UFI announces location, date and theme for designated Middle East/Africa Conference in 2019


UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has kicked off 2019 by announcing a designated regional conference for the exhibition industry in the Middle East/Africa region, which will be open to all industry professionals.

Due to take place on 8-9 April at the Dubai World Trade Centre (UAE), the UFI MEA Regional Conference’s theme is “Embracing Change, Looking Forward to the Future”. It will bring together exhibition industry professionals from the Middle East and Africa to discuss opportunities related to the ongoing changes in the industry.

Some of the topics covered will be digital impact and exponential change, the future of venues and events, talent management, the evolution of value and ROI from trade fairs, the economic outlook and visitors’ insights.

With the complexity and integration of smart technologies, political and economic incertitude, environmental and social challenges and customer changing behaviours, remaining relevant in the market is the biggest challenge of the future. The conference will focus on trends and initiatives shaping the exhibition industry moving forwards.

“With old certainties gone, it is a time of change in many ways. Different markets and regions need increasingly varied business approaches. The UFI MEA conference will address topics that will shape the future of events and exhibitions in this particular region,” says Sonia Thomas, UFI COO and Director of Operations.

The exhibition industry in the Middle East has grown strongly over recent years, with the market size in the GCC region alone nearing around one billion US dollars, according to estimates from industry consultants.

“UFI currently has close to one hundred member companies based in the region, organised in the MEA Chapter, who we are serving out of our Dubai regional office,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO and Managing Director.

“The conference is one of the region’s key initiatives, as well as numerous educational projects. Moving forward, we also plan to produce research around core industry data for this important region. And, last but not least, 2020 will see the UFI Global Congress returning to the region with Oman hosting this UFI flagship event.”

For more information and registration details, please visit www.ufi.org/dubai2019. Early bird rates are available until 14th February.