Media Releases

UFI expands quality accreditation system – now also acknowledging national events

The world’s most sought after seal of quality for exhibitions, the “UFI Approved Event” certification, is growing its reach. UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry announces today that it will expand its events accreditation scheme. From 2017, quality exhibitions and events that focus on national audiences will also be able to apply for, and receive, UFI’s unique recognition, opening up the industry’s gold standard to audited national quality shows.

Until today, UFI approval was reserved for exhibitions that meet the highest global standards, provide officially audited statistics, and serve an international market. Under the new system, organisers can apply for either UFI Approved Event status or UFI Approved International Event status, depending on their proportion of international visitors and exhibitors.

UFI’s founding members were keen to set a bar for good quality events that were worth the time and expense for both exhibitor and visitor to be present at. The mutual recognition of quality events has been at the heart of UFI activity ever since its foundation in 1925. The key to quality is the willingness of organisers to have their exhibitions and events audited. Every organiser who is a UFI member is running at least one UFI Approved Event.

With, and through its unique network of close to 60 national and international association members, UFI is collaborating with many national recognition and auditing schemes. This sets the UFI seal apart from many other “certifications”.

Presently, UFI’s quality label is granted to more than 900 exhibitions worldwide.

“Organisers around the globe tell us about the huge impact of using the “UFI Approved Event” logo. People not only recognise but trust it, so are more likely to travel to the exhibition and take part either as an exhibitor or as a visitor. I’m really pleased we can now open up this opportunity to more markets, but maintain the high standard,” said Dr Andreas Gruchow, UFI President.

Global demand
“We were getting more and more requests for UFI Approval from some great exhibitions and events whose audiences aren’t necessarily international. At the same time, exhibitors were asking us for data and reassurance about those very same local and national events,” says Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director of UFI.

“Our solution is to relaunch the UFI Approved Event scheme with two labels, one for international events, and one for national events, both of equally high quality,” says Hattendorf. “As the global association for the exhibition industry, UFI is constantly evolving the ways and means we can support the industry by highlighting quality and excellence in the industry – it’s part of our founding vision”, concludes Hattendorf.

260 million visitors
UFI research shows that 260 million visitors and 4.4 million exhibitors attend events globally each year. In response, the UFI Approved Event and UFI Approved International Event schemes aim to help these visitors and exhibitors to choose the best possible exhibition experience, wherever they are in the world.

In certain countries, it suffices to just have the UFI Approved Event label to obtain licences to produce shows. In other countries, subsidies are accorded to exhibitions that are UFI Approved, as a clear means of promoting quality in the national exhibition market.

Strict assessment for quality control
For both labels, the strict accreditation criteria remain unchanged. All UFI approved exhibitions must have run for at least two editions or more. Materials must be provided in English, and the venue must meet high standards and have effective Health and Safety procedures in place. After each event, organisers must provide independently audited data on key details such as total exhibition space, and the number of exhibitors and visitors.

To display the UFI Approved International Event logo, exhibitions must show either that at least 10% of exhibitors are foreign, or that at least 5% of visitors (or visits) are from abroad.

After successful initial application, exhibitions must undergo regular assessments by UFI’s global network of accredited auditors to maintain their “UFI Approved Event” status.

More information about UFI Approved Events and UFI Approved International Events can be found online at


GES extends UFI Diamond sponsorship commitment to the industry for another three years!

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, kicked off its record-breaking 83rd UFI Global Congress in Shanghai by extending their Diamond Sponsor agreement with global events supplier GES for three years through 2019.

GES’ ongoing support of the Diamond Sponsor programme has enabled UFI to develop new research programmes and activities, while continuing to improve and professionalise its events and services. GES has enjoyed promotion across all UFI’s events, whilst positioning itself as a thought-leader in the event technology and exhibitor services space.

Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director of UFI, commented: “GES has been a wonderful partner for our association, and we are delighted to continue this agreement through 2019. GES’ ongoing commitment to UFI demonstrates their wider commitment to our industry, and alongside our members we are very grateful for its support. GES was a key partner in helping us successfully implement a new part of the Global Congress this year – the Xchange platform. They were the first company we turned to when we needed help with this project and once again, delivered.”

Jason Popp, Executive Vice President of International, for GES, commented, “GES has been an active member of UFI since 2010 and a Diamond sponsor since 2013. We are proud to support many UFI members with their projects globally, whether it is show design and production, exhibitor support, data and registration services or technical production services. We are also proud to partner with many of the great venues who are also UFI members so continuing our active involvement as a Diamond Member through 2019 is a natural next step.”

Attached: GES logo and user guide, UFI logo and user guide, Picture of signing ceremony with UFI President Sergey Alexeev and GES Executive Vice President Jason Popp

Download this Press Release


Download previous media releases.










Media Kit

Download our Media Kit

UFI Structure

UFI Presidents