Interview with David Boon, UFI European Conference’s Moderator


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Blogger: Stephanie Selesnick, President of International Trade Information, Inc

UFI’s European Conference (Open Seminar) takes place May 10-12 in Cologne, Germany.

With five billion Euros being invested in venues and venue infrastructure within the next 10 years, this Conference is focused on the future exhibition industry.

I had a chance to speak with the event’s Moderator, David Boon, General Manager, International Business Development, Brussels Expo, Belgium about the upcoming event.

To stay relevant in the future, exhibitions need to change their marketing. “The next, younger generation of attendees and visitors don’t have the same loyalty to products as older generations. That means we have to communicate differently to get them to our shows year after year. How can we tempt them to attend? It has to be a different message each exhibition.” He continued, “It takes constant research and is always evolving.”

Marketing is going to have to understand the next generations of visitors on deeper, more intimate level, and digitalization is one of the keys to that end. David commented, “Without it, our industry has no future. It’s going to take investment of all kinds – segmentation, personalization, and whatever is yet to be invented, to utilize data to make our shows ‘must attend.”

Getting conference content right, keeping it fresh and innovative is also significant in attracting future attendees. Recent industry studies site educational offerings becoming one of the more influential factors in the decision to go to an exhibition.

David said the European Conference is a good balance between strategic and tactical information. While, “keeping competitive is important today and in the future, reaching our visitors is key to global development. What can we as venues do to be more user-friendly?” That particular subject will be covered by Mark Brewster, Explori’s CEO, who will talk about research on exhibitors and attendees changing expectations from both venues and exhibitions.

The UFI European Conference (Open Seminar) is open to all professionals in the exhibition industry.

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