84th UFI Annual Congress Focuses on ‘Pressures & Profits' Nov. 1-4 in Johannesburg, South Africa

October 30, 2017

Kicking off with an opening night reception Nov. 1 at the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Sandton Convention Centre, the 84th UFI Global Congress is set to gather hundreds of exhibition organizers and suppliers from all over the world to take a deep dive into “Raising the Odds: Pressures and Profits in the Exhibition Industry.”

“UFI‘s Global Congress brings together the global leaders of the exhibition industry. We will welcome more than 420 participants from more than 55 countries this week in Johannesburg,” said UFI Managing Director/CEO Kai Hattendorf.

He added, “Besides the international networking, delegates will forge new connections, and get an in depth look into the specifics of Africa as an emerging market for international exhibitions, especially as we have expanded the Congress programme accordingly. This year’s sessions zoom in on ‘Pressures & Profits’ in our industry, giving the participants insights on entering new markets from Pakistan to Cuba or on the challenges facing our industry’s core business model. Last not least, they will leave with newly released UFI research around global exhibitor expectations to compare to their in-house data.”

After the UFI Running Club wakes up bright and early Nov. 2 for an early morning jaunt, the congress officially opens with a keynote led by Johan Reyneke, founder and owner, Reyneke Wines (South Africa).

Focusing on the pressures and profits theme, Reyneke will talk about overcoming obstacles - and using change to move forward to still be a successful entrepreneur.

Next up is a panel discussion with this year’s five NL grant recipients - Selin Cakici, Vice-Chair of the Board, HKF Trade Fairs Fuarcilik A.S. (Turkey); Katharina Keupp, Business Developer, Messe München GmbH (Germany); Neo Mohlatlole, Co-Founder and Business Development Director, Seven Colours Communications (South Africa); Thomas Revell, Sustainability Manager, GES (UK); Diana Salman, HR Strategic Change Manager, IFP Expo (Lebanon).

Questions looked at by the panel will include: What business set-ups do we need for the new generation to come? How can we leverage our existing industry knowledge to progress? Why should we focus on sustainable growth?

Another session the first day will take a look at “Pressures, Profits and Opportunities in Emerging Markets”, followed by a session with mentalist Gillian Gork, whose main aim is to empower people with the ability to get the buy-in, agreement or support they need from others, so they can reach their highest success.

The afternoon concurrent sessions with focus on specific topics ranging from government pavilions to large venues to digital disruption to human resources to UFI insights.

Led by Explori’s Mark Brewster, the last session of the day will focus on the results of the UFI/Explori exhibitor insights study and how to meet exhibitor expectations.

After a night at the UFI Congress Gala Dinner held at the Grass Arena, Johannesburg Expo Centre, the next day starts with a session taking a look at a growing number of format changes, date changes, cancellations and cyclical adaptations of shows, mainly in mature markets.

Various chapter meetings will follow, then a special session with the Association of African Exhibition Organisers will be hosting a workshop focused on doing business in Africa.

Included in this session will be a presentation on current market research of the region.

For live updates, follow #UFIJoBurg. For more information on the 84th UFI Annual Congress, visit HERE.

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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: