Exhibition professionals around the world came out in record numbers for the third Global Exhibitions Day (GED) on 6 June.
The initiative was launched by UFI in 2016 to celebrate and recognise the global impact of the exhibitions industry. This year’s event not only highlighted the industry’s role as a driver of economic growth, but also established GED 2018 as the biggest day of advocacy for the exhibition world so far, according to data from UFI.
This year’s GED focused on two key areas: first, to advocate industry issues with politicians and stakeholders, and secondly, on finding new ways to connect with young people to attract the right talent to the exhibition industry.
By the end of the day, the UFI team in Paris had registered activities in 85 countries and regions from all around the world, with the leading organisers, venues and service providers all being active. This year’s success builds on the impressive results from the 2017 campaign, which already set a record for global industry advocacy.
Coordinated by UFI, this joint advocacy campaign united 41 GED partner associations.
“I watched the action unfold throughout the day from my home country Italy,” says UFI President Corrado Peraboni. “All around the world, our industry stood up to be noticed – and we succeeded! I am especially pleased to see the prominent support from ministers in national governments who shared their understanding of how important exhibitions and business events are for their economies and citizens.”
GED saw a broad mix of activities, both on-site and online, promoting exhibitions as business platforms, as well as highlighting opportunities for career and business development. Specific events and activities were arranged by many of the international and national organisers, by venues, by service providers, and also by national and regional associations.
“It has once again been absolutely amazing to see our industry united for this cause. While the whole UFI team around the world will really need some sleep now, it’s been an absolute pleasure to support our global exhibition industry community in this way,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director/CEO.
A list of global GED activities is available at www.globalexhibitionsday.org. Here are some examples of the many activities that focused on education and networking around the world:
• In Australia, the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment endorsed GED in a video message to the industry. EEAA also organised the 2018 Global Exhibitions Day and Leaders’ Forum Dinner, and launched a talent acquisition campaign called “A Career for Life”.
• In Asia, activities were reported at many venues in China, while in Thailand, the TCEB ran an Exhibition Industry Forum focusing on the theme of change. In India, the IEIA oversaw festivities in New Delhi, Mumbai, Greater Noida, Hyderabad and Jaipur. Meetings were organised with ministers and government officials from various states to raise awareness of how important the exhibition industry actually is. Last but not least, IEIA Youth CONNECT used interactive sessions to reach out to students from MICE/event management institutes to encourage them to pursue a career in the exhibition industry.
• In Africa, AAXO organised the first edition of Exhibition Games, with 44 contestants taking part in this friendly contest. The association also hosted an open conversation between organisers and suppliers to address industry issues.
• In Europe, Germany’s AUMA shared the findings of national research, backed by the latest data, to demonstrate just how important the exhibition industry is for the German economy. Italy’s AEFI hosted a government advocacy event in Rome. In Spain, AFE scheduled government meetings, and IFEMA held an open day, offering a guided tour of their facilities with a special invitation for student. In Russia, RUEF organised the seventh Russian Exhibition Industry Conference in Moscow. EXPOCENTRE Moscow assembled a display of vintage exhibition posters in the Vystavochnaya (exhibition) metro station. In France, UNIMEV hosted the third Annual Global Exhibitions Day Run in Paris. In addition, young industry professionals from many countries talked about their career paths and motivation for working in the exhibition industry.
• In the Middle East, the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) adjusted the lighting of its roof sun-wells to reflect the name of the event (“GED18”), creating a unique visual over the course of the week. The Abu Dhabi-based ADNEC group gathered and linked up staff at their different venues from around the world, hence demonstrating their connectedness.
• In North America, IAEE invited its members to travel to Washington DC for a day of advocacy talks with parliamentarians and their staff. Both Freeman and GES, headquartered in the USA, ran activities globally showcasing the broad range of career activities in the industry.
• In Latin America, Corferias (Colombia) is currently holding the lead in the global #GEDNumberChallenge – gathering 510 industry professionals in one GED picture. AMPROFEC members hosted events all across the country in Mexico.
In addition, this year saw a huge rise in the number of videos posted online. Many young industry colleagues across the globe joined in on the ‘Follow Me’ campaign and shared their working environments on social networks, showcasing how attractive and multifaceted our industry is. Global players Reed, UBM, Comexposium and GES (to name just a few) were particularly active here.
Global Exhibitions Day 2019 will take place on 5 June.