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UFI Global Congress 2020 to be “Glocalised” and Showcase Industry Resilience


PARIS — UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced its 2020 Global Congress will be “glocalised.”

With COVID-19 travel restrictions expected to continue over the coming months, UFI will adjust the traditional Global Congress format of holding one major event to several held in multiple locations or glocalised with an overarching theme of “Resilience.”

According to Mary Larkin, President, Diversified Communications, U.S., and current UFI President, the new format offers attendees opportunities to connect and share valuable industry news.

“Typically, hundreds of UFI members from more than 50 countries across the globe gather in a city for the UFI Global Congress. Given the current COVID-19 situation and potential travel restrictions, the Board of Directors agreed to replace this one global get-together with a number of ‘glocal’ gatherings. So, this year, we will have multiple events around the world for our industry to have the opportunity to meet face to face. There is a strong desire amongst members to attend an in-person event,” Larkin said. “For the attendees, it allows them the opportunity to meet their industry colleagues and share valuable information as events reopen. It is important that events reopen so we can help support the rebuilding of global economies.”

UFI recognizes that exhibitions and trade fairs in the post-COVID-19 era will play a crucial role in the economic recovery at a local and regional level, and leadership must work together to support each other. To facilitate those conversations, UFI plans to organize the 2020 Global Congress into diverse formal and informal face-to-face and online events while allowing attendees to network and share ideas.

“We are working to have a meeting in each of our four regions around the world, and we want to make sure to connect those who are not there in person to the respective glocal part of the Congress digitally,” Larkin said. “Details are being discussed at the moment, and we receive a lot of input and suggestions from the global UFI community.”

Specific dates and locations for the glocalised Congress will come later this summer, but individuals can sign up now for updates, pre-register and receive more information.

“Colleagues working for a company that is an UFI member can already register their interest online at We ask everyone to do so — then we can send you updates as they become available,” Larkin said. “Of course, at UFI we hold the health and safety of our members as well as our staff as a top priority, and this will be reflected in the refund terms.”

The UFI Global Congress is the industry’s largest global meeting of the year, combining international networking with unique content. It is an opportunity to gain insight into topics of strategic interest, as well as the trends and challenges the exhibition industry is currently facing. Originally, Congress 2020 was to be held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will now host the event in 2022. In 2021, the UFI Global Congress will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Reach Mary Larkin at (207) 842-5542 or

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