Exhibition World Issue 5 – 2021 - Page 7

Editor ’ s Note

Towards net zero and November - a big month

elcome to this latest issue of Exhibition World . It ’ s been a busy summer for many in the industry as the Great Reset has gathered pace . There ’ s plenty of good news to share although some major challenges remain .
As I write , a little over halfway into my six-month occupation of the guest editor ’ s chair , we ’ re seeing a mixed picture around the world . Event activity is picking up across Europe . We ’ ve seen some brave new launches and good progress on the reopening of normal travel between the countries of the EU . Some events are still being postponed but most are going ahead . The same is true in the US where businesses appear to have been spooked a bit by the surge in Delta variant cases and some are being pushed back . Most are , though , going ahead and buyer response is very positive even if , in some cases , it is proving a bit harder to lure back exhibitor companies .
There have been significant setbacks in China , a country on which many of the large organisers were relying to generate solid revenues this year . Although Covid case numbers remain comparatively low , the government is taking a tough line and there have been many postponements and a few cancellations through the key autumn fair period . South-east Asia remains essentially closed for major events for the time being .
But , throughout all this , there has been a positive sense among those who have been able to run shows , that the basic business case for exhibitions is undamaged by the events of the past year and a half . They are reporting very positive feedback from both exhibitors and buyers and , perhaps , most tellingly , strong rebookings for 2022 .
November will be a big month for industry events . A number of you will be reading this issue at the UFI Congress taking place in Rotterdam . The first in-person global gathering of the industry for quite some time , we will all be eagerly hoping to get a sense of what the postpandemic world will look like . At the same time , many of us are looking forward to seeing friends from around the world as something other than a small rectangle on a Zoom screen .
While we ’ re all in Rotterdam , world leaders will be meeting in Glasgow for the COP26 climate change conference where they will be endeavouring to put meat on the bones of the promises made in Paris six years earlier . In this issue you can read more about how our industry is responding to the calls to make serious commitments to a net zero world .
Paul Woodward Guest Editor Twitter : @ ExhibitionWorld
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