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UFI’s World Map of Exhibition Venues provides detailed regional and country profiles for 28 markets

– 1212 exhibition venues, with a total of 34.6 million sqm serve the industry around the world

– Global venue space has grown by 1.2% on average per year since 2011

– Report provides global overview as well as 28 venue market profiles, covering all markets & regions globally with more than 200,000 sqm available space


Available exhibition space is one of the main drivers of the development of the exhibition industry, and venue space continues to grow in most regions of the world. Following the release of preliminary data last month, UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, released today its full report on the World Map of Exhibition Venues. In addition to analysing indicators on key regional trends, it lists the largest venues for all 28 markets whose total capacity exceeds 200,000 sqm of gross indoor exhibition space. It also includes final adjustments in the data set.

It has been six years since UFI last produced this global census covering all exhibition venues with a minimum of 5000 sqm of gross indoor exhibition space. This year’s release shows an increase of capacity in the majority of markets around the world. Asia-Pacific has become the market with the second largest offer (23.7% of the total world capacity), behind Europe (45%) and ahead of North America (23.6%).

In terms of size segmentation, 61% of venues globally have an indoor capacity between 5000 and 20,000 sqm, one third (34%) belong to the medium-size segment, offering between 20,000 and 100,000 sqm, and 61 venues (5%) have more than 100,000 sqm. With a growth rate of 27%, the latter is the fastest growing market segment.

The USA remains the market with the most exhibition venue space available (19.8% of global capacity), with China (16.6%) and Germany (9.3%) completing the top three. These three, plus Italy and France, each offer more than 2,000,000 sqm of total gross indoor exhibition space. Taken together, these markets account for almost 60% of the total world indoor exhibition space.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO, says: “We are pleased to see that in recent years, additional venue space has become available in almost all regions of the world. Venue investments are long-term investments – so these trends underline the positive outlook for the exhibition industry mid- to long-term. In addition to adding new space, many venue operators have also made significant investments to upgrade their existing venue capacities.”

The following markets are covered in the 2017 UFI World Map of Exhibition Venues: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, and the USA.

In line with UFI’s mission to provide vital data to the entire industry, the full World Map of Exhibition Venues report is available free of charge on the UFI website at The full report, which will be available in December, will include data for each region and for the main national markets. It will also include a list of all venues with a minimum of 100,000 sqm of gross indoor exhibition space.

UFI would like to thank the following organisations, who helped collect the data for this research: AAXO (South Africa), AEFI (Italy), AEV (United Kingdom), AFE (Spain), AMAREF (Mexico), AOCA (Argentina), AUMA (Germany), BSG (UFI/BSG Asia/Pacific report), CAEM (Canada), CENTREX (Central Europe), CLC VECTA (The Netherlands), EXPO EVENT (Switzerland), FAIRLINK (Scandinavia), FEBELUX (Belgium/Luxemburg), RUEF (Russian Federation), TFYD (Turkey), TSNN (USA), UBRAFE (Brazil) and UNIMEV (France).

Note to editors: The attached infographics highlight the core results as announced in this release. They are free to use with copyright UFI.

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Successful launch for new venue education programme in China

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has launched a new education programme in China. The inaugural UFI-VMA Venue Management School kicked-off on Monday, 20 November 2017.

The three-day programme was hosted by the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC), a long-time UFI member and strong supporter of UFI’s activities in China. The programme was oversubscribed with 34 students from 15 different venues across China.

The programme offered participants an unmatched learning environment. The curriculum included three days of lectures delivered in Mandarin by experienced senior-level managers from leading venues in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenyang to name just a few.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director/CEO, commented: “In recent years, additional venue space has become available in almost all regions of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Venue investments are long-term investments – they require the necessary infrastructure as well as qualified staff. UFI’s new Venue Management School offers programmes aimed at qualifying venue managers to handle the needs of the international exhibition organisers that are bringing business to these venues.”

The lectures included group work, case studies, best practices and more. The programme covered core areas of venue management including customer care, safety & security, back of house operations, venue marketing, leadership skills, human resources management and many others. The programme was delivered under the terms of a partnership between UFI and the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited which is based in Australia.

Nancy Wang, from Shenyang New World Expo, was the top-performing student at this year’s programme. Nancy commented: “It is a great honor for me to attend the inaugural education programme launched by UFI-VMA Venue Management School in China and I am very happy to be awarded as the outstanding student. My sincere thanks to UFI and VMA for preparing this comprehensive and practical arrangements and curriculums and inviting the great venue management experts as instructors to share their knowledge and experiences. As Chinese Venue Managers, we are very inspired by our industry peers and instructors of this programme, and will apply the knowledge we learnt to our daily work and enhance our professionalism.”

The programme also included a mandatory final exam, a gala dinner and a city tour for students from outside Shanghai. This programme was supported by the generous sponsorship of Ungerboeck Software. Following the success of this year’s programme, UFI will announce the dates and location of the 2018 edition of the programme early next year.

The lack of qualified staff managing exhibition venues internationally is based on massive growth of exhibition space available. UFI’s recently published “World Map of Exhibition Venues” shows that in recent years, additional venue space has become available in all regions of the world. 1,221 exhibition venues currently serve the industry. Venue investments are long-term investments – so these trends underline the positive outlook for the exhibition industry mid- to long-term.

The exhibition market in Asia continues to grow at an impressive pace and over the past decade, Asia’s venue infrastructure has also rapidly expanded. Asia now offers more exhibition venue space than North America.

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