Asian Exhibition Industry Looks for Growth in Uncertain Times

March 7, 2017

Over 230 delegates from 21 countries and territories gathered in Singapore recently for the UFI Asia Open Seminar to take stock of their industry, which continues to grow, despite plenty of economic and political uncertainties.

Seismic changes such as Brexit, the emerging policies of the Trump administration and slow economic growth in key markets all suggest challenging times lay ahead. However, the Asian exhibition industry has proven time after time that it is well-positioned to grow in the face of less than ideal economic and political circumstances.

The exhibition industry is changing and the theme of this year’s seminar, “Adapting and Upgrading,” examined how it is changing and why.

The two-day program featured key industry thought leaders such as Mark Brewster, CEO of Explori, who shared his research on changing visitor and exhibitor demands.

Adam Charles of FreemanXP also offered his take on innovative event formats which are evolving after years of relying on essentially the same formula.

AirBnB’s Kevin Hoong described how his company reshaped the global hotel market using an online platform that does not own or operate a single hotel property and David Zhong of VNU Exhibitions Asia outlined his experiences with digital innovation at events in China – arguably one of the most innovative digital markets in the world.

The venue landscape also is going through a period of change. Michael Kruppe, general manager of the SNIEC venue in Shanghai, moderated a panel of venue managers from around the region, including Singapore, Australia and Thailand.

The panellists discussed new sources of revenues, what is required to stay competitive and what new services visitors are expecting from venues.

UFI officials said it was pleased to bring the 12th edition of this seminar to Singapore – which last hosted a major UFI event in 2010 when the 77th Global UFI Congress was hosted by the Lion City.

This year’s UFI Open Seminar in Asia was hosted by several key industry organizations in Singapore - including Suntec Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organiser and Suppliers (SACEOS).

It also was supported by UFI’s Diamond Sponsors: Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Global Experience Specialists (GES).

The Open Seminar week featured two days of networking and learning, as well as a Sustainable Development Education Forum, a meeting of the members of UFI’s Asia Pacific Chapter, an Association Committee meeting, a gala dinner, city tours and much more.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director, said before the event kicked off, “The Asian exhibition industry has always demonstrated an ability to grow year after year – even throughout periods of uncertainty such as the global financial crisis. For this reason, it is exciting for UFI to bring together exhibition industry leaders from around the region as they look for opportunities to grow and expand their businesses in 2017. We are particularly pleased to be Singapore their as the market here plays an important part of the booming exhibition industry in Southeast Asia.”

Add new comment

Partner Voices
  MGM Resorts is renowned for its exceptional service and diverse venue options across Las Vegas, Detroit, Springfield, National Harbor, Biloxi, and Atlantic City, providing flexible spaces for meetings of any size. Beyond these offerings, MGM Resorts distinguishes itself through a strong commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, making it an ideal choice for your next meeting.  At the core of MGM Resorts' company values is its platform, "Focused on What Matters," dedicated to meeting customer needs while advancing socially responsible practices. This commitment is evident in several key areas:  Protecting Natural Resources  MGM Resorts is home to industry-leading recycling, renewable electricity and water conservation programs. Some highlights include a cogeneration power plant at ARIA, producing ultra-efficient electricity; one of America’s largest contiguous rooftop solar arrays atop the convention center at Mandalay Bay; and onsite wells that provide water for the celebrated Fountains of Bellagio, avoiding reliance on precious Colorado River water. These efforts and many more save on natural resources while boosting attendee satisfaction.  Committed to Community  Always striving to be good neighbors, MGM Resorts works to avoid food waste and combat food insecurity with the Feeding Forward program. In partnership with local food banks, they safely divert unserved food to food insecure members of the community. Since 2016, over 5 million meals have been provided, highlighting MGM Resorts' commitment to minimizing food waste and addressing community needs.  MGM Resorts supports clients in their responsible-meetings efforts, not only with efficient venues but also waste-reducing décor and signage; sustainable food and beverage options; and outreach to help planners communicate sustainability efforts to attendees. What’s more, they offer a Mindful Meetings series that puts attendee wellness first—through fitness and mindfulness activities, and in give-back events with local charity organizations.   Fostering Diversity & Inclusion  To MGM Resorts, a diverse and talented workforce is essential to success. By cultivating innovative strategies that consider multiple perspectives and viewpoints, the company creates an inclusive workplace culture that benefits its employees and community. MGM Resorts takes pride in being a welcoming home for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members, and more. This commitment to inclusion is reflected in the company's recruitment and hiring practices and its social responsibility initiatives. From the workplace to the community, MGM Resorts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains unwavering, and its efforts continue to create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.  MGM Resorts offers unparalleled service and venue options while standing out for its proactive approach to sustainability and community engagement. Choosing MGM Resorts for your next meeting means aligning with a company that values social responsibility, efficiency, and attendee satisfaction, ensuring a meaningful and impactful event experience.