UFI Congress Brings More than 300 Attendees to Bogota, Colombia

October 29, 2014

More than 300 attendees from 46 nations gathered Oct. 29-Nov 1 in Bogota, Colombia, for UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry’s 81st Congress

The event has not been in Latin America since 1975 and will bring together leaders and strategic thinkers for a three-day review of the state of the exhibition industry.

UFI’s Congress was hosted by regional industry association (AFIDA) and Corferias, Colombia’s leading exhibition business.

“Our theme this year ‘Fit to Compete’ will have us examine new markets, new structures, new products and new revenue opportunities,” said Renaud Hamaide, UFI president, of the 3-day program.

He added, “We’ll gain insight from the Latin American experience and apply this to new ideas at a global level.”

The event kicked off Oct. 29 at the Andres DC with an opening party, followed by a full day of sessions and meetings the next day, including the following:

-          Keynote: “Competitive teams – The ingredients of success” – led by Gérard Houllier, Global Sporting Director Red Bull Soccer (France)

-          “Are you fit to compete in Latin America?” – led by Marco Giberti, Partner at Vesuvio Ventures, former President Reed Exhibitions Latin America (USA)

-          “The Latin American exhibition experience: panel discussion” with five experts

The next day featuresd even more high-level sessions, such as “Shaping your future - defining your competitive zone” led by Nancy P. Walsh, president, Reed Exhibitions, North America (USA), and “Is your business fit to compete?” led by Christer Haglund, managing director, Messukeskus (Finland), to name a few..

In order to gain a good understanding what people in the exhibition industry consider important for being competitive, jwc, exhibition consultants from Germany, initiated and developed a survey amongst 900 individuals in the industry.

With a response rate of nearly 20 percent, the survey yielded some remarkable findings. Some of the highlights were:

1. Overall, human resources, the right products/offerings as well as branding of shows are considered to be most important for the competitiveness of our industry as a whole as well as for the competitiveness of individual companies.

2. The majority of the respondents think that their company is highly focused and performing well when it comes to the branding of their shows

3. Respondents see comparatively little importance in the brands of their companies

4. For the future, respondents see the need for more focus on the areas of human resources, organization and pricing

Jochen Witt of jwc presented a more detailed analysis of the survey results in his Global Industry Review at the Congress.

A number of additional internal UFI meetings, including the UFI Board of Directors Meeting, the UFI Annual General Assembly, UFI Regional Chapter meetings and a meeting of the UFI Associations’ Committee, which brings together over 50 national and international exhibition related associations, were also scheduled during this 81st UFI Congress.

 The annual UFI Congress moves from region to region and will next be hosted Nov. 4-7 by Fondazione Fiera Milano and Milano Congressi in Italy.

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