Media Releases

Global Exhibitions Day exceeds expectations, places global spotlight on the exhibitions and events industry

Exhibition industry professionals around the world came out in force for the 2nd Global Exhibitions Day (GED) this week, highlighting the role of exhibitions and events as economical growth drivers, and turning GED 2017 into the biggest day of advocacy for the exhibition industry so far. This year’s theme put special focus on the people and jobs in the exhibition industry, under the title “Think Global – Act Local”.

By the end of the day, the UFI team in Paris had received reports on activities in 75 countries and regions from all around the world, including the respective industry leaders among organisers, venues, and service providers. Compared to the initial GED in 2016, numerous additional countries and players in the industry joined for the first time.

Coordinated by UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, 41 Global Exhibitions Day partner associations united behind this joint advocacy campaign. “The theme for this year’s GED was ‘Think Global – Act Local’, and this was reflected in activities and activations all around the world”, says Kai Hattendorf, UFI MD/CEO. “I am especially thrilled by the mix of senior industry leaders and young professionals who took part in GED events everywhere. The wide variety of activities really shows the creativity and the energy this industry has to offer. And the fact that exhibition and event professionals from all around the world have come together to promote our industry as a whole, clearly shows what we as an industry can achieve together.”

GED saw a broad mix of activities, both onsite and online, to promote exhibitions as business platforms as well as career and business development opportunities in the industry. Events and activities were arranged by many of the international and national organisers, by venues, by service providers, and also by national and regional associations.

Preliminary data analysis shows that on Global Exhibitions Day alone, the joint activities by the industry have reached a staggering 3.1 million people just on Twitter. UFI will publish a detailed report in the weeks to come.

The list of global GED activities is available at UFI will be updating this list in the coming days as and when more activities are shared. Among the many activities around the world focusing on education and networking, here are some examples:

• In Australia, EEAA is running a series of events on 7 and 8 June across three member venues in Sydney including the International Convention Centre Sydney, Doltone House – Darling Island Wharf and Dockside – L’Aqua. These events include the EEAA Annual General Meeting, a specific Global Exhibitions Day Reception and the EEAA Leaders Forum.

• In Asia, over 300 exhibition professionals are gathering at Bombay Exhibition Centre, NESCO, Goregaon (E), Mumbai to commemorate the common cause and objective of ascertaining exhibition industry’s growth. Keeping aside differences in Association alliances and business rivalries, this congregation of Exhibition organisers, venue owners and service providers focussed on promoting the Exhibition industry as a whole.

• In Africa, both South African associations are out in force. AAXO is celebrating GED with education sessions at Sandton Convention Centre in conjunction with their presence at Madex 2017: an Exhibitor Training on 7 June and an Organiser Training on the 8 June. EXSA is organising a “tastiest potjie” competition at Johannesburg Expo Centre to network and celebrate.

• In Europe, RAI Amsterdam is launching a “Start your Event” pitch competition to support new exhibition concepts for start-up organisers. The winning concept will be held in RAI Amsterdam in late 2018, and will be supported with both exhibition space as well as then know how and expertise required for organising events.

• In Middle East, IEA organises a conference and dinner ceremony on 11 June 2017. Venue managers, exhibition organisers as well as governmental representatives from all of the Iran provinces gather to celebrate GED and evaluate how to improve the exhibition performance in Iran.

• In North America, IAEE is holding a day of advocacy, bringing together industry professionals to talk to political leaders in Washington, DC, about the promotion of fair and free trade.

• In Latin America, AMPROFEC invited exhibition organisers, venues and service providers around a #GED17 cocktail to celebrate Global Exhibitions Day in Merida city on 6 June, in Mexico City and Monterrey on 7 June. In addition, they took pictures at different iconic places in Mexico with the GED logo.

In addition, sportive activities were on the agenda again as well. Co-organised by Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association and Hong Kong Exhibition Services Association, the First Global Exhibitions Day Friendship Football Cup was celebrated on GED. It provided networking opportunities to participants in an informal and relaxing atmosphere as well as to celebrate the people who work in industry. In Paris, UNIMEV (The French Meeting Industry Council) was holding the 2nd Global Exhibitions Day Run, at the Paris Nord Villepinte exhibition centre.

In the coming weeks, UFI media partner Exhibition World, together with the UFI team, will review all reported GED activities, and select best practice examples to be shared with the industry. Winners will receive the new “GED Award” in four categories: Most Creative Activity, Highest Profile Online Activity, Biggest Scale Physical Activity, and Industry Impact Award.

The network of partner associations also decided in 2016 to allocate a permanent date for future Global Exhibitions Days – always taking place on the first Wednesday in June. Therefore, GED 2018 will be held at June 6, 2018.

The 41 GED partner associations under the UFI umbrella are: AAXO (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AFECA (Asia), AFIDA (Central & South America), AMPROFEC (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), CAEM (Canada), CEFA (Central Europe), CENTREX (Central Europe), CFI (Italy), EEAA (Australasia), EEIA (EU), EFU (Ukraine), EMECA (Europe), EXSA (South Africa), FAIRLINK (Sweden), FAMAB (Germany), HKECIA (Hong-Kong), IAEE (USA), IDFA (Germany), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), IELA (Global), IFES (Global), LECA (Lebanon), MACEOS (Malaysia), MFTA (Macao), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia), SACEOS (Singapore), SECB (Singapore), SISO (USA), TEA (Thailand), TECA (Taiwan), TFOA (Turkey), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).


  • GED17 activities around the globe and industry quotes
  • List of countries and regions identified as GED supporter

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One week to go until Global Exhibitions Day!

A week today, 7 June 2017, is Global Exhibitions Day (#GED17). With events all over the world, and an active online campaign, thousands of professionals and students are set to join celebrations highlighting the power of the exhibition industry, and the diverse career opportunities it creates.

Now in its second year, GED17 puts a special focus on the people and jobs in the exhibition industry, under the title “Think Global – Act Local”. Under the coordination of UFI, The Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, activities have been scheduled in 45 countries and regions around the world. 40 Global Exhibitions Day partner associations are united behind this joint awareness-raising campaign.

A full list of GED17 activities and supporting associations is attached to this media release, and updated daily at

UFI Managing Director / CEO Kai Hattendorf says: “GED is a truly global celebration of the exhibition industry, and all its highly-valued people! I’d like to congratulate our amazing colleagues and friends who this week are joining forces everywhere to create a global buzz that, I am sure, will spread throughout our industry and beyond.”

With 260 million visitors and 4.4 million exhibitors generating EUR 98 billion revenues every year, GED highlights the positive impact of exhibitions on jobs, business, innovation and local investment. UFI estimates that half of exhibition spending benefits host territories directly, and the other half benefits the exhibitions industry, creating or maintaining hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Support for GED has consistently grown since its launch last year, with a wave of new events ranging from national-level lobbying to local community actions. Countries showing support for the first time this year include Bahrain, Ethiopia, Finland, Honduras, Japan, Serbia and Sweden.

UFI is receiving messages of support for GED from around the world that highlight the enthusiasm many professionals share for their work in tradeshows and exhibitions, whether in marketing, operations, sales or behind-the-scenes. Many of these are published online at and a selection of the best industry quotes are attached to this media release.

Media support

For more information, including facts and figures on the exhibitions industry, please visit or contact Angela Herberholz at

As well as answering individual enquiries, the UFI GED team provides:

  •  updates on global GED activities;
  •  data on GED participation, including social media statistics;
  •  help connecting with organisers of individual GED activities;
  •  quotes and best practice examples;
  •  infographics, pictures, videos.

40 GED partner associations under the UFI umbrella: AAXO (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEO (UK), AFE (Spain), AFECA (Asia), AFIDA (Central & South America), AMPROFEC (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), CAEM (Canada), CEFA (Central Europe), CENTREX (Central Europe), CFI (Italy), EEAA (Australasia), EEIA (EU), EFU (Ukraine), EMECA (Europe), EXSA (South Africa), FAIRLINK (Sweden), FAMAB (Germany), HKECIA (Hong-Kong), IAEE (USA), IDFA (Germany), IECA (Indonesia), IEIA (India), IELA (Global), IFES (Global), LECA (Lebanon), MACEOS (Malaysia), MFTA (Macao), PCEI (Poland), RUEF (Russia), SACEOS (Singapore), SECB (Singapore), SISO (USA), TEA (Thailand), TECA (Taiwan), TFOA (Turkey), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).


  • GED logo
  • GED17 activities around the globe and industry quotes
  • GED info graphics from the material toolkit.

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