Global exhibition industry develops the way forward from Bahrain platform


As more than 80 members of UFI met to professionally ensure continued quality and effectiveness of exhibitions in the region, Bahrain had the opportunity to showcase its own expertise and hospitality to some of the region’s most experienced event organizers. Hailed as a resounding success by more than 80 exhibition industry professionals from over 20 countries, the fourth annual Open Seminar in the Middle East of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, concluded yesterday in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

“Toolbox for Future Exhibition Management,” was the theme of the event, which was hosted by the Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (BECA), an UFI member since 1995 and organized by UFI Middle East and North Africa Regional office based in Abu Dhabi. The three-day event offered industry professionals updated concepts and effective tools for the continued quality and professionalism of exhibitions and also included a meeting of members of the Middle East Chapter on the first day, with its annual Open one-day seminar taking place yesterday at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIECC).

Delegates from the exhibition industry were provided with expert strategies for development with presentations from industry leaders offering insights into “Greening the Expo Industry: Ethical Responsibilities and Business Needs;” meeting customer needs by paying attention to the “Power of Demand;” “Pricing strategies for success,” and “Maximixing sponsorship benefits.” In addition, a panel discussion addressed the delicate relationship between exhibitions and hotels during a session entitled: “Late check out! Event attendees and organizers face tougher hotel policies.” Abdulnabi Daylami, CEO, Bahrain Tourism Company, represented Bahrain’s position in the discussion and outlined some of the key factors that used in deciding pricing policies.

Mr. Vincent Gerade, managing director of UFI, headquartered in Paris, praised BECA as host of the event saying: “In a tribute to the attraction of Bahrain as a destination, the event saw the second largest gathering of its kind in the region. As industry professionals, we have been very impressed by the facilities that Bahrain has to offer and in particular the BEICC. We would like to thank BECA for the professionalism they provided in ensuring success of the event and their hospitality that made sure our members enjoyed the experience of their visit to Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Key players in the industry attending the event included: Hassan Jaffar Mohamed, CEO – BECA; HE Ahmad Humaid Al Mazrouie, UFI, vice president and Middle East/Africa Chapter chairman; Vincent Gerard, UFI, managing director; Paul Woodward, UFI Asia/Pacific regional manager, Hong Kong; and Ibrahim Khaldi, UFI, regional manager, Middle East. UFI, represents 540 member organizations comprising exhibition organizers, hall owner managers, associations, and partners of the exhibition industry present in 82 countries globally.

Sponsored by Gulf Air, Arabian Exhibition Management, Cityneon, and PICO, the regional event also has the support of global players including US-based BPA Worldwide, Saudi-based Dhahran International Exhibitions Company with National Exhibitions and Conferences Committee of the United Arab Emirates as the Platinum Sponsor. Media Sponsors are German publication m+a and UK-based Exhibition World.