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Robot rolls back the red carpet at first UK tradeshow

A robotic friend to sustainability has been introduced as a UK-first at an exhibition.

The machine – known as Lionel – removes the need for single-use carpets with its leading floor marking technology.

It was introduced at ExCel London and is hoped to help improve its green credentials.

Download our free Sustainable Events Checklist for an easy guide on how you can make more sustainable live shows.

Meanwhile, exhibitions leaders gathered at the UFI Global Congress in Oman.

Read on for your full events industry news roundup.

UFI Global Congress concludes in Oman

Exhibition leaders gathered in Oman for talks at the UFI Global Congress.

The four-day event saw some of the top players in our industry travel to Muscat for content and speakers as well as networking opportunities.

Its conclusion saw Michael Duck begin his role as the new UFI President, taking over from Monica Lee Muller.

One of her final acts was to announce that the congress would be taking place in Cologne, Germany for the 2024 edition.

She said: “What a way for me to end my turn as the UFI president – being able to share the news that our association’s biggest event will return to Cologne, one of UFI’s 20 founding members, in 2024.

“Cologne won the bid against strong competition from around the world. After Muscat this year and Las Vegas in 2023, this is certainly another world-class destination.”

Informa reports 40% revenue growth over 10 months

Informa Markets has reported revenue growth of more than 40% over 10 months, according to new figures.

The organiser announced a surge of 41% between January and October in its November trading statement.

It comes amid an acceleration in international B2B markets growth, improved performance in academic markets and continued US operating expansion.

Stephen Carter, group CEO, said: “B2B market demand is growing across many industries and most geographies, with the current exception of China, which will provide incremental growth as it reopens.

“Informa and its Brands are at the heart of this B2B market strength.

”Our four-year Gap 2 programme continues to deliver growth and acceleration within both academic markets and B2B markets.

“In addition, our divestment programme has completed ahead of schedule and with returns ahead of target, significantly strengthening our balance sheet and putting Informa in a strong position for further growth and investment in 2023.”

ExCel brings in robot to tackle sustainability challenge

ExCel London has refused to sweep sustainability under the carpet as it introduced a robot to its green action plan.

The machine – from August Robotics and known as Lionel – is a UK-first to be used for floor marking technology at an exhibition venue.

It showed off its skills at the recent Event Tech Live 2022 show at the venue, with its fast and efficient event space mark-up having potential for significant reduction in single-use carpets.

Alex Wyatt, founder of August Robotics, said: “We’ve done a lot of shows in the US and Germany – more than one million sqm gross of exhibitions – but this is our first show in the UK, we’re really excited to be here.

“The robot is superior in a lot of ways – accuracy is really important, speed, flexibility in terms of when it can work.

“It’s also really good for sustainability – that’s really important in the sense that one-use carpet is a huge issue in the industry.

“There’s a real push in the UK to remove one-use carpet. The robot is terrific for that in the sense that we don’t need carpet for the corridors, we can use the robot to do the layout.”

IAEE gives backing to VSef

IAEE has announced its full backing to VSef as it highlights the importance of digital in the events industry.

The leading trade association for the global exhibitions has recognised the need for standardised data across the sector and cited this as its reason for its support.

It comes shortly after the organisation was acquired by BPA Worldwide which saw a collaboration that has created a single, globally recognized data and reporting standard for digital events.

IAEE CEO David DuBois said: “IAEE, along with many other industry organizations were involved in creating BPA’s Reporting Standards for Digital Events.

“With the acquisition of VSef by BPA, there is now one industry organization acting as the steward of the great work of both BPA and VSef.

“IAEE is pleased to fully support VSef and the Reporting Standards for Digital Events.”

Richard Murphy, CEO of BPA Worldwide, added: “We are thrilled to receive IAEE support of VSef/RSDE. Digital platforms play a critical role in the events and meetings industry, and the ability to gather, process, and share data efficiently – using a single data standard and reporting format – is essential for continued industry growth.”

IEG appoints new CFO

The Italian Exhibition Group has appointed its new group chief financial officer.

Teresa Schiavina takes on the position as well as becoming strategic manager for the organiser.

She will be responsible for preparing the company´s financial documents and has already received the relevant favourable opinion from the board of auditors.

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