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Sustainability Is the Theme of This Year’s Global Exhibitions Day


PARIS — Global Exhibitions Day (GED) has historically been held annually on the first Wednesday of June to build visibility for the exhibition industry around the world. Its participation spans no less than 100 countries and regions. Each year sees a different theme, and for this year’s event on June 5, organizers have chosen one that’s unquestionably front of mind for the industry, sustainability: “Exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures.”

“Every industry has to drive its journey to Net Zero. Our industry is no exception, and we are committed to proving that our environmental impact is neutral and even sometimes ‘net positive.’ Compared to many others, our case is quite clear and simple,” Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director and CEO of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, said.

The goal of the industry’s Net Zero Carbon Events initiative is to develop the methodologies, guidelines and tools to show that our industry is part of the solution of the climate crisis — not part of the problem, he said.

Related. GBTA Joins Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative

“Yes, every event creates carbon emissions, but we can manage them much better centrally around one roof as an industry or community meeting place or marketplace—compared to if all our attendees and exhibitors were to travel around all the time for single meetings,” he said. “As hundreds of businesses from all around the world start reporting their greenhouse gas reductions into the initiative, we will be able to show proof of how we decarbonize.

“GED is an opportunity to showcase and raise awareness for the positive role we play as we bring together every industry to meet, discuss and innovate toward increased sustainability in their sectors.”

In addition to the pillar of sustainability, there are three other pillars for this year’s GED: 1. Exhibitions drive progress: Exhibitions are platforms to discuss, create and showcase solutions to our universal challenges; 2. Exhibitions facilitate economic growth: Exhibitions are engines of economic growth, connecting industries and driving job creation; and 3. Exhibitions connect people: Exhibitions are community builders, bringing people together face-to-face to connect, collaborate and contribute.

Industry members can find tools and resources to help with their promotional efforts on the GED web site, including a #GED2024 Toolkit with customizable visual and a ‘Global Economic Impact of Exhibitions’ infographic to highlight the relevance of our industry globally and regionally. There are also suggestions about how to make the most of the day, and a tool for participants to add their effort to a global map.

Reach Kai Hattendorf at

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