Las Vegas to Host First U.S. Edition of UFI Global Congress in 2023

November 8, 2021

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, unveiled plans to hold the 90th UFI Global Congress in Las Vegas, Nov. 1 – 4, 2023. It will be the first time the largest annual gathering of exhibition leaders will take place in the U.S.

The 2023 UFI Global Congress will take place at Aria Resort and Casino and will be hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), exposing Las Vegas to key decision makers in the global exhibition industry and poising the destination for future convention business.

Kai Hattendorf, CEO and managing director of UFI, underscored the importance of the U.S. to UFI.

“What a wonderful win-win. Congratulations to Las Vegas,” he said. “As the global trade association for our industry, this will allow us to connect our colleagues from across the U.S. markets even better with their global peers.”

UFI is the leading global association of international tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators. Open to more than 50,000 industry professionals who work for UFI member companies worldwide, the congress creates an opportunity for exhibition leaders to network, develop strategy and discuss the challenges facing the exhibition industry. The announcement comes as the U.S. opened international borders to vaccinated travelers Nov. 8.


UFI chose Las Vegas because the destination put together a compelling bid to host the congress, and it is one of the exhibition industry’s global capitals for trade shows, according to Hattendorf. 

"We are fortunate to have destinations all around the world interested is hosting the event, with recent destinations including Shanghai, Johannesburg, St. Petersburg, Bangkok and, most recently, Rotterdam," he said. "We have not been in North America for a long time and, curiously, never in the U.S. so far. But with so many of our members now either based in the U.S. or with relevant business there, it was about time."

Las Vegas is honored to have been selected as the host city for UFI Global Congress’ inaugural U.S. show, according to Brian Yost, COO of the LVCVA.

"It further demonstrates the destination’s appeal as a global destination for business and leisure travel,” he said. “We are excited to welcome the congress’ delegates from around the world and look forward to providing them with an experience that can only be found in Las Vegas.”

Las Vegas pairs meetings and conventions with world-class resorts, entertainment and sports offerings. It has remained the country’s No. 1 trade show destination for 26 consecutive years, according to the Trade Show News Network (TSNN).

“On behalf of MGM Resorts and Aria, we are very excited to be chosen as the host the 2023 UFI Global Congress,” said Stephanie Glanzer, SVP and chief sales officer for MGM Resorts International.

The UFI Global Congress takes place in October or November each year in trade show destinations around the world. In 2019, the event was hosted in Bangkok. In 2020, due to pandemic related global travel restrictions, the congress went digital, with programming from Hong Kong, Dubai, London and Bogota. The Congress will take place in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in 2022.

The 88th UFI Global Congress in Rotterdam, held earlier this month, welcomed 350 participants from roughly 40 countries and regions.

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