Paris/Seoul. At its annual General Assembly held in Seoul this week, UFI - the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, proudly welcomed new members into its international community of leading fair organizers, venue managers, partners of the industry and national and international associations. Founded in 1925, today UFI serves and represents the business interests of 637 member organisations in 85 countries on 5 continents.
Over 400 delegates attended this prestigious annual UFI event. This year’s 2013 event was hosted by UFI members, AKEI, the Association of Korea Exhibition Industry, and Congress venue, Coex. Nineteen Korean exhibition organisations are currently members of UFI.
The General Assembly welcomed its new UFI Presidential trio. The UFI Presidential term of one year builds on a three year UFI Presidential cycle: one year as incoming-President, one year as incumbent President, and one year as Immediate past-President. For the 2013/2014 session, Renaud Hamaide (Comexposium, Paris, France), succeeds UFI’s first Chinese President Chen Xianjin (CAEC, Beijing, China) as UFI President. Chen will continue to provide support as UFI’s immediate past-President. In June, UFI’s Board of Directors announced the selection of Andrés López Valderrama (Corferias, Bogota, Colombia) as incoming UFI President (2013/2014).
In their capacity as Executive Vice-Presidents during the coming 2013/2014 term, Valderrama and outgoing UFI President Chen Xianjin, will provide continuity and support to Renaud Hamaide. Valderrama’s position will automatically evolve at the 81st UFI Congress when he will assume his mandate as UFI President. Renaud Hamaide accepted this mandate, saying, “it is an honour for m to accept this position at the head of the global exhibition community. I’m looking forward to the coming year and to the great job before me!”
The UFI General Assembly bestowed the internationally recognized UFI Approved quality label on 45 exhibition events, welcoming them into this select group of international exhibitions. With an objective of providing transparent data to exhibitors and visitors alike, all of UFI’s 936 Approved exhibition events must regularly audit and certify their event statistics.
The gathering in Seoul was also the occasion for UFI to hold a number of internal association meetings ranging from Regional Chapter meetings to Committee meetings on subjects as varied as sustainable development, education and family owned exhibition businesses.
Membership in UFI is based on adherence to an industry code of ethics ensuring best practice throughout its international membership. UFI Members are responsible for the management and operation of over 4,500 exhibitions around the world.
The 81stUFI Congress will be hosted by AFIDA, the Asociación Internacional de Ferias de América, and Corferias in Bogotá, Colombia, from October 29 to November 1, 2014.