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52% of event firms to boost staffing in 2024: UFI Barometer

UFI’s latest Global Exhibition Barometer brings positive news for the exhibition industry, with 52% of event firms planning to expand their staff in 2024.

The report also sheds light on exhibition revenue growth, the use of generative AI in events and other key developments.

That’s your top story this week. Here are the full headlines:

Curious to know how the events industry will shape up this year around digital tech? Download the Event Tech Forecast 2024 to get complete insights.

Read on for your full Week in Events roundup ⤵️

UFI Barometer reveals 52% of event companies will expand workforce in 2024

Exhibition industry hiring is expected to increase this year with more than half companies planning growth, according to UFI’s latest Barometer survey.

A total of 52% said their numbers will grow, 45% companies polled said they would keep their workforce stable this year, while only 2% were looking to reduce their workforce.

In terms of countries, Saudi Arabia had the highest percentage of companies planning to hire more staff (100%), followed by the UAE (82%), India (80%), Greece (73%) and Malaysia (67%).

UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf said: “Our report shows that the exhibition industry hasn’t just reached pre-pandemic levels in 2023 but is also planning to grow in 2024 and many new jobs in exhibitions are coming up around the world.

“This good news comes in parallel with shifts of business priorities, where economic and environmental considerations show significant progression.”

Here are the other insights from the report:

  • Exhibitions fully recovered in 2023 to reach revenues comparable to 2019 levels
  • Average revenue growth is expected to be 15% in 2024
  • The top business concern globally, stated by 22% of respondents, is the state of the economy in the home market, which remains the primary issue across all regions and most markets.
  • Global economic developments rank as the second most significant issue, followed by geopolitical challenges at 12%.
  • Competition from within the industry (11%) and sustainability/climate (10%) are also among the top concerns 
  • 91% of the surveyed companies said generative AI will affect the industry – with sales, marketing and customer relations being the most impacted area

The global survey for UFI’s 32nd Global Exhibition Barometer was concluded in January 2024 and saw 419 companies participate across 61 countries and regions. Download the report here

IMEX Frankfurt 2023 saw 85% less print production: report

IMEX has revealed that its Frankfurt show in 2023 had 85% less print production compared to 2022.

The findings were shared in a new sustainable report released by the group that highlights its green learnings from last year’s show.

imex sustainability report

The reduced print production was due to the use of ‘evergreen’ date-free signage that can be used year after year.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said: “This is the second report we’ve produced, working with our sustainability consultants MeetGreen, meaning we can now benchmark our progress against 2022.

“It’s an opportunity to share our successes and our challenges with the wider industry so that they can take what we’ve learned and weave these into their own events.”

The report comes after registrations open for the next edition of the show in May this year.

ExpoPlatform is once again the official technology provider, with an event mobile app which also helps reduce the need for paper materials onsite.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Around 38% reduction in single-use exhibitor booths
  • 86% of event waste diverted into organics, material recycling and donation channels
  • 12% drop in onsite energy consumption
  • 1,000 trees planted

In addition, four electric buses transported attendees from Frankfurt’s main railway station to Messe Frankfurt, saving around 103kg CO2e.

Carina added: “Our sustainability efforts at IMEX Frankfurt, and also at IMEX America, are part of our wider strategy to achieve a more positive impact.

“We recently launched our net zero roadmap, part of our commitment to the industry-wide Net Zero Carbon Events (NZCE) initiative. Our intention is to reach net zero by 2030, ahead of the 2050 target set out by NZCE in line with the Paris Agreement.

“This roadmap is just one element in our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, and an expression of our vision: a thriving global events industry focused on positive change.​”

Download the report here.

Easyfairs Nordic boosts market presence with acquisition

Easyfairs Nordic has strengthened its presence in the regional market with a new purchase.

The event firm acquired stand building business Kistamässan venue from Workman Event, boosting its capabilities to provide wide-ranging event solutions.

The newly-formed entity will be called Kista Mäss-service and reflect Easyfairs Nordic’s dedication to provide quality services to exhibitors and guests at the venue.

Easyfairs Nordic CEO Henrik Johanssen said: “Bringing the stand building business fully into Easyfairs’ management enables us to offer a more comprehensive and integrated event experience across the entire value chain, strengthen our market position and reinforce our commitment to delivering top quality services to our clients.

“It also allows us to focus further on our already significant sustainability commitment by providing a comprehensive end-to-end view of the complete event organisation process within Kistamässan.”

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 😀