As global economies look for opportunities to rebuild business in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, exhibition organisers and associations from around the world are joining together to form a coalition dedicated to bringing critical live event platforms back to market, with safety at the foundation of the collaborators’ approach.
Sonia Thomas, ex-chief operations officer of UFI, the global association of the exhibition Industry, will join jwc GmbH as senior consultant 1st May 2021 onwards.
The TFI team wishes you a Happy Easter 2021.
“European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA) welcomes the European Commission’s legislative proposal to create a Digital Green Certificate to resume safe travel in the EU. We now call upon the European Parliament and the Member States to ensure its quick approval and its swift technical implementation. We also expect that it will be interoperable with other international systems to facilitate travel on a global scale”, says Barbara Weizsäcker, secretary general.
As global sourcing becomes increasingly digitalised in the wake of the pandemic, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is debuting the HKTDC International Sourcing Show, a trade exhibition held in both online and physical formats, to help businesses adjust to the new sourcing model. The online section of the show begins tomorrow (17 March).
As the second most important economic engine of Madrid, Ifema is renowned for its capacity to boost employment and wealth. It is getting ready to start working at full capacity after a year of forced inactivity apart from some virtual events, and some hybrid meetings, such as the MBFWMadrid fashion show.
Bespoke education and insights designed for different audiences within the business events community is set to be launched by the IMEX Group. Specialist programmes for corporate, association and agency buyers launch in April while general sessions, which are open to all, start this month (March).
Global Exhibitions Day (GED) recognises the important role that trade exhibitions play in driving economies throughout the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has had significantly detrimental, and potentially lasting, effects on the global economy, across nearly all business sectors and regions. Exhibitions have traditionally played a role in bolstering and growing economic sectors, but this year they will play a new role – rebuilding and recovering communities.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited (HML) has launched Harbour Studio, a brand-new facility at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) for online and virtual events.
As an international association, IFES (International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services) gets insights into many trade fairs markets worldwide. For this global outlook, Justin Hawes, president of IFES & MD of Scan Display (South Africa) talked to IFES members from 5 continents.
The organic food and natural and organic personal care products community came together for their annual sector gathering on 17-19 February 2021.
UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, is pleased to announce an agreement which will see Eventmaker become a dedicated software partner of the association.
During these challenging times, education is a crucial element in getting ready for the “New Now” and the restart of events in 2021. On January 28th, IELA launched a new agenda of online events to support its membership. It kicked off with the 2021 Online IELA Winter Seminar from January 28th to February 2nd, organised by the IELA Education & Training Programme Working Group (E&T WG).
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) brings forth the inaugural Thailand MICE Virtual Expo on February 24 to 25, 2021, matching 30 local exhibitors with international MICE industry players.
Malaysia’s status as Asia’s preferred destination for business events has been recognised at the 13th China MICE Industry Golden Chair Awards as the country has been awarded as No. 4th Most Expected MICE Destination for the year 2020. Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is truly honoured to be conferred the award presented by MICE Industry Golden Chair Awards for the 5th consecutive year.
UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, has appointed Marie-Laure Bellon as its next chief operating officer. Currently the CEO and general manager at French exhibition organiser Eurovet, she will join UFI on 1 March, and work out of the organisation’s headquarters in Paris.
European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA) welcomes yesterday’s European Council decisions related to rapid antigen tests and vaccinations.
Exhibition organisers and venue operators state that service providers have a relatively high impact on overall event success. This is a core finding from the first edition of the new Industry Partners Benchmark Survey, released by UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry.
Intensive B2B networking and many-faceted market insights: Bau Online’s offering proved to be an important anchor point for the construction industry in turbulent times. 247 exhibitors offered digital live presentations and one-on-one conversations.
Reed Exhibitions has today announced its commitment to donate $1M over the next five years to selected charity partners around the world who are working to improve inclusivity and diversity in their local communities by supporting social change, fighting injustice and fostering development.
UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry, has released the latest edition of its flagship Global Barometer research, which takes the pulse of the industry. Results highlight the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry worldwide, in 2020. There are also positive signs regarding a quick recovery in 2021.
Globally, between April and August 2020, more than half of all
companies reported no activity. This situation changed from September,
where the majority of companies declared some operations, at reduced
levels for most. Looking ahead to 2021, the share of companies
expecting a return to “normal” activity is expected to grow from 10% in
January to 37% in June. These results vary depending on region, and are primarily driven by the
“re-opening date” of exhibitions. In all regions, most companies expect
both local and national exhibitions to re-open by the end of June 2021,
with international exhibitions resuming in the second half of the year.
Company operations also include, while face-to-face events are not
possible, working into the development of digital solutions.
When asked what element would most help with the “bounce back” of exhibitions, the majority of companies, ranked “readiness of exhibiting companies and visitors to participate again” (64%), “lift of current travel restrictions” (63%) and “lift of current public policies that apply locally to exhibitions” (52%) as key factors.
44% of companies benefitted from some level of public financial support; for the majority this related to less than 10% of their overall 2019 costs.
54% of companies had to reduce their workforce, with half of these by more than 25%.
10% of companies will have to consider permanently ceasing operations if there are no events for the next six months.
As expected, the “impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business” is considered the most important business issue (stated by 29% of companies, a 2% increase on six months ago). The “impact of digitalisation” (11%) and “competition with other media” (7%) have also increased (+1% and +2% respectively), while the “state of the economy in the home market” (19%) and “global economic developments” (16%) have decreased, but remain amongst the top three concerns. In terms of future exhibition formats, global results indicate that 64% (compared to 57% six months ago) are confident that “Covid-19 confirms the value of face-to-face events”, indicating an expectation that the sector will bounce back quickly.
“The message from the global industry is clear: quite simply, 2020 was horrible. The pandemic stopped most activities around the world for several months, and, globally, our industry’s revenue dropped by almost three quarters. But, as the Global Barometer shows, 2021 should see a significant bounce back, with global revenues expected to double, pending markets re-opening and clarity on regulations. We will ‘build back’ even better, and while the industry will remain, primarily, a face-to-face marketing channel, digital offers will evolve with new patterns,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director and CEO.
Size and scope
This latest edition of UFI’s bi-annual industry survey was concluded in December 2020, and includes data from 457 companies in 64 countries and regions. The study also includes outlooks and analysis for 24 countries and regions – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US – as well as an additional five aggregated regional zones.
“We sincerely thank all companies who took part in this study. The results from 29 markets and regions provide strong insights for assessing both the impact of the crisis and future perspectives. We also welcome AFEP and Unimev, who partnered with us for this edition, resulting in our first ever specific country profiles for Peru and France,” says Christian Druart, UFI research manager.
Operations since 2020 – reopening exhibitions
Results show that the periods when most companies reported “no activity” in 2020 were limited to March-June for the Asia-Pacific region, April-June for North America, and April-September for Central and South America and the Middle East and Africa. In Europe, there was an initial period of inactivity in April-August, followed by another period in November-December.
Turnover – operating profits
Regional results indicate that:
The revenue drop for 2020 was the highest for companies in Central and South America and the Middle East and Africa (who respectively only achieved 23% and 24% of 2019 revenue levels). Companies in the Asia-Pacific region (27% of 2019 levels), Europe (32% of 2019 levels) and North America (36% of 2019 levels) are at or above global averages. The 2021 perspectives are rather similar for all regions: who are expecting to achieve between 32% and 37% of last year’s revenue for H1-2021, and between 55% and 60% for all of 2021.
In terms of profits, the share of companies who faced a loss for 2020 varies from 47% in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, to 50% in North America, 58% in the Middle East and Africa, and 64% in Central and South America.
Public financial support – workforce and perspectives
Regional results indicate that:
The number of companies receiving public financial support is higher in Europe (54% of companies) and the Asia-Pacific region (53%), than in Central and South America (35%), North America (31%) and the Middle East and Africa (13%).
The share of companies forced to reduce their workforce is higher in the Middle East and Africa (73% of companies), North America (61%) and Central and South America (56%), than in Europe (52%) and the Asia-Pacific region (49%).
The proportion of companies believing they will need to close if business doesn’t resume within the next six months varies from 5% in North America, to 6% in the Asia-Pacific region, 10% in Central and South America, 14% in Europe and 17% in the Middle East and Africa, while the proportion of companies who believe they will cope ranges from 26% in Europe to 40% in the Asia-Pacific region.
Key business issues
While the “impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business” is the key business issue across all regions, “global economic developments” are ranked higher in the Middle East and Africa (23% of companies) than in other regions. The “impact of digitisation” is ranked higher in North America (15%) and Europe (14%) than other regions. Further insight by type of activity, for three main segments – organisers, venues and service providers – highlights a difference in the fourth most important issue, with organisers indicating “impact of digitisation”, venues indicating “internal challenges” and service providers indicating “regulatory/stakeholders’ issues”.
Future exhibition formats
The report also highlights two significant regional differences in relation to possible trends driving the future format of exhibitions: The claim “Covid-19 confirms the value of face-to-face events” was more widely agreed with in the Middle East and Africa (70% of companies), the Asia-Pacific region (69%) and Europe (67%), than in North America (55%) and Central and South America (53%). While, there were stronger opposing views for the claim “virtual events replacing physical events”, with 74% of companies in Europe disagreeing, compared to just 57% of companies from North America.
The 26th Global Barometer survey, conducted in December 2020, provides insights from 457 companies in 64 countries and regions. It was conducted in collaboration with 20 UFI Member Associations.
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