post image

Europe hosts major UFI and AAE conferences

This week sees Europe hosting two major conferences for industry groups UFI and the Association of Association Executives.

The UFI European Conference begins on Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland, while the Association World Congress (AWC) 2024 opened its doors on Sunday in Graz, Austria. Get the full details below.

Here are the top headlines for your weekly event news updates:

ExpoPlatform is delivering speed networking solutions for matchmaking at the UFI European conference – read about it here. We are also the official technology provider for AWC 2024 – know more with a free consultation session.

Read on for your full Week in Events roundup ⤵️

UFI and AAE conferences headline European events week 

Leading event industry associations UFI and AAE are hosting their European conferences this week.

AWC 2024 is already underway at Messe Congress Graz in Austria while the UFI conference will kick off tomorrow at Messe Zürich in Switzerland.

The UFI conference delves into five key themes impacting the exhibition landscape: customer focus, industry advocacy, the impact of AI, growing emphasis on sustainability and ongoing industry consolidation.

ExpoPlatform has been chosen as the association’s official matchmaking partner, helping to turbocharge connections during the event.

The global association of the exhibition industry will utilize the leading event tech provider’s Speed Networking solution at the gathering.

Professionals from across the region will use the tool to benefit from more seamless and streamlined connections, with AI-powered matchmaking enabling more focused meetings.

Meanwhile, AWC 2024 closed the first day with numerous sessions, meetings and conversations.

What attendees can expect from AWC:

  • 14 half-day sessions on critical issues, led by experts
  • Streams: Association Strategy, Conference and Events Strategy, Membership Strategy and more
  • 48 case studies by leading association executives
  • 100+ additional case studies
  • Interactive discussions: room/table talks, group/individual exercises, Q&A
  • Collaborative innovation among delegates

World-first reusable zero-waste stand to be unveiled

The world’s first zero-waste exhibition stand made entirely from recycled materials will debut at The Meetings Show next week.

This prototype is a result of a collaboration between Paradigm, isla, The Bulb, Informa and event in ExCel London

It features walls and flooring from Reform—recycled plastic tiles crafted from used exhibition carpet.

green stand

Anna Abdelnoor, isla’s founder and CEO, said: “This is an exciting innovation for the events industry, showcasing the power of experimentation and creativity when developing approaches to reducing waste, carbon and impact on the planet.

“We love that the stand was designed with a circularity first mindset and centres around diverting materials from waste and finding new ways to keep them alive and within events.

“We’re proud to be able to support innovation and creativity within the event sector and we hope this stand inspires others to keep creating and experimenting, to ensure industry dialogue remains forward-looking and to help bring solutions into our fantastic industry”.

The substructure uses repurposed metal from old shell schemes, achieving 100% post-consumer material construction.

The stand’s design utilizes click-together Reform tiles, avoiding screws, nails, and toxic glues and eliminating the need for single-use plastic wrap during transport.

Bulb CEO Selina Donald said: “Developing and using sustainable alternatives should become the norm for anyone involved in the exhibition and events world.

“Exhibitions need to evolve, and Paradigm’s innovative solution is proof that sustainability and creativity can go hand in hand and, most importantly, can be People and Planet focused.”

Jack Marczewski, portfolio event director at Northstar Meetings Group, added: “We’re delighted to be working with the partners to provide a platform as well as complimentary stand space to showcase Paradigm’s innovative stand.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050 we’re keen to facilitate and champion positive change among our supply chain and exhibitors, while we also continue benchmarking and measuring to implement short and long-term targets to improve our sustainability performance.”

Easyfairs outlines key sustainability initiatives in new report

Easyfairs has released its first annual sustainability report with an eye on meeting further green goals.

easyfairs sustainability report

The paper covers performance up to fiscal year 2023 and future goals under its Act for the Future strategy.

This outline has three central pillars detailed in the report:

  • Act for the Planet: Reducing the environmental impact of events and venues through emissions reduction, energy efficiency, sustainable travel, waste elimination and eco-friendly food and beverage options.
  • Act for Society: Supporting local and business communities by aiding decarbonization, boosting innovation and start-ups, and partnering with charities during events.
  • Act for Our People: Promoting diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) and fostering lifelong learning via the Easyfairs Academy’s blended learning program, “Boost Your Future.”

Easyfairs chief sustainability officer Nil Sönmez said: “Our business model has always leaned towards sustainability.

“We are especially delighted that we have reduced our group carbon footprint by 33% since 2019.

“We’re making real changes and every little bit counts. Of course, there’s much more to do. We’re doing good but aiming for great.”

Hong Kong exhibition visitors skyrocket 560%: report

Exhibition visitors to Hong Kong surged by nearly 560% to surpass 1.4 million in 2023, according to a new report.

Figures from the Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) annual survey for 2023 show a strong rebound in exhibition activities post-pandemic.

The survey focused on 73 of the 125 large-scale exhibitions in the Trade and Trade and Consumer categories, up from 40 in late 2022.

HKECIA chairman Stuart Bailey said: “This is a rebound we have been expecting, and which our exhibition venues and organisers in Hong Kong have worked hard to make happen.

“We have been greatly helped by the Government’s $1.4 billion “Incentive Scheme for Recurrent Exhibitions” (“ISRE Scheme”) launched in July 2023, designed to support the recovery of the exhibition industry by incentivising organisers to stage their recurrent exhibitions in Hong Kong.

“The survey shows that the Government’s investment is already reaping very valuable returns as organisers and visitors flock back to Hong Kong in numbers.

“Given the clear benefits it is bringing to Hong Kong’s wider economy, we do urge that the scheme continues to be funded until June 2026, as originally announced.”

This increase indicates the return of exhibitions to Hong Kong that were suspended or relocated due to Covid-19.

The 125 large-scale exhibitions – over 2,000 sqm – in 2023 represent a 30% increase from 2022, with significant growth in exhibiting companies and visitors.

The industry has successfully attracted premium high-value visitors back to Hong Kong.

IEG enters facility management market with new event acquisition

The Italian Exhibition Group has made its foray into the facility management market with the acquisition of Latin American tradeshow Expo InfraFM. 

Expo InfraFM targets facility, property and workplace management in a market with over 200,000 condominiums.

With Brazil’s trend towards large, multi-service business centers, the event provides solutions, trends and technologies for effective management.

IEG CEO Corrado Peraboni said: “Thanks to this acquisition, we are entering a market worth €70 billion in Brazil which is expected to exceed €2 trillion worldwide by 2025.

“We have ambitious plans and aim to be one of the top five exhibition organisers in the country.”

Graziano Messana, managing director of IEG in Brazil, added: “In 2023, we acquired 100% of MundoGeo, bringing together four sectors: drones, space, geolocation and eVtol.

“The event grew by 50% in the first edition under our management.

“We foresee similar high development potential for INFRA FM, also thanks to constant collaboration with its founder.”

This year the event was held on June 5 in Brazil, at the Expo Centre Norte in São Paulo.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you 😀