T he summer months were a busy time for the UFI Intensive efforts went into preparing the 2021 edition of the Glob al Congress which will take place at Ahoy in Rotterdam For all attendees the days spent in Europe s leading port city will be very special moments We have been un able to meet as a community since Bangkok in 2019 says Anbu Varathan So this year s Congress in Rotterdam is the first opportuni ty to bring our global community face to face once again enthuses the UFI president and director general of Bangalore International Exhibition Centre He points out that the event will combine international networking with sharing knowledge It is an opportuni ty to gain insight into topics of strategic in terest says Varathan Likewise into the trends and challenges that the exhibition in dustry is currently facing The Global Congress in the Netherlands will take place in a mood of much greater optimism within the industry as the find ings of the latest UFI Global Barometer go to show It was published in late July and contains data from 474 companies in 64 countries and regions The results high light the strong impact the Covid 19 pan demic has had on the global exhibition in dustry in 2020 reports Anbu Varathan But the situation is gradually improving adds the UFI president And there is a strong belief that the sector primarily driv en by physical exhibitions and business events will bounce back quickly Com pared to the last survey in January the mood has changed significantly For example the proportion of companies expecting no activ ity for the last quarter of 2021 has dropped sharply from 53 per cent to less than ten per cent The share of businesses expecting normal activity has risen from twelve to al most 50 per cent within six months The lift ing of travel restrictions is seen as the key el ement to help the bounce back of exhibitions Day one in Rotterdam is dedicated main ly to association committee meetings On the second day Anbu Varathan will open the professional part together with UFI manag ing director Kai Hattendorf and Monica Lee Müller who will serve as UFI president for 2021 22 In the morning there will be up dates from around the world and a Strategy Power Hour Well known speakers will ad dress the state of the exhibition industry and the global economy They will reflect on how we have changed as an industry since pre pandemic times The afternoon will be about what makes trade fairs more and more sus tainable Later a case study will illustrate how to develop a hybrid event It will ex plore how the Eurovision Song Contest was hosted at Ahoy in 2021 this will be followed by the Data Digital session One focus of day 3 of the congress will be on Special Interest Groups These groups offer members a platform to get actively involved in areas they are in terested in And on the last day the traditional Post Congress Tour will be on the agenda www uficongress org PB 8 FOCUS TradeFairs Internation al 3 2021 88TH UFI GLOBAL CONGRESS Face to face Due to the pandemic the last global meeting of the global association of the exhibition industry went digital But now it will be face to face again from 3 to 6 November UFI president Anbu Varathan The Congress in Rotterdam brings our global community face to face once again UFI Präsident Anbu Varathan Der Kongress in Rotterdam bringt unsere globale Gemeinschaft wieder face to face zusammen Ph ot o U FI BI EC Seit Bangkok 2019 konnten wir uns nicht mehr als Community treffen We have been unable to meet as a community since Bangkok in 2019 Ph ot o T C EB

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