As the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, UFI is serving around 50,000 employees of exhibition organisers, venues, service providers, and industry associations in close to 90 countries around the world. To deliver and improve the growing roster of events, committee activities, and other industry initiatives, the association is bringing on board two new hires: Nicolette Elia-Beissel, and Jana Hofmann.
Nicolette Elia-Beissel is joining UFI as programme manager. She became part of the exhibition industry when she joined RAI Exhibitions and Events (now known as Thebe Reed Events & Exhibitions) as project co-ordinator, a subsidiary of the RAI group in Amsterdam, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. During her time at RAI, she worked more specifically on travel and tourism shows, with a portfolio that included the South African Tourism pavilions at the various international trade shows such as EIBTM and ITB. After two years, she was promoted to project manager, working on the international shows as well as her own show in Sandton, Johannesburg: Meetings Africa.
She remained with RAI / Thebe for five years before relocating from Johannesburg to Durban where she joined a DMC (destination management company), working with international incentive companies for two years bringing groups such as Renault and IBM into South Africa on incentive packages.
She was then approached by a local hotel group, Gooderson Leisure, joining them as their marketing, brand and communications manager for a year. The portfolio included marketing the group through various trade shows. Nicolette returned to the exhibition industry as exhibition manager at the Durban International Convention Centre in 2008. Within three years she was appointed acting operations director and seven months later was officially promoted to operations director, a position she held for four years.
Jana Hofmann is joining UFI as events manager. Having worked as a project manager for the German-based trade show organiser fairtrade Messe GmbH for the last six years, Jana managed various projects in an international exhibition environment, with a focus on emerging markets such as Ghana, Iran or Nigeria to name a few. The role at fairtrade included co-operating with different service providers, exhibition partners, associations and naturally, exhibitors. Jana has always welcomed working with different project teams and enjoys the spirit of collaboration. Topics like quality management or the launch of a new CRM system were on her agenda too, providing a very diverse working environment as well as the opportunity to learn new thematic areas.
She very much enjoyed being part of fairtrade, and is now looking forward to continue working for the exciting exhibition industry as a UFI team member.
“Both Nicolette and Jana will bring years of industry experience to UFI, having worked in different national and regional exhibition markets,” says Sonia Thomas, UFI’s director of operations. This experience will prove particularly useful as UFI continues to organise numerous events for the exhibition industry across the globe, ranging from the UFI Global Congress to the UFI Global CEO Summit, from educational forums to regional conferences. This falls in line with UFI’s key objective to provide platforms for the actors of the international exhibition industry to network and share experience, to learn and acquire new skills.
As one of their first tasks in their new positions, both Nicolette and Jana will join the UFI team and work at the 83rd UFI Global Congress in Shanghai from 9 – 12 November.