UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, has announced that it will host its 2024 global congress in Cologne, Germany. One of the world’s top three exhibition markets, Germany last hosted the UFI Congress in 2002, when the event was held in Munich.
UFI revealed the location to members during its 2022 congress, held last week in Muscat in Oman. At its general assembly, held prior to the congress, UFI said the exhibition sector is well positioned to meet challenges in 2023, calling 2022 a ‘transitional year’ for the industry. It hailed progress on sustainability, industry collaboration and humanitarian action.
Speaking at the Assembly, Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO and managing director, said: “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.”
Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and UFI’s 2022 president said: “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.”
Lee-Müller also referenced UFI members’ humanitarian actions with regards to the conflict in Ukraine. She said: “I heard news about our member venues being converted to shelters for displaced people, and supplies and volunteer services flooding in from other members. I am so proud of what our community has done, and I sincerely hope the conflict and the suffering will come to an end in no time and that peace will prevail again.“