Embracing change and looking forward to the future

Our industry’s landscape is changing. To adapt to market expectations, digitisation and smart technologies are playing an increasingly important role.
Regional nuances, the economic outlook, and a need for digital communities to meet in person, will all impact how we plan for the future – the question is how? And to what extent do we value return on investment and the expectations and needs of the visitor?

By analysing behaviours, we can get a good insight into what to expect and how the resources we have at our disposal will impact our own best practices. 

Join us in Dubai, in April, for UFI’s Middle East & Africa Conference, to look to the future and how we can change our industry for the next generation of customers.

Monday 08 April

09:00 - 12:00


10:00 - 12:00

Meeting of the UFI Middle East/Africa Chapter

Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)
Albert G. Aoun, UFI MEA Chapter Chair, IFP s.a.l (Lebanon)
Maged Mahfoud, Managing Director, ATEX International Exhibitions (UAE)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)

(UFI Members only)
12:00 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

13:30 - 13:45

Official Opening of the 2019 UFI MEA Conference

Albert G. Aoun, UFI MEA Chapter Chair, IFP s.a.l (Lebanon)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
13:45 - 14:30

Digital Impact & Exponential Change

Enrico Gallorini, CEO, GRS Net (Italy)

The use of Smart Technologies such as the impact of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and other emerging mainstream technologies that are already in use in the exhibition environment – how do we see the impact on the region and what lessons can be learnt by way of its introduction should it be necessary? Our speaker shares what the next waves of digital development are and what lies ahead in terms of how we have to adapt our exhibitions to be in line with the expected change in our customer expectations and behaviours.
14:30 - 15:15

Venues / Organisers – Panel Discussion

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President, Dubai World Trade Centre (UAE)
Martin März, Founder & Managing Partner, Fairtrade (Germany)

Looking ahead to the future of venues and events in the MEA region, what can venues and trade / public show organisers alike do now to prepare and remain relevant, competitive and financially successful in the next five years? Our experts will give an overview of their respective environments and highlight key elements in how to remain ahead. Experts from different regions give an overview of their respective market nuances and how we can look to the global market place for possible trends in the future.
15:15 - 16:00

Networking Break

16:00 - 16:45

HR / Talent Management

Diana Salman, Senior Consultant - Human Capital Advisory - PwC UAE (UAE)

The MEA region is in a period of economic change which has a substantial impact on talent management and staff retention. This session will cover how we identify who will affect positive change and support institutional growth as well as a discussion on how to ensure that key players are retained.
16:45 - 17:00

Conclusion of Day 1

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)
17:00 - 18:00

Tour of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC)

19:00 - 22:30

Gala Dinner

Tuesday 09 April

07:00 - 07:45

UFI Running Club

08:30 - 09:00

Welcome Coffee

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome back: 2019 UFI MEA Conference

Moderator: Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
09:15 - 10:00

Evolution of Value in Trade Fairs

Paul Woodward, Chairman, Paul Woodward Advisory (UK)

Value is one of the key themes of an organiser of an event as from it derives future revenues, budgets and above all the perceived worth on which a customer will build their expectations of return on investment (ROI). Knowing this, how will the value of an exhibition be defined in the future?
10:00 - 10:30

Networking Break

10:30 - 11:30

Economic Outlook in the MEA Region – Case Study

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)

In this session, we get an insight into the value of data and knowing the importance of individual preferences. Our speaker will share insights into the GCC and Africa markets and what we can expect in 2019/2020 and beyond.
11:30 - 12:15

Visitor Insights

Moderator: Chris Kilbee, SVP Construction, dmg::events (UAE)
Sophie Holt, Global Strategy Director, Explori (UK)

In this session, UFI’s partner Explori drills down into visitor expectations in the region. There will be an overview of visitor perceptions on key trends - from the impact of new technology to sustainability and inclusion. We will also aim to identify MEA regional trends, visitor priorities for the future direction of the industry and the strengths and challenges of trade shows vs. competing information channels.
12:15 - 12:30

Closing Remarks

Craig Newman, UFI President, CEO, Johannesburg Expo Centre Johannesburg (South Africa)
Kai Hattendorf, UFI Managing Director/CEO (France)
Nick Savage, UFI MEA Regional Manager (UAE)
12:30 - 13:45

Networking Lunch

14:00 - 18:00

Expo 2020 Site Visit


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