Exhibition World Issue 3 – 2021 | Page 45

UFI training amount of practice , case studies and then one main project based on a briefing from an exhibition organiser .”
Much like Heinemann , Zanin says there is an increasing amount of importance given to the digital side of things : “ Accademia has always dedicated many hours to a digital laboratory but this year it has grown even more . We invited many guests to share their experience and case studies on how they were able to create value with digitalisation . In the future we want to develop our lessons on digital event production .”
UFI ’ s Certified Professional training
For exhibition industry professionals who want their own lessons on digital event production ( without the need to brush up on their Italian ), UFI ’ s Certified Professional training now gives them a way to do so .
The training courses offer a variety of modules on live and digital events , which can be worked through in your own time . The courses have been vetted by experts from UFI ’ s global community of eventprofs , and provide a symbol of quality for those who complete them .
Angela Herberholz , programme manager for education and working groups at UFI , says the courses have four main goals : “ Tailored educational experiences to foster an agile workforce ; structured opportunities to expand industry expertise ; improving employability and enriching industry networks .”
Training and upskilling staff will be crucial for businesses in the events industry moving forwards . The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a shake-up of existing positions , and the pivot to digital has caused a surge in demand for sought-after technical skills .
I asked Robert Heinemann what he thought would be the most important kinds of training that the industry needs in 2021 and beyond . He said : “ how to onboard new employees remotely , and how to manage customers and exhibitors onsite and virtually at the same time .”
According to Heinemann , companies that were already providing workplace training before the pandemic are set up for postpandemic success . Those which were not , however , may be in for a shock . “ Those companies who missed this part of enabling the workforce might have learned now how important it is ,” he says . “ They definitely should increase their efforts and budgets for workplace training .”
This sentiment is echoed by Cinzia Zanin , who highlights some of the crucial skills the industry is missing : “ In times of crisis , people tend to be more careful when choosing their future career . The exhibition industry needs to develop a longterm strategy to attract talent with skills that are not organisational ( such as sales , IT , UX designers etc ). As an industry , we need to communicate more and show
“ The pandemic worked as a catalyst and brought up the need for HR to do things differently .”
that during these last two years we have continued to discuss and experiment .”
Rather than focusing on the negatives , however , Zanin sees this as an opportunity . When asked what message she would give to a young person thinking of joining the industry , she says : “ This is the best time to join the exhibition industry . People will come back , and we will gather again face-to-face , but the last couple of years have taught us many important lessons .
“ Thanks to technology and design thinking , exhibitions will have the opportunity to change , and we will need new skills . I am really excited to see how our industry will evolve .”
www . exhibitionworld . co . uk Issue 3 2021 45