Last week, we celebrated Global Exhibitions Day 2018. All around the world, many of you have been active yourself,
and many have been following what was happening. As an industry, we were determined to be noticed – and noticed we were!
First, let’s look at the numbers. They are pretty impressive – in fact, they show that GED 2018 is the largest awareness campaign our own industry has ever accomplished. It will still take some time for our GED project team here in Paris to wrap up their analysis, but we’ve already registered initiatives in 85 countries and regions around the world, which is a significant increase again from last year. In terms of global reach, that’s huge – after all, just to compare, IKEA has stores in 38 countries, while Starbucks runs coffee shops in 77!
Second, let’s talk about this year’s focus. Our steering group of partner associations decided to concentrate on two key audiences: on the one hand, to address stakeholders in politics, to raise awareness of our industry’s positive impact.
And, on the other hand, to activate young professionals in the industry, to encourage them to share the excitement of working in exhibitions and business events.
This approach is working out well! In the corridors of power, the voices of our industry are increasingly heard and listened to. The EEAA in Australia, IEIA in India, EEIA in Brussels, and IAEE in the US are great examples of how advocacy work builds political momentum, benefitting our industry directly through legislative decisions and policy programmes.
France’s President and former economy minister Emmanuel Macron and Australia’s trade minister Steven Ciobo are two political leaders to talk about our industry’s importance via video message.
On the talent side, I encourage you to look online at some of the video footage produced by our young professionals from around the world, which showcases their jobs and the dynamic nature of our industry in so many creative and funny ways: Reed Mexico and Spanish organisers showcasing team spirit; Members of IELA explaining their roles and special skills; EEAA showcasing career paths in Australia; all in their own way demonstrating countless opportunities we have to offer young professionals of all qualifications.
Last not least, the energy. Global Exhibitions Day has grown again, and it is shining, because of the effort we’ve all put into it as an industry. These days, there is lots of talk in business development about “sharing economy” and “crowdsourcing” strategies. GED combines both of these concepts to create success for everyone – we are crowdsourcing our skills and ideas to share what we care about and to secure our industry’s future. With our industry uniting for GED – from small, family-run shows, to venues and service providers, to global organisers such as Reed, Informa and UBM – we’ve already achieved so much. Thank you again to everyone, everywhere, for making this success possible!
GED will be back on 5 June 2019. We are already counting the days!
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director
Source: UFI Info, June 2018; www.ufi.org