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UFI Global Congress Takes Worldwide Look at Trade Show Industry

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
July 26, 2017
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Johannesburg, South Africa — Surveying the evolving landscape of the worldwide trade show industry will take center stage this Fall at the 84th UFI Global Congress, which runs Nov. 1-4 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The 2017 Global Congress takes place in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time when it convenes at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The exotic locale will provide a base camp for show organizers from around the world as they safari through a business environment that looks much different than it did just 10 years ago.

Africa’s profile in the exhibitions industry was raised earlier this year when South Africa’s Craig Newman was elected UFI President for 2019 by the Board of Directors; Newman is CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Centre.

Highlights of the Congress educational program include:

  • A presentation by Grip, winner of this year’s UFI Technology Prize. Grip created a matchmaking solution that generated more than 60,000 connections at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in France.
  • A discussion on the perils and rewards of cracking a developing market. Panelists share their experiences about blazing trails into underserved areas in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • A workshop dedicated to the opportunities and the many unique characteristics of the exhibitions market in Africa.
  •  UFI’s research partner, Explori, analyzes the findings of its recently released report on what exhibitors expect from a trade show. The report’s benchmarks provide new insights into raising exhibitor ROI and keeping customers satisfied.
  • The Special Interest Group sessions include topics related to large convention venues, industry best-practices, government pavilions and yet another wave of “digital disruption” looming on the horizon


Of course, networking will play a major role in this year’s Congress. Pre-meeting field trips include a visit to an African game preserve and a tour of Johannesburg’s historical sites. The closing gala takes place under the stars at the Johannesburg Convention Centre.

Additional details and a link to the registration page for the UFI Global Congress are available at

Reach UFI Managing Director Kai Hattendorf at (33) 1 46 39 75 00 or

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