June 7, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has announced 1 June 2022 as the date for the seventh annual Global Exhibitions Day campaign around the world.

In its wrap-up of the 2021 event held last week, UFI says Global Exhibitions Day (GED) 2021 was the single largest day of awareness and advocacy for the exhibition industry ever.

According to UFI, 110 countries and regions participated in GED 2021 which celebrated the safe return of exhibitions and their role in accelerating economic recovery.

UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf applauded the achievement.

“This year’s GED celebrates recovery and resilience. The engagement of event professionals has put a spotlight on both the size and passion of our industry. It’s also been an opportunity to see the creativity, diversity and multicultural nature of exhibitions,” he said.

In Australia, the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) held its annual summit as a hybrid event and other associations and companies deployed their messages in support of the campaign on social media.

UFI’s statement said the sixth Global Exhibitions Day spread the message that “exhibitions are the fastest of fast tracks to economic recovery” across the globe.

“GED 2021 demonstrated the unity of the industry and proved that exhibitions create platforms for growth and recovery, whilst also instilling confidence in others to participate in organised events that prioritise safety and success in equal measure.

“It’s clear that 2021 is a pivotal year for the global exhibition industry.”

The figures tell the story of the industry’s reach.  Exhibitions generate €493 billion (A$775 billion) in business sales each year. In addition, visitors and exhibitor expenses generate a total of €299 billion (A$470 billion) across the exhibition industry value chain (organisers, venues and service providers) and in tourism-related activities (accommodation, food and travel).

The global peak body reiterated its position that rollout of vaccines is making it possible for people to reconnect again at exhibitions and business events.

Markets are starting to reopen around the world and events are taking place again in Europe, the United States, Asia as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

“From videos to meetings, from webinars to hybrid events, from webcasts to social campaigns and virtual contests and more, people and organisations from around 110 countries/regions participated in GED 2021,” said UFI’s wrap-up.