Exhibition World Issue 3 – 2021 | Page 9

UFI Comment

Working together to get it done

ear colleagues , This past month I travelled to the US for the first time since November 2019 . And while it took extra clearances , and paperwork , and PCR testing to ultimately get to the gate and onto the plane , the journey itself was extraordinarily ordinary . All went smoothly , we departed and arrived on time , the staff was friendly , and the plane solidly booked . Except for the masks that we were all wearing , and other small Covid related adjustments , it was a normal flight .
Travel restrictions are easing , and vaccine and testing certifications will speed this up . The EU Commission is on record saying that fully vaccinated people will be able to fly into EU member states again from the US this summer . Colleagues from the US as well as from Europe and , of course , the MEA region are sharing their flight schedules with us as we prepare for our UFI MEA Conference in person in Dubai at DWTC . As I am writing this , we are a few days out from the event – it will take place after the deadline for this edition of Exhibition World , but watch out for some coverage in the next issue .
This conference in Dubai is UFI ’ s first on site , face-to-face , in person event again after 15 months . In the US recently , many of our US colleagues re-connected face to face for the first time again . Their number one feedback ? “ It feels great .” We were reminded as to how much more we “ get done ” when we get together instead of video-calling each other on Zoom , etc . Where this is not yet possible again – across Asia / Pacific and within Europe – we are running our annual spring conferences as
Kai Hattendorf UFI managing director / CEO
digital only events .
At the same time , the dire developments in India show us yet again that this pandemic is not over , that we cannot let down our guard , and that the road to recovery is not a straight line . So , our advocacy work continues , as does our work sharing good practices and standards around how best to run events right now . Collaboration is and remains key – as the newly released third edition of our Global Good Practices Guidance shows again . On the one hand , we have the willingness of so many members to share their approaches with the industry , and , on the other , we have our collaboration with AIPC and ICCA as three global trade associations serving the business events community .
We are applying that same approach of working together to a new initiative as well , as UFI has joined the US events industry advocacy group Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance ( ECA ). Just like we are present in Brussels , the seat of the European Commission , through the EEIA partnership , this group of industry associations is setting up an office in the US capital of Washington DC to advocate for our sector . We will do our part as UFI to support them .
In closing , one more update on UFI ’ s new educational designation , the ‘ UFI Certified Professional ’ or UCP . We need to reskill , retain , and regain talent for our industry as business kicks back in . Across our spring conferences , we are handing out the first designations to colleagues from around the world who have already completed their curriculums . Congratulations to each and every one of them !
Based on the demand , we have added an additional Exhibition Management School class that will start at the end of June . And , in its latest meeting , the UFI Executive Committee has approved three more educational partners for this programme : AIPC ( Belgium ), FM Future ( UK ), and Lippman Connects ( USA ). We will add their respective courses to our growing educational catalogue .
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