UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced the five global winners of the UFI 2020 Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Grant. They are:

  • Alexis Zamudio, Events Manager, FINNOVISTA (Mexico)
  • Christina Rabl, Conference Manager Command Control at Messe München (Germany)
  • Erika Karlsson, Project Manager at ELMIA (Sweden)
  • Matthew Funge, Managing Director & Founder of Your Stand Builder (UK)
  • Vijay Sharma, Head: Partnerships & Business Development, Koelnmesse (Singapore)

The UFI NGL Grant is a platform to promote emerging leadership in the global exhibition industry, and is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a clear drive towards change and innovation. This year it was sponsored by Comexposium.

The judges met earlier this month to assess the qualifying entries from around the world. UFI President Mary Larkin chaired the jury, and described this year’s programme as a clear and positive news story in an otherwise complicated period for the exhibition industry.

“These are turbulent times for our industry, and strong leadership such as we have seen from the recipients of this year’s grant will count towards the recovery as we emerge on the other side, with all the fresh challenges that we will face,” she said.

“These are turbulent times for our industry, and strong leadership such as we have seen from the recipients of this year’s grant will count towards the recovery as we emerge on the other side, with all the fresh challenges that we will face.”

Renaud Hamaide, President of Comexposium, said: “We are delighted to support any programme that encourages development in this wonderful industry, as is clearly the case with the UFI NGL Grant. The foremost programme of its kind, the grant takes an innovative approach to the development of talent that will ultimately help forge the path of our industry for the future.”

The grant recipients will be able to share their story on how their leadership, commitment and experience is helping them to achieve success over the next 18 months – but done in such a way as not to interrupt their work obligations.

To qualify, applicants must have a maximum of 10 years of work experience within the exhibition industry, and continue to be employed within the industry on a full-time basis. They must also be willing and able to work on the programme.

This years UFI NGL Grant judges were:

  • Mary Larkin – UFI President and President at Diversified Communications USA (USA)
  • Fuad Musafir – 2019 NGL Grant winner and Business Development Manager Exhibition & Live Events at OECE (Oman)
  • Caitlin Read – Group Communications Director at Comexposium (France)
  • Kai Hattendorf – UFI MD and CEO (France)
  • Angela Herberholz – Programme Manager Education Working Groups at UFI (France)

“It’s fair to say there is a lot of untapped talent and creativity in this industry.”

Commenting on their role on the 2020 NGL Grant jury, 2019 grant winner Fuad Musafir, Business Development Manager Exhibition and Live Events at OCEC (Oman) said: “Being a former winner of the UFI NGL Grant made my involvement in this year’s jury a very rewarding experience. While I had insight into the bids from 2019’s eventual winners, I did not realise until now the breadth and quality of the applications that UFI receives each year. It’s fair to say there is a lot of untapped talent and creativity in this industry.”

For more information please visit the UFI website HERE.