What is the future of Brazil’s Exhibition Industry?

May 23, 2017


Interview with Juan Pablo Devera, President of Reed Brazil and President of UBRAFE by Stephanie Selesnick (Part 3 of 3)

We had a chance to catch up with Juan Pablo Devera after the recent 12th Annual Meeting of the Exhibitions industry (ESFE), Brazil’s largest meeting for exhibition leaders. This is the last of a 3-part interview on the Brazilian exhibition industry.

What are UBRAFE’s plans for 2017?

UBRAFE has been active in Brazil since its foundation 35 years ago. We started as an Association that was looking for representation in front of the Government Authorities. Next we focused on demonstrating value, and extended strategic partnerships with our destinations as “promoters” for business travelers and investors coming to our events.

More recently we have demonstrated the economic impact of our activity in the cities where we hold our events.

Now UBRAFE’s focus is has a strategic plan based on four main pillars:

  1. Support our communities and their economic development with our trade show calendars; demonstrate the effectiveness of the events industry by supporting our customer’s needs
  2. Improve the quality of our trade shows by making them safe, efficient and comfortable platforms to share content
  3. Generate incredible experiences and unforgettable encounters
  4. Support our people with updated and qualified training and international certification programs to guarantee their success, making their journey in our industry even more worthwhile.

Our action plan for 2017 builds on the plan and includes using a strategic approach to UFI and its activities around the world.

What is latest on the political situation in Brazil?

This is a critical time in our country, which is still a youngest democracy in the developing market. The activity of our politicians has become more visible and accountable. I believe society will reward them for their acts and behavior.

Being a professional of the trade show industry for more than 20 years, I have learned how to work tirelessly, engage with my community, and find solutions to provide business opportunities to any challenge, at any time. It looks like there will be another economic crisis in Brazil, but we’ve had more than 19 in the last 50 years, so we feel prepared to weather this one.

But as any crossroad in life, those who stay together, listen to their customers carefully, adapt to new technologies, move quickly by making the right decisions, and attract talented people, will come out of the downturn stronger and ready to capture growth once again!

Can the economy improve despite these problems – or does the political aspect need to be resolved first?

The geographical size of Brazil, the large and young population, the diversity of the industry platform, the natural resources and the strategic role of the Brazilian economy in the region makes our market a priority for many companies. The volume of foreign investment received, and the opportunities still available, makes our economy attractive for those who play a role in the establishment of long-term ventures.

I want to invite everyone to see our region as the other side of the coin, what I call the half of the glass full.

This is a region of the world without ethnic conflicts, without global threats, and without boundary conflicts. We have poverty and deep social problems. But, our region is full of incredible people, living in diversity that celebrates their own cultures with passion. Brazil is a continent full of discoveries and amazing opportunities.

Our communities need support to become more equal and further developed. And there is a role that truly leaders should embrace. The “new shared economy” will impact the lives of hundreds millions of new generations who will support leaders working for more sustainability, diversity, and human development. The population will elect leaders who adapt to the new economy.

I am convinced we are passing through an incredible time in the world, a time that is calling the private sector and the leaders to assume a new role, to make our businesses engaged in the communities we serve.

How the Brazilian Exhibition Industry is Reacting to Economic Challenges

May 19, 2017


Interview with Juan Pablo Devera, President of Reed Brazil and President of UBRAFE by Stephanie Selesnick (Part 2 of 3)

This is a continuation of an interview with Juan Pablo Devera after the recent 12th Annual Meeting of the Exhibitions industry (ESFE), Brazil’s largest meeting for exhibition leaders.

Have economic challenges forced organizers to improve: streamline processes, get closer to their customers, etc.? In what ways?

Our country is one the youngest democracies in the world. Open to a wider international trade and commerce market only 30 years ago, we are still looking for sustained economic stability.

On general terms one can say that we are still learning and developing our own economic and social structure. Each year the volume of new graduate professionals joining the job market is incredible.

Simultaneously globalization and technology are quickly impacting our lives. At the same time, these changes are educating consumers – resulting in high expectations and demands from them. The changes in the services sector is affecting every single organization around the world, presenting new opportunities for the Brazilian Exhibition business.

We are a market with a population of more than 206 million people (5th in the world), living in 5,500 cities, and produce a GDP of U$ 3,2 trillion (7th in the world).

During the last 100 years we have been through the same challenges, highs and lows of any developing market. All of these economic cycles have helped us to demonstrate and reinforce the effectiveness of “exhibitions”. Once again we are proving that exhibitions work in good and bad times.

Our experience says that more pressure our customers face, the more we become strategic partners in their success, using creative and innovative solutions to help them achieve their goals.

In addition for the Brazilian Exhibition Industry, we enjoy the benefit of learning from colleagues with experiences working in mature markets in the world. We have very good examples and best practices from our colleagues in Europe and the US to learn and develop faster and effective solutions. These days, we are once again embracing and bringing to market the innovation provided by new Business Models, new tools for Customer Assessment, Data Analysis, Digital Solutions, Matchmaking Programs, and new content as VR or AR, for example.

How do you see UFI’s role in Brazil?  What benefits can UFI bring to both UBRAFE and the industry?

As industry members, we appreciate the power of an International Association with proven experience. UFI has demonstrated an increasing interest with support to our region. UFI’s knowledge sharing and actions provides us with updates from around the world, making our local challenges become more understandable.

UFI is our mentor on this journey and UBRAFE continues to gain from its experiences and lessons as an advocate for the industry. Also UFI is making progress on generating usable data and industry reports, helping us gain visibility and representation on our markets. It is also is projecting the role we must to play to be active players in our markets development. We have a lot of to learn from UFI, and want to collaborate more with their global membership


Upcoming in Part 3: What is the future of Brazil’s exhibition industry?

Apps for trade fairs: “everything at a glance at the right time”

May 9, 2017


Blogger: Ellen Matheis, coordinator of web solutions at Messe Frankfurt, Germany

Apps have become an integral component of the marketing and communication services offered by trade fair organizers. What are the advantages of trade fair apps for exhibitors and visitors, as well as the added value for organizers?

 Which mobile offerings are now a must-have for organizers of trade fairs or events?

All digital services including web sites, exhibitor searches, trade fair maps, business matchmaking portals, newsletters, online shops for services, and of course event apps are now the standard. All these mobile offerings provide added value, new marketing opportunities, business opportunities or business contacts.

The objective of apps consists of providing the entire digital offering to trade fair visitors and exhibitors in a convenient form even when they are on the go, and especially when they are moving about on-site at the event. Everything at a glance and all the important information at the right time. At Messe Frankfurt, we are adapting the individualization options such as filtering and sorting features to the app format in response to the widespread use of smartphones. Basically, all the information provided in the exhibitor search on the www.messefrankfurt.com website is also available in the app in optimized form for mobile devices.

What added value do apps for trade fairs offer visitors and exhibitors as compared to a website?

Apps offer a wide range of content in a compact concise format. They are easier to use than the mobile version of a complex website in the small window of a smartphone browser. Our event apps  also include offline features, which means users don’t necessarily have to be connected to the internet to use them. This is especially attractive to trade fair visitors from abroad.


Exhibitors can also use additional services in the app including ads or beacons  to stand out from the competition at the on the trade fair site. Beacons provide an excellent way for exhibitors to contact visitors directly. These small devices send radio signals to all smartphone users, who are using the app and are currently within range of a stand equipped with the beacons. Exhibitors can use this for lead generation, marketing measures such as coupon give-aways or for transmitting product information directly to the smartphones.

Do apps serve to supplement or replace other trade show and event marketing measures?

It is important to always view apps as supplementing other measures. It is possible to reach additional target groups with digital products and generate another form of attention not only during but even before a trade fair.

What insights have you gained from using apps?

We are of course interested in knowing how many visitors use our app and what content or features are most frequently used or not at all. From this, we regularly derive further development measures including usability improvement, new filtering and sorting options and new products such as the “trade fair innovations” feature, which exhibitors can book to distinguish themselves from the competition and gain attention for their company and their products.


For example, based on usage analysis, the most recent update to our Heimtextil Navigator app  includes list of favorites integrated in the map of the exhibition grounds to add even greater convenience and flexibility to planning the trade fair visit. By simply tapping on the word “Fairground”, users can quickly click their way through halls and levels, thus tremendously simplifying navigation of the trade fair site. It is also possible to copy events into one’s own calendar using the app to avoid missing out on points of interest at the fair.

How interested are exhibitors in promoting themselves and their products in the trade fair apps?

The response to our services is very positive, but varies widely depending on the trade fair. Each industry has its special characteristics, which is also reflected in the extra services booked. Therefore, our apps not only provide different content for the individual trade fairs, but also a range of features tailored to each industry. We thus remain at the cutting edge and integrate the requests, suggestions and critique of our customers.

How do you position yourself with regard to mobile services as compared to apps that exhibitors offer themselves?

If you look at the goals of exhibitors and trade visitors with regard to the trade fair, then it becomes apparent that the requirements of an app differ significantly. Exhibitors want to attract visitors to their world of products and services. Visitors want to be able to quickly gain an overview of the fair. Our goal is to provide added value to both target groups. And we’ve laid the foundation for this with our new Heimtextil Navigator app. We’ve place the focus here on business matchmaking to provide trade visitors and exhibitors an event more efficient way to meet up.

Exhibitor apps usually pursue an entirely different goal than our event apps do. The focus here is clearly placed on the exhibiting company and its own products. Nevertheless, we see additional potential in our event apps using app-in-app offers, for example. We will be continuing to think in this direction in 2017.


An update on Brazil’s Exhibition Industry

May 4, 2017


Interview with Juan Pablo De Vera, President of Reed Brazil and President of UBRAFE by Stephanie Selesnick (Part 1 of 3)

We had a chance to catch up with Juan Pablo Devera after the recent 12th Annual Meeting of the Exhibitions industry (ESFE), Brazil’s largest meeting for exhibition leaders.

Organized by Grupo RADAR, an UFI media partner and member, the conference promoted the development of creative ideas and synergies between industry members in one of the most dynamic markets in Latin America. This was accomplished via panel discussions, presentations, and matchmaking appointments.

How is the exhibition business doing in Brazil post Olympics and World Cup?

Brazil has produced many successful exhibitions from many different industries for over 70 years. These exhibitions, held across the country, support the development of the Brazil’s fastest growing economic sectors.

Brazil hosted these globally famous events in a relatively short time: the 2008 Pan American Games; the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the 2016 RIO Olympic Games. We had high expectations for the legacy of these opportunities. In general terms, these expectations were mainly related to infrastructure development: new venues, new arenas, new transport services, new hotels, new airports, etc.

Unfortunately as has been reported, some of the resources earmarked for the events went missing and presently are under police investigation.

Even with some set backs, the Brazilian Exhibition sector has and is enjoying the benefits of those World Class Events held in many cities in such a short period of time.

So, in addition to new infrastructure development, another benefit from the sporting events is the attraction and development of new talented live event professionals. All them are passionate about the “events industry”.

This new generation of professionals having already been recruited, engaged and motivated to enjoy the business of “live events” are now well trained and have acquired new skills. They have proven international event experience, and have demonstrated a capability to execute on time and at the highest professional level. All them are now looking at positions within the Exhibition Industry.

What were the main issues raised at ESFE this year?

This was the XII edition of ESFE – Exhibition and Events Annual Meeting organized by RADAR, and as usual, the theme reflects a topical market issue. This year Octavio Neto, journalist and founder of ESFE, challenged us with the theme: EXHIBITIONS: A Time of Disruption.

Panel discussions featured local, experienced professionals representing exhibition organizers, venue managers and service suppliers. Everyone agreed it was important to recognize the challenge, and even more, embrace  “disruption” as another innovation opportunity for the exhibition industry.

During the presentations we shared views, and talked about updating traditional business models. We all recognized the need to become more relevant to our customers.

We need to upgrade our value proposition, gain capability to execute with excellence, be proactive to become key players on the digital economy, and generate a genuine partnership role to the communities with whom we are engaged.

Upcoming in Part 2: More on how the Brazilian exhibition industry is reacting to economic challenges.

Global Exhibitions Day marks the exhibition industry

May 3, 2017


Blogger: Angela Herberholz, UFI Marketing & Communications Manager

The biggest promotional campaign that our industry has ever seen is just around the corner.


I love this global initiative. It is uniting people across our industry regardless of their position, employer, level of experience, origin, culture, language, gender,… we all share the same passion for the exhibitions industry.

GED – 7 June 2017 – is a chance for us all to celebrate the exhibition industry and highlight its positive impact on jobs, business, people, innovation and local investment!

I am, alongside thousands of exhibition industry professionals around the world, counting the days until 7 June 2017, this year’s date for GED. To find out how many days are left, visit www.ufi.org, where we’re displaying a countdown for you.

What happened around 8 June 2016?

GED 2016 - Global Activities Around GED 2016 top

The first ever GED, held on 8 June 2016, mobilised the exhibition industry like no other campaign before.

GED16 offered insight into the diverse and extraordinary working place that the exhibition industry is.

Thousands of industry professionals joined events and activities in 60 countries. Associations, companies, universities and individual professionals alike demonstrated their support.



Join me for Global Exhibitions Day 2017 – 7 June

The exhibition industry is now getting ready for GED17. With the title Think Global-Act Local, GED17 puts a special focus on the human side of exhibitions.

The campaign highlights the rainbow of career opportunities that our industry has to offer by sharing the voices of the professionals that drive our industry now and in the future.

We’re talking with industry professionals who have walked the exhibition floors for more than 30 years, and with the students who are yet to take their first steps in the exhibition industry.

Duck_Vice President_UBM_Voices of the Exhibition Industry


Salman_HR_IFP_Behind the Scenes


Plenty of video statements are available on the UFI YouTube channel: www.ufi.tv.

GED is really my day, your day, our day!

Together with our GED partners, we at UFI have developed a GED toolkit with an extensive collection of material that offers easy access to everyone interested in promoting our industry! Let me know if you would like to use our facts and stats on the global exhibition industry, infographics, videos, a countdown, webbanner, social media guides and pictures.

The #GED17 hashtag is already dancing through hundreds of twitter messages capturing all great moments in the run up to GED17. Make sure you sur your efforts don’t go unnoticed!

Besides all the social media activity – which I enjoy a lot – I am particularly looking forward to the local activities that are being planned around 7 June 2017. So far there are three social events I particularly wish I could participate in:

The Association of German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) plans what looks to be a fascinating forum in Berlin on “Trade Shows as Innovation Hubs – Science to Business”.


Even though I’m afraid of heights, I am impressed by the bungee jumping occasion being set up by the Macau Fair & Trade Association. I am not yet sure how that brave person will hold on to the GED logo while falling off the Macau Tower, but the idea is impressive!


BESTLY run a motoraceOne of my favourite GED activities from last year was the ExpoMotoRace through cities of Russia. I am happy to share that the citizens of Russia will again be able to look out for the bikers crossing the country with massive GED flags. Anyone interested in joining, please contact the Russian Union of Exhibitions and Fairs.

Over in Hong Kong the preparations for the 1st Global Exhibitions Day Friendship Football Cup are underway. This cup aims to provide networking opportunities to participants in an informal and sporting atmosphere. As the #ufirunning club is highly appreciated by the runners joining our UFI events, I can recommend sporting networking events!

These activities will surely catch the attention of people beyond our industry, and hopefully raise the curiosity of a few more young professionals. After all, we need great talents to join the exhibition industry to stay fit for the future.

Every activity and event matters! We keep an update on all activities that you share with us on our UFI website.

I am inviting everyone who is reading this blog, whether you work in the exhibition industry, or know someone who does, or you’re simply interested in finding out more, to join the global celebrations for GED17.

Blog also shared on: https://ungerboeck.com/blog/global-exhibitions-day-2017-think-global-act-local

Interview with David Boon, UFI European Conference’s Moderator

April 24, 2017


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.


Historic partnership sees Thailand and Japan partner over innovative business

April 10, 2017

Jaruwan CEM1

Blogger: Mrs. Jaruwan Suwannasat Director, Exhibition and Events Department of TCEB

Thailand’s partnership with Japan has come a long way since it used to export chinaware in exchange for Japanese silk, cotton and finely produced swords.

In fact in the 130 years that have passed since the two countries signed the Declaration of Amity and Commerce, marking the start of diplomatic relations, Japan has become the largest foreign investor in Thailand with a total investment of more than 80 billion baht (US$ 2.36bn).

To put this into perspective, it is estimated that this investment resulted in the generation of more than 600,000 jobs in 2016 alone.

In one recent example of collaboration with Japan leading to labour exchange, one of Thailand’s leading energy firms, PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP), has partnered with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (Jogmec) for research and technology development to improve production efficiency at PTTEP’s oil and gas exploration and production projects.

Thailand’s energy exhibitions are part of the five core sectors represented and assisted by TCEB, so news that PTTEP has allocated two thirds of its estimated capital expenditure this year (approx US$1.64 billion) to accelerate exploration and production projects in Thailand will be welcome news to organisers of exhibitions that cater for this sector. Events such as Sustainable Energy and Technology Asia 2018, and Asian Utility Week this month will both seek to benefit from operating in this core, supported sector

The exhibition industry has also been given a boon in the shape of the recent MoU between Japan and Thailand for the development of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) is a particularly interesting one to watch for those of us in the exhibition industry.

The agreement sees Japan’s Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, with a particular focus on technology and innovation exchange.

Because as we in this industry know, technology can only take you so far – particularly where fledgling relationships are being born. Exhibitions are, after all, one of the most efficient, and effective platforms for making the most of these opportunities, and SMEs typically provides the mainstay of exhibitors on the show floor.

Our country welcomed more than 1.3 million Japanese visitors last year, outnumbered only by visitors from neighbouring Malaysia and China. And an increasing number of these visitors are attending exhibition in Thailand either as exhibitor or visitor.

Japan is playing an increasingly significant role in the development of Thailand’s exhibition success story.

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