UFI Global Congress' Special Interest Groups Will Focus on Range of Topics

August 29, 2017

True to its theme on “Pressures & Profits”, the program for this year’s UFI Global Congress is filled with sessions focused on overcoming obstacles and adapting to change.

The sessions will feature a number of knowledgeable industry professionals sharing case studies of successes and failures, unpacking research results and discussing the latest trends within the exhibition industry.

The UFI Global Congress, titled “Raising the Odds - Pressures and Profits in the Exhibition Industry”, will take place Nov. 1-4 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg (South Africa).

UFI’s Global Congress is the most international annual gathering in the exhibition industry, open to UFI members from around the world.

Each year it brings together hundreds of organizers, venue operators, service providers and industry associations from more than 50 countries.

On Nov. 2, the afternoon program offers participants the opportunity to attend one of three parallel sessions respectively in two separate time slots.

These Special Interest Group (SIG) discussions allow participants to select a topic that is of most interest to them, where the dialogues will be specific to the particular focus area.

The Large Venue SIG is one of these special sessions. Moderated by the current UFI President and Member of the Managing Board, Deutsche Messe AG Hannover, Dr. Andreas Gruchow, this group will focus on event security and safety in turbulent times.

Security remains a crucial factor within the exhibition and events industry when considering aspects such as crowd control, surveillance and security threats.

Discussions during this SIG will revolve around the participants’ different agendas and what venues and organisers are doing to ensure the safety of participants.

How are security threats and the additional safety measures implemented impacting different businesses? What will the future hold for venue and event management - will it be business as usual or will industry players be forced to rethink the way they do business, trying to maintain a secure establishment while remaining hospitable and inviting to the public?

Security is a delicate topic, often pushed aside as the “elephant in the room”, one which many do not wish to discuss openly.

However, the world is changing and demanding that we consider how security impacts our venues, our clients and the effect it has on the industry as a whole. This will be a meeting worth attending for anyone involved in venue and event management.

Meanwhile, the Digital Innovation Committee will host the Digital Disruption SIG. The focus here will be on The Internet of Things (IoT).

What does the internet of things mean for the exhibition industry? What are the effects that can be expected short and medium term? Who are the main actors? What are the possible applications and business models in our industry? Join the group for an interactive debate during which members of the audience will direct and influence interesting and engaging discussions on what the future digital world holds for our industry.

The Large Venue and Digital Disruption SIG are only two of six topics participants at this year’s Congress can select from individually.

Other SIG meetings include Best Industry Practices from Marketing to Sustainability, and sessions on Government Pavilions, Human Resources and the challenges of Family Businesses. So register now, select the topics that are most relevant to you and take an active role in discussions about trends and/or challenges within our industry, discussions where together we may find solutions or develop innovating ideas that will ignite solutions for the benefit of our businesses and industry.

For more information on the Special Interest Groups and Congress Programme, please visit www.ufi.org/joburg2017.


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