Al Midfa (third left) presents a memento to Hansen

Al Midfa (third left) presents a memento to Hansen

Expo Centre Sharjah eyes UFI tag

01 June 2014

EXPO Centre Sharjah, one of the best-known trade exhibitions organisers in the UAE, has announced it is seeking to have its various trade and consumer fairs audited by BPA Worldwide, the largest media-auditing organisation in the world.

The audit will help bring total transparency to Expo Centre Sharjah’s operations and enable it to acquire the prestigious UFI-approved tag for its events, a statement from the exhibitions organiser said.

The BPA audit process generally involves pre-event review of systems, on-site inspection, post-event confirmations of attendance, examination of accounting records and other auditing procedures.

The audit was on top of the agenda when Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah, held talks with Glenn Hansen, president and CEO of BPA Worldwide, on the Expo Centre premises recently.

“Very few events have the ‘UFI-approved’ tag in the UAE and the region. A UFI-approved tag means that the show has the stamp of quality, thus providing both exhibitors and visitors alike with the assurance of making a sound decision to participate or attend. The audit will help us to bring in more exhibitors from both existing and newer markets and attract more visitors to our shows, besides positioning ourselves perfectly to benefit from mega events such as the World Expo 2020,” said Al Midfa.

Expo Centre Sharjah organises and hosts more than 20 trade and consumer fairs through the year with some of the popular ones including the biannual MidEast Watch & Jewellery Show, SteelFab, Ramadan & Eid Fair, Halal Middle East, Green Middle East, Prefect Wedding Show, Middle East Motor Tuning Show, the biennial International Automobile Show, International Education Show and the biennial Plastivision Arabia, among others.

“Event audits by BPA usually assess an exhibition/event’s verified attendance and demographics that are taken directly from registration information. The audit report is a powerful sales tool for show organisers’ sales and marketing teams helping exhibitors and sponsors validate participation investment to their management. The audit process also provides organisers a qualitative check of pre- and at-show data gathering and verification methods,” said Al Midfa, explaining the process and benefits of the audit.

An exhibition audited and then approved by UFI provides exhibitors and visitors alike with the assurance they will benefit from a professionally planned and managed concept. The UFI Approved logo is a label of quality and identifies a ‘UFI approved’ event.

UFI is the global association of the exhibition industry with 640 member organisations in 227 cities in 83 countries on six continents. UFI has bestowed its quality label on over 906 trade fairs and exhibitions organised by its members.

Expo Centre Sharjah, current host of the UFI Middle East/Africa regional office, was established nearly three-and-a-half decades ago as the first exhibition facility in the UAE. It has played a key role in prominently placing Sharjah as one of the top 10 business cities in the Gulf region on the global exhibitions map. It offers 40,000 sq m of indoor and outdoor exhibition space with parking slots for 1,600 vehicles.

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