UFI Launches New Online Programming for Exhibition Professionals

April 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic may be keeping exhibition professionals away from one another, but the desire to connect, discuss and learn has only accelerated. To fill this need and support its membership after postponing its global events slated for this spring, UFI has launched UFI Connects, a new online program offering free talks, panels and webinars to help event professionals stay connected and prepare for what comes next.

According to Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, the online content presented on this program is designed to mirror the live content delivered at UFI’s conferences and events throughout the world. The new programming, delivered via Zoom meetings, features video dialogues and Q&As and a live chat function, and can serve up to 500 people per session. 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps exhibition industry professionals apart, the need to talk, to discuss and to learn is bigger than ever,” Hattendorf said. “While our regular events and educational programs cannot take place as usual, UFI Connects is our way [of continuing] to deliver.”

The first UFI Connects sessions focused on the impact COVID-19 is having on the exhibitions and events industry around the world. Now available on-demand, they include:

COVID-19: The Situation In Latin AmericaUpdates and insights from Pepe Navarro (Tarsus Mexico), Fernando Gorbaran (Messe Frankfurt Argentina) and Ana Maria Arango (UFI Regional Manager LatAm)

COVID-19: An Update From AsiaUpdates and insights from Aloysius Arlando (SingEx Holdings, Singapore), Michael Duck (Informa Exhibitions Asia, HongKong), Anbu Varathan (BIEC, Bangalore) and Michael Kruppe (SNIEC, Shanghai); moderated by Mark Cochrane (UFI Regional Manager Asia/Pacific)

Empathy and Adapting During Times of Crisis: Updates and insights from Craig Newman (Johannesburg Expo Centre, South Africa), Trixie LohMirmand (Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE), Peter Hall (President EMEA, Informa Markets) and Peter Grinnal (CEO, REC, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia); moderated by Naji el Haddad (UFI Regional Manager MEA).

Next up on April 3 at 10 a.m. ET will be How to Navigate Business in Times of Crisis with Simon Foster (UK) in conversation with Cliff Wallace (U.S./China), moderated by Hattendorf. Register here.

Upcoming schedules and program announcements will be posted on the UFI website, as will previous episodes and programs.

So far, the UFI team is producing two live events per week, but the association has been receiving many requests for sessions and speaker proposals, Hattendorf added.

“As our industry’s global association, we are working to support you, our members and the industry at large through this unique situation,” said Mary Larkin, president of UFI and Diversified Communications U.S. “The recovery of the world’s economies will rely on our companies, on our skills. We will need to build and facilitate the market places – the meeting places – for industries and experts to come together once again.” 

To learn more, go here. To make requests for sessions you’d like to see included in this program, email media@ufi.org.


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