Media Releases

Five future leaders selected to receive the 2018 UFI Next Generation Leadership Grant

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has announced a group of five recipients from all over the world for this year’s UFI Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Grant. An international jury, led by UFI President Corrado Peraboni, selected this group of future industry leaders for their exceptional initiative in driving change and innovation in their different areas within the exhibition industry.

The recipients of the 2018 UFI NGL Grant are:

–           Lilian Burgardt, Head of Digital Products for Brazil with Informa, Brazil

–           Glen Foulstone, Senior Project Manager with GES, UK

–           Kelly MacLellan, Customer Success Manager with Feathr, USA

–           Miranda Martin, Portfolio Director, Niche events with Fresh Montgomery, UK

–           Maria Tsedeviyn, Head of Advertising, Design and Internet Division Marketing, Advertising and PR Department at Expoforum International, Russia

“As I was reviewing the applications for this year’s grant, I became a bit concerned about fulfilling my role as jury president: I feared it would be difficult to select just five recipients from the large number of great applications. And indeed, the jury had to make some tough calls,” said UFI President Corrado Peraboni. “I want to encourage all those who we could not select this year to continue to work on their impressive projects, and to re-apply next year.”

For this year’s programme, there was a significant rise of over 70% in the number of applications received when compared to 2017. Applications were handed in from 15 different countries, representing all UFI regional chapters (Asia-Pacific; Europe; Latin America; Middle East; Africa). The UFI Next Generation Leaders will now engage in research concerning the future of the exhibition industry, working closely with the UFI team. Their first workshop will be organised in conjunction with the UFI European Conference ‘Future proof exhibitions’, which will be held in Verona (Italy) in early May 2018. After several months of research and collaboration, the grantees will present their conclusions at the 85th UFI Global Congress – the exhibition industry’s leading annual global event – which will take place in St. Petersburg (Russia) from 31 October to 3 November 2018. The NGL Grant programme concludes with a 6-month C-level mentorship for each recipient which will provide career support for these future leaders of the industry.

“The NGL Grant, which has now reached its third edition, reflects UFI’s commitment to recognising and supporting the best talents within the exhibition industry,” said UFI Managing Director/CEO, Kai Hattendorf. “We believe in the importance of rewarding a global group of strong personalities who will be able to drive the needed changes in the industry in the upcoming years. I would like to personally thank all those involved in the programme.”

About the jury

The 2018 NGL Grant jury was chaired by Mr. Corrado Peraboni, UFI President, and President of Cipa Fiera Milano Publicações e Eventos Ltda. He was joined by Joyce DiMascio, Chief Executive at EEAA, Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director/CEO at UFI, Eleonora Robuschi, Programmes & Projects Coordinator at UFI and Diana Salman, Head of HR & Organization Development at IFP Expo and former NGL grant winner.

Below: Photo: NGL Grant Winners from the top left: Miranda Martin, Portfolio Director, Niche events with Fresh Montgomery, UK; Maria Tsedeviyn, Head of Advertising, Design and Internet Division Marketing, Advertising and PR Department at Expoforum International, Russia; Glen Foulstone, Senior Project Manager with GES, UK; Lilian Burgardt, Head of Digital Products for Brazil with Informa, Brazil; Kelly MacLellan, Customer Success Manager with Feathr, USA

Download this Press Release

Asian exhibition industry debates new sources of revenue at UFI Asia-Pacific Conference

More than 280 delegates from over 20 countries and regions attended the 13th UFI Asia-Pacific Conference last week. The conference, UFI’s second largest event, was held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 1 and 2 March.

Industry leaders from around the region discussed and debated the future direction of the exhibition industry in Asia under the theme, “New Approaches, Different Angles”. Keynote speaker, Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, CEO of Pemandu, provided a compelling overview of the on-going transformation of the Malaysian economy. UBM Asia’s Wolfram Diener shared his experiences managing UBM’s highly successful portfolio of jewellery exhibitions and the geo-cloning strategy behind those events.

Quan Yu from Alibaba’s Ant Financial discussed how digital payments are reshaping the way business is conducted in China. The conference also included a session with Talk2 Media’s Matt Pearce who shared his views on opportunities in the B2C exhibition segment, as well as a venue panel starring Aloysius Arlando (Singex), Loy Joon How (IMPACT) and Aage Hansen (ICE) who debated future sources of income for venues in Asia.

The UFI Asia-Pacific Conference featured two days of networking and learning as well as an Educational Forum, held on 28 February, which attracted nearly 50 delegates. The theme of the Educational Forum was “HR Managers as Business Partners”. Other onsite activities included a members’ meeting for UFI’s Asia-Pacific Chapter led by the new Chapter Chair, David Zhong; an Association Committee meeting chaired by UFI’s CEO, Kai Hattendorf; a Welcome Reception for all delegates held at Kuala Lumpur’s newest venue, MiTEC; city tours and much more besides.

“The initiative in having the 13th UFI Asia-Pacific Conference here in Malaysia is in line with the government’s aspiration to position Malaysia as a preferred Business Events or MICE hub and a choice destination in the region,” said YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia, at a reception for participants.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s CEO, stated: “The conference highlighted the potential for further growth in the exhibition industry in the Asia-Pacific region. I am pleased to see that UFI’s regional flagship event is connecting industry leaders from all over, leading to new collaborations, and opening up business opportunities.”

This year’s UFI Asia-Pacific Conference was hosted by the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and supported by the Malaysian Association of Convention & Exhibition Organiser and Suppliers (MACEOS). It was also supported by UFI’s Diamond Sponsors: the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Global Experience Specialists (GES). A wide range of local, Malaysian sponsors also backed the event.

This was the second time that UFI has held this event in Malaysia. The previous time was in 2009 when the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) hosted the conference. Next year, the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference will take place in Tokyo (Japan) on 14 and 15 March.

Full details of the 2018 UFI Asia-Pacific Conference can be found on the event website:

Below: Photo: Datuk Zulkefli Hj Sharif, CEO of MyCEB, (right) receiving the UFI Silver Plate awarded to the conference host. It was handed over by Kai Hattendorf, MD/CEO of UFI.

Download this Press Release


Download previous media releases.










Media Kit

Download our Media Kit

UFI Structure

UFI Presidents