UFI and SISO Launch Campaign to Support Exhibitions Industry in the Face of Coronavirus

"This Show Is Open" initiative aims to help exhibition organisers keep their events going wherever possible

This Show is Open: making the case to follow through with events. Credit: Getty images/Oleksandr Pupko

As the spread of the COVID-19 illness has led to the cancellation or postponement of a number of trade shows and events, industry organisations are taking steps to help support those exhibition organisers working to keep their events going. The Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, have launched "This Show Is Open," a campaign aimed at helping their members make the case to follow through with event plans, while following the guidance of health authorities and the interests of their customers.

As part of the initiative, UFI and SISO will provide materials, downloadable at www.supportingevents.org, that highlight the value of trade shows and reinforce the fact that many shows are taking place successfully around the world - despite the negative headlines to the contrary. Visuals available for download, in multiple languages, include web and email banners, posters and flyers featuring the slogan "This Show Is Open for Business."

"Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world," said Ms Mary Larkin, president of UFI. "They exist to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade and to collaborate. Small and medium businesses in particular, in all industries, depend on exhibitions. And, as do all types of events, they support the economy worldwide."

The campaign emphasises how exhibitions are core elements for driving both industries and economies - and that they are among the most convincing and resilient economic tools.

"Exhibitions and events are especially important in times of disruption," explained Clarion UX and Leftfield Media CEO, Mr Greg Topalian, who is SISO chair. "We stand to fulfill our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. As part of the exhibitions industry, we are committed to keeping our exhibitions and events going around the world wherever we can do so."

"We have one simple message here," said UFI CEO, Mr Kai Hattendorf, and SISO executive director, Mr David Audrain, in a joint statement. "As an industry, we strive to make it possible for every company to come to the show floor, to seek to meet with industry peers, to drive the exchange about how and to what degree their respective industries are impacted by COVID-19, and to secure the successful future for their business."

Both UFI and SISO are inviting other associations serving the wider meetings industry to join in the campaign and fuel awareness.

This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared in Northstar Meetings Group.

For more COVID-19 updates from Northstar Meetings Group, click here.

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