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Hattendorf Larkin Audrain
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UFI and SISO Launch Global Campaign to Support the Exhibitions & Events Industry

(Pictured L-R: Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO & Joint Meetings Industry Council president; Mary Larkin, UFI president; and David Audrain, SISO ED)

Paris-based UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and Atlanta-based SISO, the Society of Independent Show Organizers, have This Show is Open for Business buttonlaunched a new campaign, called “This Show Is Open.” It supports exhibition and event organizers around the world as they put the industry’s full experience to the task of keeping events going wherever possible, in line with the guidance of health authorities and the interests of their customers.

The campaign launches as the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus is challenging societies around the world. As health systems and governments deal with the outbreak, exhibitions and events around the world are being postponed or cancelled where deemed necessary.

At the same time, exhibitions and events are one of the core elements to both keep industries and economies going—they are both among the most responsive and resilient economical tools. “Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world,” says Mary Larkin, UFI president. “They exist to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade, and to collaborate. Small and medium businesses in all industries in particular depend on exhibitions. And, like all types of events, they support the economy worldwide.”

“Exhibitions and events are especially important in times of disruption,” says Greg Topalian, SISO Chair. “We stand to fulfill our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. As part of the exhibitions industry, we are committed to keep our exhibitions and events going around the world wherever we can do so.”

The “This Show is Open” campaign consists of material that UFI and SISO are making available to their respective memberships—covering all the global leading companies in exhibition management as well as regional and national heavyweights. They can add the visuals and text material to their ongoing communications around upcoming exhibitions –highlighting the fact that, while numerous exhibitions around the world are being postponed or cancelled due to COVID19, many shows are taking place successfully around the world.

“We have one simple message here,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO and David Audrain, SISO ED. “As an industry, we strive to make it possible for every company to come to the show floor, to seek to meet with industry peers, to drive the exchange about how and to what degree their respective industries are impacted by COVID-19, and to secure the successful future for their business.”

Industry leaders are welcoming the campaign: “I have been a strong supporter of this campaign ever since I heard of it,” says Douglas Emslie, CEO of London-based global organizer Tarsus Group. “At Tarsus Group, we will use the material provided to help get the word out loud and clear that our industry is open and resilient.”

UFI and SISO are inviting other associations serving the wider meetings industry to join the campaign, as well, to help to grow awareness.

“As the current president of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, I will invite all the member associations of this global framework to join this campaign,” says Hattendorf. “We will also be happy to offer other networks like the Events Industry Council to share the campaign—this issue is one that calls for the whole meetings industry to come together and collaborate.”

The campaign materials are available for download here: www.supportingevents.org.

UFI is the global trade association of the world’s tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents more than 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 60 national and regional association members. More than 800 member organizations in 89 countries around the world are presently signed up as members. Around 1,000 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities. For more info, visit www.ufi.org.

SISO members include companies, corporations and other for-profit entities that own, produce or provide full-service management of “face-to-face” tradeshows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and events. SISO membership is a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises that do business around the world. SISO’s almost 200 member companies produce thousands of events around the world. SISO’s mission is to meet the common needs of their members, by providing peer networking opportunities, education, industry information, streamlined business processes and best practices in the industry. For more info, visit: www.SISO.org.

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