Blogger: Sergey Alexeev, UFI President
The first ever Global Exhibitions Day, held on 8 June 2016, mobilized thousands of industry professionals around the world. With the support of UFI’s unique network of 56 national exhibition associations, Global Exhibitions Day successfully highlighted the exhibition industry’s important contribution to the global economy. I would like to thank each and every one of you who made this success possible, together with all the other industry professionals who joined the many, many activities that took place on that day!
Our UFI team in Paris recorded GED activities in 60+ countries on 8 June. From Hong Kong to Bogota, from the UK to South Africa, our industry was connected across the world. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn have been buzzing with activity over the past month. Countless photos, videos, GIFs, media releases, articles and discussions were shared and the hashtag #GED16 was used widely. One single video posted in support of GED alone reached an audience of 60,000 viewers in under 24 hours.
For a long time, many people in our industry had felt that it would be great to have a day where the exhibition industry celebrates itself and sends a joint message about the importance and the strength of the industry not just in one country but worldwide. I am stunned by how massive the global support for Global Exhibitions Day has been, and still is. It was about time to celebrate our industry and everyone working in it, and I am proud that I have had the opportunity to supervise and support this great initiative in my term as your president.
Already on the day, I talked to many friends and colleagues in our industry about what the next step might be. And I am very happy that everyone agreed to go on and continue celebrating Global Exhibitions Day in the future. So please mark your calendars for next year’s date: 7 June, 2017.
I cannot close this without reflecting on the role UFI has played in making Global Exhibitions Day a reality, and why I am so proud of our association. Who else in our industry can bring together people from 60+ countries, and work with national associations all around the world to make such an initiative happen with only a few months of preparation! This is “the power of UFI”, as the big connector of our industry globally. With great events like the European Seminar in Basel a few days back. With great research, like the Global Barometer, set for release again this summer. With great new initiatives like the Next Generation Leadership Grant. And to these we can now add Global Exhibitions Day.
While in Basel, we selected the UFI 2018 President – and I would like to congratulate our colleague Corrado Peraboni, CEO of Fiera Milano, on his election. UFI truly is special, and being UFI President is extra special! Thanks also to René Kamm and his team from MCH Group for hosting UFI at their fantastic venue!
As many of you around the world head off for vacations, I’d particularly like to wish the UFI team in Paris a wonderful summer and some well deserved off time!