The greatly anticipated annual UFI Congress, this year in Abu Dhabi, is just over two months away. For those of you who have attended previous Congresses, you understand the value of attending. For those of you who haven’t attended before, this year promises to be the best yet.
One of the keynote speakers is Dr. Peter Cochrane, CEO and Chairman of UK based Cochrane Associates. His presentation at the 79th UFI Congress is titled “The Next Industrial Revolution.” I asked Peter a couple of questions about his presentation.
Barry: What are some of the challenges the exhibition industry faces?
Peter: Some challenges have been around for sometime while others are pretty new. For example it has never been easy for organizers trying to communicate new ideas. But now it is even more complicated because attendees and exhibitors seem to have developed a shorter attention span. If the information they receive is timely and relevant, they are more likely to give it their immediate attention. I call this just-in-time information and knowledge that arrives when the recipient needs it and not before.
One other challenge is that companies are questioning the value of conferences and exhibitions, putting more emphasis on virtual events and telepresence.
Barry: You talk about “Open Source”. How will this affect the way we do business in the future?
Peter: The open movement is growing and making everything available through artificial intelligence. Smart machines can watch, listen and learn about what we have done, are doing, and will be doing. These smart machines will move from being reactive to anticipative – providing information and experience as we need it. The congress/exhibition space – in the real and virtual worlds – will thus be transformed with “artificial agents” guiding our schedule, experience and meetings.
Thank you Peter.
UFI members who haven’t already registered and are considering attending, can click here for more information on UFI’s 2012 Congress in Abu Dhabi (www.ufi.org/abudhabi2012). The hotel deadline is fast approaching!