Al Midfa: rallying exhibitions leaders

Al Midfa: rallying exhibitions leaders

Exhibitions leaders aim to set course

01 July 2016

Leaders of the exhibitions industry in the Middle East and Africa converged on Sharjah to set the course for the region’s fast-evolving exhibitions industry.

The UFI Leadership Meeting held at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry was followed by a networking lunch which was attended by some of the leading exhibition organisers and service providers of the UAE.

The meeting, presided over by Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, chairman of the Middle East/African Chapter of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Paris, brought together the chapter’s elected leaders to identify regional priorities, exchange ideas and develop plans for its future.

“With the exhibitions industry in the region expecting higher growth than in most parts of the world, the leadership meeting was aimed at identifying priorities for the chapter and deliberating on issues of common interest. We also took stock of recent developments in the industry, especially in the wake of the prevailing geo-political turmoil, low oil prices, strong shifts in customer behaviour and various aspects of digital disruption,” said Al Midfa, who is the CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah.

The networking lunch brought together the country’s leading event organisers at a single place, helping them discuss specific opportunities and challenges concerning the local exhibitions industry with their regional counterparts.

“We are serving a face-to-face industry – so a core element of UFI’s work is to organise regular networking events for our members globally as well as locally. We are happy to share recent industry developments here in Sharjah, and will take many insights from the regional leaders of our industry with us from this meeting”, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s managing director.

Meanwhile, UFI celebrated Global Exhibitions Day on June 8. The day is a joint initiative of the UFI together with the Dallas-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and dozens of national industry associations. The day is marked to raise awareness about the role of the industry in stimulating markets, economic growth and development of infrastructure.

“The Global Exhibitions Day unites all leading national and regional initiatives under one common umbrella, strengthens their messages and multiplies reach. At the same time, it is also meant to be a celebration of the people working in the exhibitions industry,” said Al Midfa.

UFI, which has around 700 members who directly represent around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, is the global association of the world’s leading tradeshow organisers and fairground owners, major national and international associations of the exhibition industry and its partners. The UFI’s Middle East/Africa regional office is based in Sharjah on the premises of Expo Centre Sharjah.

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