The fourth edition of Global Exhibitions Day generated huge interest this year as industry professionals from as far apart as Australia and Argentina, Norway and South Africa, driven and supported by the 41 partner associations, joined in with the celebrations. The huge number of participants testifies to the sheer size of the exhibition industry and the joint interest of industry professionals to promote it across the globe. The four advocacy messages were central to many initiatives, as were the recently released global and regional data related to the economic impact of exhibitions, which underlines how important exhibitions are in contributing to total output, jobs and GDP.

Participation in around 90 countries and regions
As GED ended, the initial activities of industry professionals, companies and associations from around 90 countries and regions, were reported and monitored, further cementing the role of Global Exhibitions Day as the largest advocacy and awareness initiative of the exhibition industry around the world. “GED is a perfect symbol for our industry – it’s a huge success that is based on teamwork, trust, and collaboration”, says UFI President Craig Newman. “No-one can succeed alone in our industry. It is great to see everyone working in this industry getting involved and coming up with a range of interesting and unusual activities to promote exhibitions. Seeing the action unfold has made me feel proud to be a member of such an innovative and inspirational community.”

Broad range of activities
Part of what makes GED such an exciting initiative is the huge range of activities thought up every year by industry professionals (organiser, venues, service providers and others) all over the world. The promotion of exhibitions as an effective way of doing business, the career opportunities they offer and the global nature of them were particular focuses for many events and initiatives. This year again saw a growing number of company activities and industry association events and advocacy efforts aligned with Global Exhibitions Day.
“I am delighted that the success of GED19 has again served to raise the profile of our industry. It is an effective way of showing the world the economic impact and opportunities the exhibition industry offers. I would like to personally thank each and every one of you who joined forces for GED19 and provided all these outstanding contributions”, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO.

Based on the successes and learnings from the previous GEDs, the steering group had put a focus on enhancing the clear and consistent messaging around the world, to heighten the impact of the four core messages. These were picked up and transported globally – most notably the newly researched numbers tracking the Global Economic Impact of exhibitions that Oxford Economics produced for UFI with the support of SISO (Society of Independent Show Organizers).

With more industry players focusing the messages more precisely on specific target groups, the industry as well succeeded to take the joint messages further than in recent years. In addition, the new messages around the sustainable development initiatives the industry is taking took a front seat, especially those linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

As GED always takes place on the first Wednesday in June, GED 2020 will take place on Wednesday 3 June 2020.


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