The first ever Global Exhibitions Day, held on 8 June 2016, has mobilized thousands of industry professionals around the world. The initiative, driven by UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry and IAEE, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, was launched six months ago, raising huge awareness about the social and economic benefits of the exhibition industry. With the support of UFI’s unique network of 56 national exhibition associations, Global Exhibitions Day has successfully highlighted the exhibition industry’s important role in contribution to the global economy.
“For a long time, many people in the exhibitions industry felt that it would be great to have a day where the exhibition industry celebrates itself and sends a joint message about the importance and the strength of the industry not just in one country but worldwide. I am stunned how massive the global support of Global Exhibitions Day was and still is. It was about time to celebrate our industry and everyone working in it”, said UFI President Sergey Alexeev. “I am very happy to have encouraged this initiative as UFI President and I promise to support Global Exhibitions Day in the years to come”, he added.
Trade shows: big numbers
As part of the Global Exhibitions Day initiative, UFI and all GED partners were able to share industry figures that display the direct value of trade shows:
Face-to-face marketing is one of the most effective media channels to get prospects and clients. Exhibitions deliver important face time with potential clients and business partners, attracting a total of more than 260 million visitors per year worldwide.
Exhibitions not only have the power to stimulate the market in a particular industry, but also to stimulate economic growth and the development of infrastructure. The global exhibition industry is valued at USD 55 billion.
Trade shows bring an industry’s leading products and innovations together under one roof. With 4.4 million companies exhibiting each year, exhibitions support the development of trade and are an instrument of internationalisation.
Global Exhibitions Day has offered insight into the diverse and extraordinary working place that the exhibition industry is. Thousands of industry professionals joined events and activities in 60 countries around the world. Associations, companies, universities and individual professionals alike demonstrated their support.
Besides these national activities, many exhibition organisers, venues, and service providers prepared their own company-wide activities for and around Global Exhibitions Day.
Social media and online communities also helped make Global Exhibitions Day a great success. On June 8 alone, thousands of tweets were posted and shared, hundreds of GED selfies published, and dozens of events took place where exhibition professionals raised awareness for our global industry, and celebrated the industry as well.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn have been buzzing with #GED activity over the past month. The GED Facebook Group received in average 200 new members every day in the run-up to Global Exhibitions Day. Countless photos, videos, GIFs, media releases, articles and discussions were shared and the hashtag #GED16 was used widely. One single video posted in support of GED alone reached an audience of 60,000 viewers in under 24 hours.
“The great response of the first ever Global Exhibitions Day proves that such a day was needed in our industry. We would like to thank all supporters for their engagement which has helped make GED such an all-round success. I encourage everyone to continue raising awareness, share messages and last but not least mark your calendars for 7 June 2017, the first Wednesday of June next year, when we celebrate Global Exhibitions day again,” concluded Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director.
With many reports on GED activities still coming in, UFI and its global network of partners will consolidate these in the coming weeks to prepare Global Exhibitions Day 2017. UFI will continue to operate as the global project office and coordinator for all participating associations.
To view the full list of actions reported to the GED project office at UFI so far, please go to our website www.ufi.org/ged, where the list of activities is updated on a regular basis.
The Global Exhibition Day was launched in January 2016. It is supported by the following associations:
UFI (Global), AAXO and EXSA (South Africa), AEFI and CFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AFECA (Asia), AFIDA (Central & South America), AMPROFEC (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA and Fairlink (Sweden), FAMAB (Germany), CAEM (Canada), CEFA and CENTREX (Central Europe), EEAA (Australasia), EEIA (EU), HKECIA (Hong-Kong), IAEE and SISO (USA), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), IELA (Global), IFES (Global), LECA (Lebanon), MACEOS (Malaysia), MFTA (Macao), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia), TEA (Thailand), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).