The global association for the exhibitions industry, UFI, has launched a new designation for industry professionals — the UFI Certified Professional (UCP) — something CEO Kai Hattendorf says members have been asking for.
“Our members have been requesting an UFI endorsement of our education, so they can signal to employers and peers that they have obtained outstanding industry training," said Hattendorf, who added that the new UCP designation will serve different educational needs globally.
This newest UCP designation is the natural next step for educational offers by UFI. In 2017, UFI and the Venue Management Association (VMA) started offering the UFI-VMA Venue Management School in Asia. And in the thick of the pandemic in 2020, the association launched the UFI-Exhibition Management School, where first classes have already taken place for Asia and the Middle East and Africa region.
The UFI Certified Professional designation consists of two sections: foundation programmes and specialisation modules.
Industry professionals should complete 10 credits' worth of training across various topics either with the UFI-VMA Venue Management School or UFI-Exhibition Management School.
Remaining credits will come from specialisation modules; more specific and topical offerings that "allow participants to tailor the UCP experience to their area of expertise or interest" the website states. These specialised trainings can be picked from educational offers by UFI such as the International Summer University, or its UCP-approved training partners globally, starting with an initial trio: MBB-Consulting Group (UK), Virtual Events Institute (USA) and Rego (UK).
The programme is self-paced, meaning participants will not be bound by time limits or minimum durations. Instead, they can choose their own timelines, topics and locations that suit best, while networking with industry peers.
Matthias Tesi Baur, founder of MBB-Consulting Group supports UFI's move, referencing how the exhibition industry is right now facing challenges and changes, which will therefore require talents for that "journey of change".
"Ongoing education and training play a vital role, ensuring young, skilled people join our industry and stay. The UFI Certified Professional programme is a great way to increase the attractiveness of our industry and to make us collectively stronger. MBB is extremely proud to be a partner of the programme and want to thank UFI for this initiative.”
Sophie Ahmed, CEO of Virtual Events Institute, added: “Through its training programme, the Virtual Events Institute is supporting event change-makers around the world to deliver exceptional virtual and hybrid experiences. We will provide UFI members with the knowledge and skills to create new experiences, capitalise on new revenue streams, grow their brand and break into new markets."
Interested participants, partners or employers can click here for more information.