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Digitisation ‘key issue’ facing eventprofs – UFI survey

Eventprofs around the world have highlighted digitisation as the most pressing industry trend of our time.

Those are the findings of the latest global survey by UFI, with 30% of respondents choosing it in the special-edition research.

Find out more about how to navigate the challenges and opportunities of digital tools in our Event Tech Forecast.

Meanwhile, CloserStlll Media has hit a record year for revenue and Messe Frankfurt has opened the doors to its new exhibition space.

Read on for your full event industry news roundup.

Digitisation ‘key issue’ for eventprofs – UFI Survey

The impact of digitisation across exhibitions is now ranked as the most pressing issue facing our industry, according to latest research.

Special findings from the 30th edition of the UFI Global Barometer include a trend review to show how priorities have changed in recent years.

Analysis of top business concerns between 2015 and 2022 identifies impact of digitalisation – alongside competition with other media – as the main issue, with 30% of answers.

Meanwhile, internal management challenges was highlighted by 20% of respondents as a current topic of focus.

Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, said: “While every market shows certain specifics, globally attention has shifted toward future challenges. Internal management – primarily staffing – and the need to further develop digitalisation are top of mind around the world.”

UFI’s flagship Global Exhibition Barometer research takes the pulse of the industry at regular periods.

The latest results highlight the quickening pace of recovery in 2022 and a positive outlook for 2023.

Figures show 80% of companies expect normal levels of operations from June, while revenues for this year are expected to hit 94% of takings from 2019.

CloserStill hits record year for revenue

CloserStill Media hit a a record year of trading in 2022 with revenues of more than $120 million.

The figures represent an increase of more than 15% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

This combined with the impact of recent acquisitions means the company will report total revenues that are more than 40% larger than 2019.

Gareth Bowhill, CEO of CloserStill Media, said: “We are delighted with our performance in 2022. We have seen a full recovery in our business across almost all of our markets in 2022, allowing us to grow above expectations.

“This is a testament to our disciplined strategic sector focus across technology and healthcare markets, to the strength of the positioning of our events – and to the quality and commitment of our people over what has been an extremely challenging few years for our business and the industry as a whole.”

CloserStill started 2023 by making two acquisitions – New York-based CommerceNext and London-based OpenRoom, which has a global footprint for healthcare and retail events.

Messe Frankfurt opens new exhibition space

Messe Frankfurt has opened its new Hall 5 as it  starts three key international consumer goods fairs.

Ambiente, Christmasworld and Creativeworld all got underway in the 18,110sqms exhibition space.

The trade fair trio is the largest ever Messe Frankfurt consumer goods event to be held at its base.

Uwe Behm, executive board member of Messe Frankfurt, said: “Today, as our three international consumer goods fairs get underway, we can be sure that it was the right decision to forge ahead with the construction of the new Hall 5 – in spite of the pandemic that brought our business to a standstill and deprived us of steady income.

“This is why we invested in the new Hall 5. Today, it goes into operation right in time for the consumer goods fairs and is clinching proof of the successful investment in Frankfurt as a trade fair centre.

“These are the best signals for us as a trade fair organiser. We were able to invest in Hall 5 because our shareholders – the City of Frankfurt and the federal state of Hesse – believed in our trade fair business model during the pandemic and in the solid economic stability of Messe Frankfurt.”

The shows are playing host to some 4,561 exhibitors and to participants from 160 nations on a total gross area of 352,950sqm of exhibition space.

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