Media Releases

UFI launches 2019 UFI Awards in five categories

–      Timelines for all UFI Awards are now aligned

–      Deadline for applications is 1 March 2019

–      Award winners will present their best practice cases at UFI’s Global Congress in Bangkok in November 2019

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, is launching the 2019 UFI Awards. Organisers, venue operators, and service providers are all encouraged to take part and share their best practice cases for five separate categories: HR Management, Digital Innovation, Marketing, Operations & Services, and Sustainable Development.

This year, UFI has aligned timelines for the awards, resulting in a shared deadline for all applications of 1 March 2019.

The awards are managed and led by UFI working groups, made up of experts who identify a current and common focal point within each area of our industry. The winner for each category will be officially recognised at the UFI Global Congress 2019, which will take place in Bangkok (Thailand) in November 2019. What’s more, the award winners will also have the opportunity to present their winning projects at the Congress. Final entries are also promoted on the UFI website:, with significant media coverage in major international tradeshow publications.

“UFI’s award scheme is focused on identifying and sharing best practices in our industry, and highlighting forward-looking, innovative solutions. Sharing experiences in this way strengthens our industry and helps us to develop new ideas. Presented at the UFI Congress, the UFI Awards are a globally sought-after recognition, and everybody in the industry benefits from the shared knowledge,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director and CEO.

For 2019, the respective themes for the UFI Awards are:

–       HR Award: “Employer branding: How to attract and retain key skills”

–       Digital Innovation: “What is Digital Innovation for you”

–       Marketing: “Best influencer campaign”

–       Operations & Services: “Productivity improvements in operations and services using SMART technology”

–       Sustainable Development: “Best sustainable development communication”

UFI Awards are open to both UFI members and non-members. Participation is free of charge for members.

For more information, please visit the UFI website at:


Group picture of the UFI Awards winners at the 85th UFI Global Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia.
2019 UFI  Awards summary picture.

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UFI releases results on “Women in the exhibition industry” research

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, announced the results of the “Women in the exhibitions industry” research at the 85th UFI Global Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The “Women in the exhibition industry” research is a joint project between UFI and its media partner m+a, providing insights into the perception of women’s and men’s skills in the workplace, the potential for advancement for women within the industry and details of the different female career drivers. So, do women enjoy equal status in the workplace, or are they lagging behind?!

More than two hundred respondents from around the world, mostly women, participated in the online survey.

According to the research results, a staggering eighty two percent of respondents highly appreciate working in the exhibition industry and love their jobs.

Women were identified as having soft skills such as good communication skills and empathy. Women were also judged as having strong organizational skills, with the capacity to multi-task. Despite these soft skills, women lagged behind men when it came to networking. Meanwhile, all respondents, both women and men, assigned self-confidence, technical know-how and power-related skills to men.

Concerning treatment and equality of opportunities, more than half of the female respondents did not feel treated equally when it comes to salary and career opportunities, and more than one third also felt that they are held back from having more responsibility.

Most of the respondents felt that the industry would benefit from more female leaders and 61% already see active support for women, although only 49% think that quotas are the way to go. Women, contrarily to men, often have to choose between their career and private life, which is also seen as one of the major negative career factors, with career breaks due to maternity leave (78%) and institutional discrimination (68%).

Dr. Gwen Kaufmann from Deutscher Fachverlag (Germany) who led the project commented, “Women clearly make up the majority of the workforce in the trade fair industry, but they only represent a minority of the leadership. Both men and women agree that women can deliver diversity with a more creative approach when it comes to solving problems, helping the industry to prosper.”

Sonia Thomas, COO at UFI added, “Men and women have different skills, and are complementary, so the optimum is a mix of both sexes. We all must consider how to increase female representation at senior level by making the path to the top a little easier for women.”

After the initial presentation of the research results at the UFI Global Congress in St. Petersburg, the association will continue to work on the topic.

In line with UFI’s objective to provide vital data and best practices to the entire exhibition industry, the full results can be downloaded at

Below: Photo of the  ‘Women in the exhibition industry’ session.

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