, Explori in partnership with UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry and supported by SISO, the Society for Independent Show Organizers.
The Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (“HKECIA” and “the Association”) presented results of the latest member survey “Impact of Covid-19 to Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry” (“Survey”) to representatives of Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) on 11 August 2020 and urged the authority to provide more support to help Hong Kong exhibition and convention industry ride out Covid-19 storm.
The event will once again bring enormous impact in developing Malaysia’s business events tourism sector. Brought to you by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), MBEW will take place on 24 and 25 August 2020 at the World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
IELA’s recovery programme IELA Reload was a real Incubator of ideas for the future, spreading the fighting spirit to empower IELA members to succeed in the New Now, anticipating & rebounding by limiting losses and boosting strengths in profitable service areas. Launched on May 4th 2020, the programme had four pillars: E-Learning sessions – Regional IELA Talks – Recovery Talks and Rediscover of Tools.
The UFI presidential trio for the 2020/21 term will therefore comprise of: Monica Lee-Müller (managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML), Hong Kong), incoming president Anbu Varathan (Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association - IMTMA, India), president 2020/21 Mary Larkin (Diversified Communications, Portland, USA), outgoing president
Dmg events, organiser of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), and with the support of its strategic partner and host, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has announced that the ADIPEC Strategic and Technical Conference will take place virtually between November 9 and 12, 2020.
UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has released the latest edition of its flagship Global Barometer research, which takes the pulse of the industry. The report highlights the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry worldwide. Globally, 85% of companies declared their overall level of activity was “normal” in January. This quickly dropped to 15% in March, to reach between 5% and 6% in April, May and June. For both April and May, 73% of companies worldwide declared “no activity”.
Collaboration and a United Voice are key in the Advocacy work that is needed to be done. Being among one of the first economies to be shut down and now one of the last to be activated, IELA Reload invited with great interest a panel discussion from Africa to give their insight on the situation in their region in the event and exhibition industry.
Moderated by IELA member, Jacqui Nel, EF GSM South Africa, together with guest moderator Gary Corin, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery UK Managing Director, the panel consisted of prominent players from the industry:
- Glenton De Kock, SA Events Council and co-host of the session
- Craig Newman, UFI Outgoing President
- Justin Hawes, IFES President and Scan Display Solutions Managing Director
- Corne Koch, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau, Head of Convention Bureau
- Craig Barrington, Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) General Manager Facilities & Operations
Jacqui Nel opened the session with Glenton de Kock who explained that the effect of Covid-19 primarily raised the need for collaboration. Representing the South African Events Council in this discussion, he emphasised that the advocacy role of an official body like themselves gave the industry the opportunity to “speak as one voice” and respond to the government’s framework set up in the four areas of health, safety, economic impact and equity. A success can be marked with the authorisation of gatherings with up to 50 people and Glenton de Kock “calls on everybody within the sector to work with us” in order to advance the situation for the exhibition and events industry. Corne Koch emphasised that the regulation allowing business meetings for 50 people is still too small for real effect and encourages efforts together to open greater capacity and that the sector demonstrate that they can open safely and responsibly.
As guest moderator, Gary Corin briefly gave an overview of the Covid-19 situation in figures in South Africa: 206.000 positive cases in total (1.7% death rate), 69.000 cases in the Western Cape with an epicentre in Cape Town. He introduced Corne Koch based in Cape Town who reiterated the importance of advocacy work to show that events have lasting benefits which extend further than purely during the show dates. Hybrid events are more frequent but her opinion is that face-to-face must come back and the challenge of presenting solutions to the government is the primary task. She emphasised how there is a need for statistics as “more accurate data given to governments, better the case”. The idea of establishing one voice represented by the South Africa Events Council was greatly welcomed.
Craig Newman detailed how the Johannesburg Expo Centre was very quickly turned into a rolling isolation facility and that the capacity will soon grow to 1.000 beds in total to cater to demand as the Department of Health predicts a pandemic peak in August/September. He expressed his admiration for the work done by the government and spoke of close collaboration being the key to getting action done. This facility runs until December 2020 so it appears that exhibitions will not open until the beginning of 2021. Craig Barrington from Cape Town International Convention Centre explained how he has a field hospital set up in one building, catering to patients in 862 beds, with food, hygiene, cleaning etc. This allowed 50% of his staff to return to work. Craig Barrington then outlined that he has the advantage of having two opposite buildings so it is possible for him to schedule business events in the other building in all security. He pointed out that at that very moment the Event Safety Council was hosting its meeting on the premises.
For Craig Newman it is clear that the event and exhibition industry has its work cut out to show the business value it brings. National tourism is often seen purely from the leisure side and not from a business perspective. He pointed out that few people in the public sector really understand the contribution of the event and exhibition industry to the economy. Advocacy efforts and information exchange has been intensified, in particular following the appointment of a new Minister of Tourism to whom this is a new subject.
Gary Corin addressed the subject of how to build confidence in this crisis and pointed out that compliance to regulations are always at the forefront of the job in this industry. He himself contracted Covid-19 in early days and this has given him a “deeper appreciation” on how to address events in the African environment. Without the application of precautions, there will be no events. Post-Covid events will be different. He mentioned how shows in Europe and China have taken place with online registration and safe entry to halls which demonstrates that confidence can be won back. Expert partners will be valuable in succeeding this and it will require extra effort as “Good partnerships involve a lot of listening”. Encouraged by the news of show re-openings being possible, Jacqui Nel summed up by saying that “staying close to our partners is key to going forward”.
Corne Koch defined accessibility as a major factor in opening up shows as borders have to be opened. She sees small, regional and domestic shows being made possible and then to develop on that. Saving lives and livelihood remain the perspective on which to concentrate. Craig Barrington mentioned that organisers are struggling to make delegate numbers, maybe due to fear. Social distancing seeking plans for venues have at least 60% reduction in occupancy rate so we will be needing larger venues in the future.
Justin Hawes outlined in his view the key aspects in business to be addressed to confront the shock of Covid-19 and its consequences. The top priority was to look after staff and deliver at all times transparency on the future and how it looks. It was of equal importance to maintain an office for client enquiries in order to keep a presence on the market. His personal experience was that he learned a lot from intensifying his contact with all his suppliers who became important partners. These factors made it then possible to keep the business alive, bring in new ideas and engage with clients. His golden rule is to avoid becoming “overwhelmed in difficult times” and “be as positive as possible...block out the negative as much as possible”.
To conclude the discussion, Gary Corin asked for thoughts on 2021 and the speakers were unanimous in supporting the statement of Craig Newman “Covid-19 will not beat us...there’s a light at the end of the tunnel”. Corne Koch advised us not to lose hope and promote the need for and value of meetings, Justin Hawes prioritised actions to build confidence, Craig Barrington reassured us that the industry will bounce back and Glenton de Koch confirmed that “a highly regulated industry can lead the way to recovery”.
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