Exhibition World Issue 4 | Page 19

UFI Next Generation Leaders
she said .
The same was true for George , who heard of the programme through a colleague who had applied several years ago and loved the experience . As another push , George ’ s mentor also suggested that she apply . It was Finiti ’ s managing director who suggested the programme to her , despite her initial reservations : “ I always worry that I ’ m a bit too outof-the-box , being that my interest is in integrating psychology into the events industry . But he was right , and I ’ m grateful to myself for finding the courage to do the application process – especially having to film myself !”
Meanwhile , Kittiboonya learned of the grant first-hand . Having attended 2019 ’ s UFI Global Congress in Bangkok , where he is based , he was inspired by that year ’ s NGL
graduates : “ I thought that if I ever had the opportunity I would apply . Now here I am .”
Saleh also benefited from firsthand experience , having met UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf at the Exhibition and Event Association of Australia ( EEAA ) Annual Conference 2022 while serving on the EEAA Emerging Leaders committee . “ In Kai ’ s presentation he was talking about the NGLs and the incredible things that they were working on ,” Saleh said . “ He was passionate about it and made the programme sound like the place to be .”
All the winners made it clear that they had joined the programme looking to better themselves both personally and professionally . “ I want this experiment to be eyeopening for me because I ’ m new to the industry ,” Moatamed explained .
Above : The NGL team ( L-R ): Amy Saleh - Hannover Fairs , Elizabeth George – HIMSS , Tehchad Kittiboonya – VNU Asia Pacific , Otero Finiti – grant winner , Aya Moatamed – Informa Markets
Images courtesy of UFI
“ I want to learn more about the challenges that the industry faces , and how we can keep things fresh and interesting .”
Kittiboonya ’ s motivation also comes from a place of wanting to improve the industry : “ I really hope that , with our challenge , we can help drive the industry forward and also help it grow globally even more .”
To the same end , both George and Finiti emphasised the professional growth that comes with being part of a community like UFI , and from the programme itself . Finiti noted : “( This community ) is something I don ’ t only want to appreciate ; I want to be a part of it .”
Saleh wrapped up the sentiment felt by all five as they went their separate ways until November : “ We ’ ve got our work cut out , but we ’ re very excited to get started !”
www . exhibitionworld . co . uk Issue 4 2023 19