Published: 20 May 2019

UFI Conference hailed a huge success following its first arrival on UK soil

The 2019 UFI European Conference came to a close on Friday (17th May) following two days of sessions and networking.

Hosted by the NEC with conference sessions held at the Vox Conference Venue, over 200 delegates from 28 countries around the world, joined together in Birmingham for the inaugural annual event of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

This was a must-attend event for exhibition industry professionals who work internationally.  Delegates heard from world-class speakers from Russia, China and the United States as well as here in Europe, discussing what challenges face the industry and what the future for organisers looks like. 

As hosts, we ensured an excellent welcome was waiting for our visitors, with tours of our venues, offering them the chance to visit Bear Grylls Adventure and go back in time at Warwick Castle for a taste of medieval England.

Having previous been hosted in Verona (2018), Cologne (2017), Basel (2016), and Istanbul (2015), it was the first time the conference had been held in the UK.  The 2020 conference is set to take place in Gothenburg.

Conference Testimonials

Kai Hattendorf, CEO at UFI: “It’s been amazing to work with the whole NEC team on putting this week together!  Thank you so much.”

Paul Colston, Managing Editor, Exhibition World Magazine: “It’s great to have all our professional colleagues within the industry experience this; in my own job I travel the world and see some of the best facilities, so as a patron of Birmingham this makes me really proud that the city has really delivered for UFI.  The content too; the hardware has been amazing but the software too – we’ve had top class speakers, top class journalists here and it’s all come together well.  I’m proud to have been part of it.”

Holger Friesz, Ungerboeck Software: “Very interesting discussions, especially about the political situation. I think it’s one of the first times where we are also facing political discussions with UFI because its affecting our industry.  It's therefore quite interesting to hear the different positions and the learnings for us as companies that are supporting the industry. 

"We love our friend from the NEC! I also love the digital signage we see all around the venue– a touch of the future- it’s great, its modern, a beautiful place that makes me feel very welcome."