UFI Announces Recipients of Inaugural “Next Generation Leadership Grant” Program

May 17, 2016

A truly global group of talent from the exhibition industry has been selected as the first-ever recipients of the new “Next Generation Leadership Grant” launched by UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

The program promotes the next generation leadership in the exhibition industry, who show clear initiatives in driving change and innovation in their respective area.

Out of the numerous applications from 16 different countries, a jury, chaired by UFI President Sergey Alexeev, selected the five recipients of the grant. They are (in alphabetical order):

• Adeline Larroque Desages, Acting Head of Exhibition Planning and Organisation Section, Quatar Tourism Authority (Qatar)
• Jennifer Feeney, Account Director, Freeman XP (USA)
• Vineet Mahajan, General Manager, Reed India (India)
• Farokh Shahabi Nezhad, Co-Founder, Eventbox (Iran)
• Matthias Pollmann, Project Manager interzum, Koelnmesse GmbH (Germany)

“We received many great applications from all around the world, and we could have awarded the grant to most of them. So we needed long and hard discussions. This shows just how full of talent our industry truly is,” Sergey Alexeev said. “I am very pleased that we came up with this fantastic group of people from all around the world.”

The grantees will meet in Paris in June for a two-day workshop at the UFI Headquarters. There, they will exchange their views on the future of the exhibition industry and start working on their joint session for the 2016 UFI Congress, to be held Nov. 9-12 in Shanghai. Throughout their preparations, they will be mentored and coached by the UFI team.

“The current hot topics range from disruptive technology all the way through to optimizing customer experiences at exhibitions,”summarizes Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director, the industry outlooks that were presented in the grant applications. “This will add up to a fascinating dialogue with our industry’s leaders – in Shanghai and beyond.”

The selection jury was comprised of Sergey Alexeev (UFI president and VP Expoforum, St. Petersburg), Enrica Baccini, chair of the UFI Educnation Committee, and chief research and development officer at Fondazione Fiera Milano), Julian Baker (group strategy director at Reed Exhibitions), Kai Hattendorf (UFI managing director), and Angela Herberholz, (UFI marketing and communications manager). The Next Generation Leadership Grant is made possible thanks to financial support from Reed Exhibitions.

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: