Dr Andreas Gruchow, UFI President and Craig Newman, CEO Johannesburg Expo Centre signing the congress hosting contract.

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced the theme of this year’s UFI Global Congress: “Raising the Odds – Pressures and Profits in the Exhibition Industry”. The event takes place 1-4 November 2017 in Johannesburg (South Africa).

UFI’s Global Congress, is the most international annual gathering in the exhibition industry, open for UFI members from around the world. It brings together hundreds of organisers, venue operators, service providers and industry associations from over 50 countries.

With the exhibition industry showing signs of optimism despite global political turbulence, UFI decided on an economic focus for its UFI Global Congress 2017.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director and CEO explains: “Huge investments are being made in exhibitions and events, and economists predict that the exhibition industry will outgrow global economic growth. But at the same time, economic growth has slowed. Politically, protectionism is on the rise. And operationally, digitisation is driving ever-faster change within organisations.”

“UFI’s 84th Global Congress in Johannesburg offers our members a vital chance to find solutions, stay ahead, keep in touch with exhibition industry colleagues worldwide,” says Hattendorf.

UFI unveiled its 84th Global Congress 2017 theme at a “Meetings Africa” press conference in Johannesburg. Representing the world’s leading tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, UFI counts 83 UFI members in Africa and the Middle East. The organisation expects exhibitions to develop in Africa as economies across the region become stronger and more diverse.

Craig Newman, CEO Johannesburg Expo Centre, local host for the Congress, says South Africa is the perfect place for this year’s UFI Global Congress. He says: “Africa is often cited as role model for pragmatic solutions in difficult situations, and for our can-do spirit. We’ll certainly live up to the occasion. Whether for the sessions, or the networking events – this will be an event to remember, and I personally want to invite everyone to free your diaries and come to Johannesburg.”

UFI’s Global Congress enables its members from all continents to meet and gain insight into topics of strategic interest, current trends and challenges for the exhibition industry. Each year it is held in a different region. Johannesburg follows Shanghai (China) in 2016, and Milan (Italy) in 2015. The 2018 Congress is scheduled for Saint Petersburg (Russia).

The 84th UFI Global Congress takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, on 1-4 November 2017.

The congress programme will be announced soon. General information is already available at www.ufievents.org. You can find destination specific information at www.ufijoburg2017.co.za

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