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UFI survey reveals high organiser demand for digital services

by Paul Colston

The events industry demand for digital services is highest among those who organise events. That is one of the core findings from the second edition of the Industry Partners Benchmark Survey, released by UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry.

Developed by the UFI Industry Partners Working Group, the survey benchmarks and assesses the relationships between industry partners/suppliers and exhibition organisers/venues. It also identifies areas for improvement with regard to collaboration. Around 190 companies contributed to the project, the majority of whom are from Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

“The results of our first survey showed in tangible terms the value organisers place on their suppliers and partners for the success of their events. Our second survey goes deeper and also demonstrates where the suppliers and partners relationship stands vis-à-vis the organisers for their recovery period events,” said Ravinder Sethi, chair of UFI’s Industry Partners Working Group.

The survey demonstrates that the demand for services that can be considered as mandatory services for running an event have experienced a steady decline in demand. The results show that booth construction remains the most relied upon service, alongside staff and security. And the survey clearly indicates that the demand for more innovation from service providers remains high, and marketing and communications service providers are perceived to be the most innovative

Sebastian Witt, vice-chair of UFI’s Industry Partners Working Group and responsible for the survey, said: “This survey offers valuable insights for service providers in our industry. We are happy to note that service providers are regarded an integral part of the exhibition ecosystem and contribute tremendously to the success of our industry. Nonetheless, we observe that service quality is not consistent and demands from service providers are changing; service providers can and should invest more into innovation.”

Despite the overall positive feedback, the survey highlights that increasing the sharing of information between service providers and industry partners could be beneficial, although this trend has declined in significance over the last year.

“This survey, in its second year, is an important and continuous task of UFI’s Industry Partners Working Group, which has been set up for and run by our industry partner members – a group of motivated industry experts offering a diverse range of services. The collaboration between exhibition organisers, venue operators and industry partners is more important than ever to sustain successful exhibitions, as the exhibition industry and the global economy are being seriously impacted by Covid-19,” said UFI president Monica Lee-Müller.

This second Industry Partners Benchmark Survey was conducted at the beginning of 2021 and it can be downloaded from the UFI website

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