Membership numbers rising strongly: New globa...
Membership numbers rising strongly

New global challenges

Photo: UFI

Representatives from UFI member companies from around the world met in Muscat (Sultanate of Oman) to review UFI's activities throughout 2022 and to confirm plans for the year ahead. The 2022 UFI General Assembly took place before the UFI Global Congress (November 14 to 17). At the end of a year defined by both the post-pandemic industry recovery and new global challenges, the Congress welcomed hundreds of participants from around 50 countries and regions. Chaired by UFI's 2022 president, Monica Lee Müller, the General Assembly reviewed and previewed the association's initiatives to support UFI's members - more than 800 strong, and across 86 countries. Many new members are joining the Global Congress for the first time, as 70 companies from around the world have signed up as UFI members in the past twelve months. Monica Lee-Müller: "Throughout the last 12 months, so much has happened that deserves a mention." Lee-Müller continued: "As a global association, we need full participation by talented, committed women and men from different cultures and backgrounds to drive our industry forward. Personally, I think there is work to be done. But I can see changes coming: If you look at the demographics of participants in this year's Exhibition Management School, more than half of the participants were women. Among the six winners of this year's Next Generation Leadership Grant, four are women, and the six come from a diverse geographical mix: Asia, Africa, Central America, Europe and the U.S. These talented young people with high potential will one day lead our industry upward and forward." Lee-Müller emphasised: "On sustainability, the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative is definitely our signature achievement in the past year. Over 400 companies have pledged, spanning 55 countries and regions and all spectrums of the industry. A tremendous amount of work has been done since its launch at COP26. I owe it to members of the operational group who have selflessly shared their expertise, experience and wholehearted commitment."

„From post-pandemic recovery to refugee support and war in Europe, and from sustainability challenges to the return of inflation rates not seen in a generation – 2022 has it all.“
Kai Hattendorf, CEO and managing director of UFI
Summarising UFI's activities for 2022, Kai Hattendorf, CEO and managing director of UFI says: "From post-pandemic recovery to refugee support and war in Europe, and from sustainability challenges to the return of inflation rates not seen in a generation – 2022 has it all. What makes UFI so strong in times like this is that many UFI members have encountered one or more of these challenges before, and they are happy to share their learnings and strategies with each other. As the UFI team, we remain committed that all resources we provide are there to help our members navigate these challenges successfully. With this, we are well positioned for whatever we will encounter in 2023, and beyond." Throughout the year, UFI's work focused on industry reopening and recovery, against a challenging backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, fluctuating economic conditions around the world, and ongoing pandemic closures, especially in China.

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