This Just In

Preparations Underway for the Exhibitions and Trade Show Industry’s Global Day of Advocacy


PARIS – UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibitions Industry, advocates for its members and the industry year-round. And for the last several years, they have rallied industry professionals from around the world to advocate on Global Exhibitions Day (GED). GED takes place annually on the first Wednesday in June.

Last year, more than 17,000 people across 88 countries and regions were active in the annual campaign that largely builds on social media. However, more than 450 activities and events were organized under the GED banner in 2019.

This year, the UFI team put together an extensive toolkit open to all industry professionals to aid in advocacy and supply data points to help showcase the positive business impact of the exhibitions industry globally and regionally. Check out their toolkit here:

And with the impacts of the pandemic felt worldwide, this year is bound to see an uptick in attendance. This year the Society of Independent Show Organizers will hold a virtual town hall. More on that here:

In conjunction with GED in the U.S. is IAEE Exhibitions Day. Read more about that here:

With GED’s big day right around the corner, TSE caught up with UFI Managing Director and CEO Kai Hattendorf to get a sneak peek at this year’s agenda and to learn more about joining this popular global awareness campaign for the exhibitions industry.

Q. When was GED established?

A. The GED campaign was established in 2016 by UFI to promote the value of exhibiting and to increase the visibility of the exhibitions industry on a global scale. In year one, we already saw activities in 60 countries and regions.

Q. What is the primary focus of this year’s campaign agenda?

A. Global Exhibitions Day this year will focus on the message: Exhibitions are key to rebuilding economies. We will concentrate on the idea of connecting, reconnecting, starting and rebuilding communities and economies. We want to promote the message 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.

Q. As industry professionals post and advocate through GED, what is the main message you’d like to get across to external audiences?

A. The main message that GED promotes is the power of exhibitions: how they contribute to global business and the growth of local economy, the key support role of exhibitions for the development of trade and the role exhibitions play in driving innovation and competition of companies. Furthermore, GED is also a celebration of the people working in the exhibition industry.

Q. What is the best way for our readers to support GED?

A. Everyone can support GED — show that you are part of our amazing industry. Share your story, stand up, be visible. You can do so much:

  • Share and engage with #GED2020 on social media
  • Share photos of you and your colleagues with the GED logo
  • Share stories from your exhibition, a launch of a product, a notable person who attended your show, a quote from an exhibitor, some great ROI stat … (upload here)
  • Create your own “voices of the exhibition industry” card and share your thoughts on the future of the industry (template)
  • Create a “follow-along” video showing the behind the scenes life of working in events
  • Organize or attend a GED-related webinar or brainstorming session
  • Ask your government officials for endorsement and recognition of the exhibition industry
  • Come up with your own idea and celebrate your day how you want!

Do you need materials? Are you short on time? We’ve got you covered! For everything needed to get involved with GED 2020, visit to find messages, logos, visuals and more.

Q. UFI provides an extensive and thoughtful toolkit to help industry professionals advocate on Global Exhibitions Day, what’s new this year?

A. The GED toolkit has all the data on economic impact, industry size, arguments, etc. — ready for you to use.

Also, for GED2020 we are launching a map to showcase the power of exhibitions by telling the stories that happen at shows all over the world. We are asking people to submit pictures of a memorable event that has happened at one of their shows: presidents cutting ribbons, new product launch demos, videos of business leaders giving keynotes, smiling faces of innovation award winners, recipients of education grants… all the moments that help tell the story. Submit your story here if you’d like to share your memorable moment.

Q. UFI supplies an extensive array of advocacy tools in its advocacy toolkit. In fact, the interactive map is impressive. Which are you most proud of? Or which is most effective?

A. We are particularly excited about the map, as it is a chance to see how exhibitions contribute to economies, build businesses and connect communities around the world. It is also a chance for companies to share the moments they are most proud of.

Q. How can participants track, support and help amplify this global initiative on June 3?

A. Two things: First, we call on everyone to post all their GED-related activities on their social media channels, remembering to add the #GED2020 hashtag. They can also tag GED on their Twitter posts at @GED_2020. And then — challenge a lawmaker, a stakeholder, a person you want to impress to look up that hashtag. Have them experience our global community for two, three minutes. It will impress them!

Q. What’s your favorite part of GED?

A. Our favorite part of GED is seeing the level of support and participation that it generates. Now in its fifth year, GED is seeing an increasing number of people wanting to get involved and promote the exhibitions industry globally. We are always impressed by the effort and care taken by participants when organizing their activities.

Q. What outcome do you hope to achieve through GED?

A. To convince lawmakers that trade shows and exhibitions are not like beer festivals and rock concerts. To get them to let us do again what we do best, knowing that we take care of all our customers. At this challenging time, we need to unite and show the strength of exhibitions and the exhibitions community. We need to come back fighting and show that exhibitions are the key to rebuilding economies. GED is the perfect way of showing the world how vital this industry is in bringing people and communities together and coming back stronger than ever.

Q. Do you have to be a member to participate in GED?

A. No, not at all! The UFI team is coordinating GED for everyone who works in or with our great industry! GED is open to everyone who would like to celebrate and show the power of the exhibitions industry to the world.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

A. We look forward to seeing you all on site or online — at and after GED!


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

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