UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has released new research: a white paper on the importance of matchmaking in the exhibition industry. Authored by the UFI Marketing Working Group with other industry professionals from around the world, the report provides research, insights and best practice examples to support effective matchmaking activities across the industry globally.

The report, entitled “Matchmaking at the heart of the exhibition industry”, highlights the vital role matchmaking plays in making those all-important human connections. The result of twelve months of in-depth discussion and research, this report includes the findings of the UFI Matchmaking Survey 2019 and the views of industry voices. It covers both industry challenges and the various approaches used.

“Matchmaking is an indispensable feature of events, and providing matchmaking opportunities is a key ingredient in creating an attractive program and successful event,” says Holger Feist, chief strategy officer for Messe München and vice-chair of the UFI Marketing Working Group. “While there are many good examples, the journey to perfect the matchmaking experience continues. Developing matchmaking going forward requires effective management, use of all available technological enablers, and truly excellent organisation.”

Indeed, while the results of the UFI Matchmaking Survey are positive in terms of the numbers of participants who are currently undertaking matchmaking activities (90 percent) and who see it as important (71 percent), the paper also highlights that there are obstacles to overcome to provide customers with a superior matchmaking experience.

The best practice examples included in the report demonstrate how matchmaking happens across the industry, from physical, people-oriented approaches to more tech-savvy solutions, reflecting the diversity of events and different aims of matchmaking experiences.

This is the first white paper to be published by the UFI Marketing Working Group, and the group’s members hope it will become a useful industry resource in the future development of matchmaking across the exhibition world.

Angela Herberholz, UFI program manager and liaison to the working group, says: “Members of the UFI Marketing Working Group are passionate experts with extensive experience in marketing and the exhibition industry. We take a customer-centric perspective on industry matters related to the marketing of trade fairs, exhibition venues and related services, and provide a platform to benchmark new concepts, develop ideas and exchange experience.”

The report is a part of UFI’s globally acclaimed body of research publications that covers global, regional and topical issues. For a comprehensive overview of UFI research, visit ufi.org/research.

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry: UFI is the leading 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 around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 54 national and regional association members. Over 800 member organisations in 87 countries around the world are presently signed up as members. More than 900 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.

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