New UFI President: Spread the Word on the Value of Exhibitions

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Valencia, Spain – Arie Brienen, the incoming president of UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, says the industry needs to better promote the value of trade shows on a worldwide basis.

In his address to the annual UFI Congress in Valencia, Spain, Brienen said the industry was doing a better job producing pertinent research and statistics that were useful to show organizers. There remained a need, however, for data that spelled out the contributions that exhibitions make to the general economy. “We need better research to support our arguments about why we are important to business and to the communities in which we operate,” said Brienen.

U.S. industry associations have been pressing the same point as a means of convincing corporations and various government entities that supporting and attending trade shows is good for business and also promotes economic growth. Brienen said UFI had “interesting discussions underway” with industry associations worldwide, including the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) in the U.S.   “We all operate with relatively limited resources,” he said. “Only by pushing in the same direction can we ensure that the power and effectiveness of business events, especially exhibitions, is properly recognized.”

Brienen, CEO of Jaarbeurs Holdings in the Netherlands, formally took over as UFI president at the conclusion of the Valencia meeting November 12.

UFI said about 400 executives from 52 nations attended the Congress.

Reach Arie Brienen at  31 30 295 5911 or brienena@jaarbeurs.nl