Media Releases

Panittha Buri elected as UFI President for 2025-26

Paris / Zurich – 11 June 2024: The UFI Board of Directors has elected Panittha Buri, Vice-Chairperson of Bhiraj Buri Group, as the UFI President for the 2025-26 period. Buri will join the UFI Presidential Trio as Incoming President next November, and become UFI President at the 92nd UFI Global Congress in November 2025 in Hong Kong.

The UFI Presidential Trio for the November 2024 – November 2025 term will, therefore, be:

  • Hugh Jones (CEO, RX), President
  • Panittha Buri (Vice-Chairperson, Bhiraj Buri Group), Incoming President
  • Geoff Dickinson (CEO, dmg events), Outgoing President

This decision will become effective at the conclusion of the 91st UFI Global Congress, which will take place from 20 to 23 November 2024 in Cologne, Germany.

Buri has served as the Vice-Chairperson of Bhiraj Buri Group since October 2022. Previously, she held various roles at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC), such as Managing Director and Director of Marketing & Sales. Since 2023, Buri has taken on several prominent roles: Chair of the UFI Asia Pacific Chapter, President of the Thai Exhibition Association (TEA), and Board Member of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). She is also an Expert Representative for Bangna Commercial College and a Board Member of both UFI and AIPC.

Geoff Dickinson, UFI’s current President, comments: “I am incredibly happy that Panittha Buri will take on the Presidency of UFI in 2026. She has served the events industry passionately and committed for many years in various roles. As a board member of UFI for many years, as the Chapter Chair for Asia Pacific, and as President of the Thai Exhibition Association, she brings a high level of experience and excellent relationships with her industry peers, and as Vice Chair of the Bhiraj Buri Group, she has extensive leadership experience. She is also a very kind and caring person who will, in particular, progress the core values of UFI.”

Panittha Buri adds: “Thank you for entrusting me with this leadership role at UFI. I am truly honoured and humbled. I am excited about the journey ahead and am grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside each of you. Let’s embark on this journey with passion, integrity and a shared vision for the next generations to come. Together, we can achieve great things.”

As UFI’s Incoming President, Panittha Buri 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.

UFI was founded in 1925 as a non-profit, nonpartisan, and international association. Today, it is the global association for the exhibition industry, directly representing more than 50,000 exhibition industry professionals in almost 90 countries around the world. UFI is headquartered in Paris, France, and operates four regional offices in Asia, North America, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.

True to the association’s global presence, UFI’s recent Presidents have been from the UK (Michael Duck, 2022-23, Hong Kong (Monica Lee-Müller, 2021-22), India (Anbu Varathan, 2020-21), the USA (Mary Larkin, 2019-20), South Africa (Craig Newman, 2018-19), and Italy (Corrado Peraboni, 2017-18).

For any media inquiries, please contact us at media@ufi.org.

Attachments:

Download this Press Release

Ninth edition of Global Exhibitions Day celebrated worldwide

  • Global Exhibitions Day (GED) 2024 continues to serve as the single largest day of awareness and advocacy for the exhibition industry
  • GED message “exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures” reached audiences in over 100 countries and regions
  • Next year’s GED will take place on Wednesday, 4 June 2025

Paris – 10 June 2024: The ninth edition of Global Exhibitions Day (GED) took place on 5 June 2024 under the theme “Exhibitions are catalysts to sustainable futures”. The GED 2024 theme reinforces the role of exhibitions as platforms to bring people together face-to-face to connect, collaborate on global solutions aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and drive progress for economies worldwide.

The four key messages of GED 2024 resonated with newer and wider audiences as it showcased the universal impact of exhibitions across multiple industries to drive progress, facilitate economic growth, connect people and as a sustainable way of doing business.

In the lead-up to and during GED 2024, according to UFI’s initial numbers*, global activations had an online reach of over 600k, with over 9,000 people interacting through social media posts, messages, and comments. The #GED2024 hashtag was widely used across the community to showcase the role and purpose of exhibitions in driving progress for people and the planet. The campaign also saw 3,000 trees planted across the Philippines, Madagascar, and Ecuador through a collaboration with Sustainability Partner EcoMatcher and Digital Marketing Partner snöball.

The campaign saw engagement with and support from government officials across the world, including Hong Kong, Italy, Macau, Singapore, and Washington DC. These endorsements and recognition are essential to reinforce the critical role of exhibitions in global and local economies.

Leading global organisers Clarion Events, Comexposium, Emerald, Informa, RX, and many others, weighed in on the economic significance and resilience of the industry, having experienced one of the most significant bouncebacks, proving that in-person connection is increasingly valued regardless of industry or geography. Industry associations from around the world came together to share the importance of GED and to encourage others in their respective communities to participate.

Geoff Dickinson, 2024 UFI President and CEO of dmg events, said: “It is so wonderful to see our community celebrating Global Exhibitions Day around the world to emphasize the role of exhibitions as vital platforms for humanity to gather, to exchange new ideas and to collaborate across industries and borders to build a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive future.”

Individuals and organisations globally coming together to host a kaleidoscope of events and activities, and sharing their stories in honour of GED 2024 is a testament to our industry’s commitment to our sustainable future. Some of these activations can be found on the GED website.

Save the date: Following tradition, next year’s Global Exhibitions Day will be held on the first Wednesday of June, on 4 June 2025.

Thanks to our partners supporting #GED2024

This global day of advocacy is supported by over 70 national and international industry associations:

AAXO, ABEA, ABEOC, AEFI, AEO, AESDAC, AEV, AFE, AFECA, AFEP, AFIDA, AIFEC, AKEI, AMEREF, AMPROFEC, AOCA, APPCE, ATFEOF, AUIEC, AUDOCA, AUMA, BICEIA, CAEC, CAEM, CEFA, CENTREX, CLC-VECTA, ECA, EDPA, EEIA, EFU, EMECA, ESCA, ESSA, EXSA, EXPO EVENT, FAIRLINK, FEBELUX, FKM, fwd, GDFOA, HKECIA, IDFA, IECA, IEIA, IELA, IEOA, IFES, JEXA, LECA, MACEOS, MECA, MFTA, ON-GO, PCEI, SACEOS, SBE, SCEIA, SECA, SISO, SOKEE, SLAPCEO, SZCEA, TCEA, TEA, TECA, TFOA, UBRAFE, UNIMEV, and WTCA.

Thank you to Clarion Events, Comexposium, Emerald, Informa Markets, and Reed Exhibitions (RX), who collaborated on a media pitch focusing on the economic impact of the exhibition industry.

Thank you to our #GED2024 Sustainability Partner EcoMatcher and Digital Marketing Partner snöball.

*Reach on social media tracked using Brandwatch based on hashtags #GlobalExhibitionsDay, #GED2024, or similar. Figures are being calculated and will continue to be added and collated over the coming days.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF GED 2024 BY REGION

 

ASIA-PACIFIC

Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations (AFECA) posted a video “Journey to Sustainable Futures: AFECA’s Members Pioneering Change in Asia” with messages from AFECA President and their members from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

Australian Business Events Association (ABEA) reinforced its commitment to supporting sustainability initiatives within the exhibition industry with a social post featuring their members such as Arinex, AV1, Harry the Hirer, ICC Sydney, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Moreton Hire.

COEX shared a team photo celebrating the day.

Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Industry Association (HKECIA) held their annual conference and dinner at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with over 230 members and industry partners in attendance.

Indian Exhibition Industry Association (IEIA) organised a #GEDIndia social media competition  to encourage members to create “GED Videos” and “GED Posters”.

Informa Markets India shared an article on the role of exhibitions in India’s growth story and in driving progress and sustainability.

Japan Exhibition Association (JEXA) organised an information session to explain the key themes of GED and a presentation on the exhibition industry trends worldwide.

KINTEX posted an infographic on the economic impact of exhibitions (in Korean).

Macau Fair & Trade Association (MFTA) hosted its annual Macau GED Day, supported by Galaxy Entertainment Group and attended by government officials such as the Secretary of Finance, President of IPIM, President of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, and the Director of the Environmental Bureau, who witnessed the launch of the MICE Industry Education Program and the signing of an MOU with Kiang Ping school.

Shenyang New World EXPO shared a team video celebrating the day.

Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) shared a video “The Singapore Story: Collective Efforts by the MICE Community to Chart a Sustainable Tomorrow” which featured Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Investment and other SACEOS members and partners such as Constellar, Marina Bay Sands, NTUC Learning Hub, and The Mill International.

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) shared a video on sustainability through the lens of exhibitions.

Thailand Exhibition Association (TEA), supported by TCEB, organised “Exhibitions Connecting the World” featuring exhibition leaders speaking on topics such as “The Future of Sustainability in Asia” and “Transforming & Thriving in the New Era of Exhibitions Over the Next 3 Years”.

 

EUROPE

Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) shared a post on its position on sustainability as the German trade fair industry aims to be climate-neutral by 2040.

Comexposium presented their Manifesto 2024 video celebrating their legacy of events and contribution of their team across the world.

Clarion Events paid homage to their team for creating meaningful and lasting connections with people and organisations around the globe.

Easyfairs shared a video showcasing sustainability practices in their events.

European Major Exhibition Centre Association (EMECA) celebrated GED during its Board Meeting and General Assembly in Stuttgart.

Eventmaker hosted a special event with the support of Union Française des Métiers de l’Événement (UNIMEV/ French Meeting Industry Council).

Exhibitions News and Tembo ran a social media campaign in collaboration with InGo.

Feria de Valladolid held an event to discuss the impact of trade fairs in their region. Together with Valladolid Centro Congresos and the International Cooking School, led by chef Óscar Herrero, they created a tapa to commemorate GED and to represent the global diversity of exhibitions.

FEBELUX organised their annual Connecting Day 2024 followed by a networking evening celebrating GED at the Jardin Botanique de Meise.

Fondazione Fiera Milano showcased their sustainability efforts through an infographic.

Greek Exhibition Industry Association (SOKEE) shared a social post to recognise the dedication of everyone involved in the exhibitions industry.

IFEMA Madrid shared a video highlighting the sustainable practices of the industry.

Informa Markets shared its sustainability journey in their latest Sustainability Report.

International Exhibition Logistics Association (IELA) ran a social media campaign “GED2024 Hand-in-Hand” with to showcase their members working together for a sustainable exhibition industry.

International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services (IFES) encouraged the community to connect and collaborate to shape the future of the industry.

Italian Exhibition & Trade Fair Association (AEFI) held a special event “Exhibitions: Impact on Made in Italy Enterprises and Internationalisation”, which included a statement from Adolfo Urso, the Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy and speakers from the Italian Trade Agency and Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Federation.

Iteca Exhibitions in Uzbekistan shared a team photo collage to celebrate the day.

Koelnmesse shared a video on how exhibitions have shaped their 100-year history and will continue to shape their future.

Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry (PCEI) presented the “Trade Fairs in Poland 2023” report, shared a team video and launched an #EcoExpoChallenge to encourage GED participation across its membership.

RX Global shared a story on innovative and exciting ways to use face to face events to build brands.

Spanish Trade Fairs Association (AFE) circulated a press release emphasizing the growth and economic impact of the exhibition industry in Spain.

 

MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

Association  of  African  Exhibition  Organisers  (AAXO) celebrated big with the AAXO Leadership Summit in Johannesburg in collaboration with Exhibition and Events Association of South Africa (EXSA) and Event Greening Forum. AAXO also launched its AAXO Youth Chapter, organised a collection of old banners or lanyards which will be gifted to Skills Village in Johannesburg to create school bags, and collaborated with JEC and Masterdrive on an adrenaline-fueled GED South Africa experience on the skidpan.

CBME Türkiye shared a team video.

Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre celebrated with fully occupied halls the day of GED.

Qatar Tourism welcomed over 70 industry colleagues from the Middle East and Africa region to their “UFI Qatar Day” at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center to celebrate GED.

Saudi Conventions & Exhibitions General Authority unveiled an e-book highlighting the sector’s achievements in numbers.

Tüyap Tüm Fuarcılık Yapım did a series of fun interviews with their employees, participants and visitors.

 

AMERICAS

Asociación Internacional de Ferias de América (AFIDA) celebrated with a social post.

Asociación Argentina (AOCA) posted an infographic on the importance of exhibitions in generating new business opportunities and professional growth.

Emerald celebrated the exhibition industry’s significant influence in shaping a sustainable and thriving future for all with a social post.

Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) assembled 130 industry leaders and advocates from 25 states on Capitol Hill for Legislative Action Day in Washington DC. Attendees focused on two of ECA’s top public policy priorities: helping the industry attract and train its next generation workforce and further reducing visa wait times for international exhibitors and attendees looking to come to US exhibitions and conferences.

Exhibition Place Toronto embraced the theme by highlighting their sustainability initiatives.

Fexpocruz celebrated the impact of exhibitions through a photo carousel of their community.

La Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales en Exposiciones, Ferias y Convenciones (AMPROFEC) held a press conference to present data from a new national study to highlight the relevance of the exhibition industry.

Meetings®Panama, together with the Panama Convention Center and the APPCE Association, organized the International Exhibition Forum 2024 with the theme “Driving Sustainable Futures through the Best Innovation and Connection Platforms”.

Messe Frankfurt North America shared a team video to describe the virbrancy of the industry.

RX Mexico shared their #InTheBusinessOfBuildingBusiness video in celebration of GED.

 

This is not an exhaustive list. Visit globalexhibitionsday.org to see more GED 2024 activities and photo highlights.

Download this Press Release

Archive

Download previous media releases.

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008