May 10, 2022 | By Joyce DiMascio

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has elected Geoff Dickinson, CEO of dmg events, as its president for 2024, recognising Dubai and Abu Dhabi as world leading event destinations.

It is a first for Dubai and the UAE to have one of its representatives in the top role in the global peak body.

Dickinson said he was honoured to serve the industry through his appointment for a 12-month term.

He’s been at the helm of the Dubai-headquartered dmg events since 2010. The company is one of the top twenty international exhibition and conference organisers in the world and organises nearly 100 events annually.

“I am truly honoured to serve an industry that I am so passionate about. This is the first time any event professional from the UAE has been appointed to this prestigious role and I am sure that the UAE’s status as a leading international events hub, especially having hosted the ‘world’s greatest show’ Expo 2020, was at the very least, a contributing factor,” said Dickinson.

“I will always champion the events industry, focusing on diversity, innovation, technology and sustainability.”

As UFI’s incoming president, Dickinson will work closely with the president and outgoing president as part of the Presidential trio, managing UFI at the highest level and furthering UFI’s mission to connect, support and promote the exhibition industry around the world.

Aside from Dickinson, the Presidential trio for the 2022-23 term includes current president, Michael Duck, executive vice president of commercial development for Informa Markets and executive vice president of commercial development for the Informa Group and outgoing president Monica Lee-Müller, managing director of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry professionals globally, and also works closely with its 63 national and regional association members and includes 795 member organisations in 83 countries and regions around the world.

UFI members from around the world gathered in Poznan, Poland from May 4 – 6 for the peak body’s European meeting. It is the first time since the pandemic that this events has been held face-to-face.

Industry leaders discussed current challenges in the industry: post-pandemic recovery, sustainability and the race to net zero carbon emissions, the exhibition business model, digital innovation and strategy and the talent drain.