More than 400 Exhibition Leaders Gathered in Seoul for 80th UFI Congress

November 18, 2013

The 80th UFI Congress recently wrapped up in Seoul, drawing more than 400 exhibition leaders to a three-day conference filled with networking and educational opportunities.

The event, hosted by the Association of Korea Exhibition Industry, was held Nov. 13-16 at Coex, an events center in Seoul.

“We are honoured to host the 80th UFI Congress, one of the global exhibition industry’s most prestigious events. The UFI Congress presents a wonderful opportunity for Korea to present Korean exhibitions management capabilities to the elite of the exhibition industry,” said Lee Han-chul, chairman of AKEI.

He added, “Nineteen Korean exhibition leaders are UFI members and this Congress will help us to attract more international organizers to host their events here in the future.”

The focus of the 2013 UFI Congress, ‘Managing for the future’, explored issues facing tomorrow’s exhibition industry.

Internationally recognized strategists and futurologists Thimon de Jong, Magnus Lindkvist, Jochen Witt and David Worlock challenged participating industry leaders in light of current transformative technologies and changing workforce and customer expectations in a turbulent economic environment.

Chen Xianjin, UFI president, said before the event kicked off that he looked forward to the Congress sessions.

“We will be exploring a variety of options exhibition organizations can apply in today’s society which promise to develop stronger exhibition markets for organizers, exhibitors and visitors tomorrow,” Chen said.

He added, “While these are challenging times for our face-to-face industry, they are exciting ones too as we develop creative ideas and solutions for the future.”

The General Assembly also welcomed its new UFI Presidential trio. The UFI Presidential term of one year builds on a three year UFI Presidential cycle: one year as incoming-president, one year as incumbent president, and one year as immediate past-president.

For the 2013/2014 session, Renaud Hamaide (Comexposium, Paris), succeeds UFI’s first Chinese President Chen (CAEC, Beijing) as UFI president. Chen will continue to provide support as UFI’s immediate past-President.

In June, UFI’s Board of Directors announced the selection of Andrés López Valderrama (Corferias, Bogota, Colombia) as incoming UFI president (2013/2014).

In their capacity as executive vice-presidents during the coming 2013/2014 term, Valderrama and outgoing UFI president Chen, will provide continuity and support to Hamaide. Valderrama’s position will automatically evolve at the 81st UFI Congress when he will assume his mandate as UFI president.

Hamaide accepted this mandate, saying, “It is an honour for me to accept this position at the head of the global exhibition community. I’m looking forward to the coming year and to the great job before me!”

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