Faced with event bans around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, decided to use digital sessions as an alternative means to connect with its members and the industry at large in late March. In the space of just the first month, the association organized and held ten online events, bringing together thousands of exhibition industry professionals from all around the world.
“UFI Connects” provides an array of regular talks, panels, and webinar sessions—organized by the UFI team and the UFI community. The program also features selected sessions from previous UFI events that are normally only available to members of the association. Access to all sessions is free of charge for industry professionals.
“Right now, dialogue and best practice sharing are more important than ever, and as our industry’s global association we are in a position to facilitate this,” says Kai Hattendort, UFI CEO and MD. “We are thrilled by the feedback we are receiving. We succeeded in welcoming thousands of participants live during the respective sessions—and are seeing many more watching the session recordings afterwards on demand around the world.”
Every UFI connects session focuses on a specific theme, and time is always allocated for dialogue between the speakers, panelists and the session participants.
“The content we provide and deliver at our UFI events around the world are one of our association’s biggest assets,” says Sonia Thomas, UFI COO. “Whilst our regular events and educational programmes cannot take place as usual, we are happy to see that our ‘UFI Connects’ session can fill this void at the present time. A huge thank you to all the speakers, but also to the UFI team who put these sessions together and deliver them.”
Highlights of the April sessions include:
• Economist Roger Martin-Fagg discussing “The Economist’s View Beyond Covid-19”
• A panel on the do’s and don’ts of virtual events with Dahlia El Gazzar (Tech Evangelist + Idea Igniteur, DAHLIA + Agency), Enrico Gallorini (CEO, GRS S.r.l.) and Matthias Tesi Baur (CEO, MBB Consulting Group)
• Regional COVID-19 focused industry updates from Asia, Middle-East/Africa, Latin America, and Europe
• A session of best practice examples of venues being converted into temporary hospitals around the world.
Highlights of early May sessions include:
• Focus on Middle East (May 4)
• Focus on North American on (May 5)
All sessions are available on demand—and free of charge—on the “UFI Connects” area of the UFI website: www.ufi.org/uficonnects.
Numerous additional sessions are being developed for the weeks ahead that draw on insights from the global UFI community. UFI will make these available to the larger audience, and details will be announced on the website.
The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry: UFI is the global trade association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre 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 organisations 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