Global Exhibitions Day (GED) is an annual event that was established in 2015 to highlight the value of the exhibition industry. GED 2020 took place on Wednesday, 03 June 2020. The theme chosen this year was “exhibitions are key to rebuilding economies” – a critical reminder as the world prepares to re-build economies that have been heavily impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and founder of this day – notes: “Our message concentrates on the idea of connecting, reconnecting, starting and rebuilding communities and economies. We are promoting that face-to-face exhibitions are the fastest way to reconnect with your marketplace, and that the connections made at exhibitions will lead to the renewal of our economy.”

Over the course of the campaign, UFI tracked 8,376 mentions, through unique posts and messages, that had a potential reach of 715m people.

At least 114 countries and regions got behind #GED2020, spreading this message through social media messages, meetings with policy makers, webinars and hybrid events, and more. Over the course of the campaign, UFI tracked 8,376 mentions, through unique posts and messages, that had a potential reach of 715m people. (These numbers will be updated over the coming days, as the message continues to spread.)

AAXO, the Association of African Exhibition Organisers, supported this day and its message with three lunchtime webinars and an online advocacy campaign with its members. Through this, they received an endorsement from Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, Tourism Minister for South Africa, who said, “The South African Government recognises the contributions of the exhibition and business events industry to our economy. On this Global Exhibitions Day, I commit to working with all key stakeholder to ensure a smooth reopening of exhibitions under the industry’s new safety protocols.”

Mary Larkin, UFI President & President of Diversified Communications, said, “I am astounded with the participation in this year’s Global Exhibitions Day. Our unique industry took-up the challenge to make sure we were seen and heard by policy makers and by our customers. As exhibitions begin to restart across the world, we will reconnect and rebuild businesses. As an industry, we must take the momentum and awareness we’ve generated into the next phases of our advocacy work.”

UFI created a map of memorable moments for GED2020, to showcase the powerful moments that exhibitions enable. It can be found here: globalexhibitionsday.org

The work of spreading the key messages of #GED2020 will continue throughout the year, and the next Global Exhibitions Day will be held on 2 June 2021.