Raising the Odds – Pressures and Profits


Exhibition formats are evolving. Markets are shifting. Digitisation is accelerating. In this tough environment, our industry is investing billions of dollars into new products, alliances, infrastructure, and many other things. In fact, the exhibition industry is growing faster than the global economy.
Join us at the 84th Global Congress as we discuss current and future pressures on our industry, and share best practices and insights into the profits generated through change and perseverance.
We invite you to be with us in Johannesburg, South Africa, for our industry’s largest global meeting of the year – it will be as insightful as it will be colourful!

Tuesday 31 October

18:00 - 19:30

UFI Executive Committee Meeting

(by invitation only)

Wednesday 01 November

10:00 - 12:00

UFI Board of Directors Meeting

(by invitation only)
12:30 - 13:30

Networking Break

(finger food)
13:30 - 14:30

UFI General Assembly

(UFI members only)
14:30 - 15:00

Networking and Refreshments

14:30 - 15:00

2nd UFI Board of Directors Meeting

(by invitation only)
15:00 - 17:30

Associations Committee Meeting

(by invitation only)
15:00 - 17:30

Marketing Committee Meeting

(by invitation only)
15:00 - 15:20

UFI Xchange: Destinations - Why Malaysia?

With: Ms. Ho Yoke Ping, eneral Manager, Business Events, MyCEB (Malaysia)

Discover how different venues & cities around the world have succeeded in marketing themselves as trade show destinations.
Sponsored by
15:20 - 15:40

UFI Xchange: Destinations - Hainan, China

With: Mr. Zhan Lianke, Department of Commerce of Hainan Province (China)
Sponsored by
15:40 - 16:00

UFI Xchange: EventTech - Waytation

With: Cemsit Yelgin, CEO and Co-Founder of Waytation (Austria)

How can you track the movement and behaviour of 20,000+ visitors accurately at a single event without WiFi, Apps or RFID?
Sponsored by
16:00 - 16:20

UFI Xchange: EventTech - Balluun

With : Christopher Blackwell, Chief Strategy Officer, Balluun (Switzerland)

Making face-to-face meetings the ultimate customer experience in a digital world
Sponsored by
16:20 - 16:40

UFI Xchange: EventTech - Arcadier

With: Dinuke Ranasinghe, Chief Executive Officer, Arcadier (Singapore)

Flourish or flounder: the impact of online marketplace platforms on the event (MICE) industry
Sponsored by
16:40 - 17:00

UFI Xchange: EventTech - ShowMeBiz

With: Olga Amraie, Founder and CEO, ShowMeBiz Ltd (Ukraine)

How to attract more attendees by promoting your exhibition to a worldwide audience
Sponsored by
19:30 - 22:00

Welcome Reception

at Sandton Convention Center (SCC)
Bill Gallagher Room, Level 2
Sponsored by

Thursday 02 November

06:30 - 07:45

UFI Running Club

The ideal way to break the ice and get to know your industry peers.
Join the running club for an invigorating jog, whatever your fitness level.
Sponsored by
08:30 - 09:00

Networking and Refreshments

Sponsored by
09:00 - 09:15

Official Opening of the 84th UFI Global Congress

Alex Granger, Global Business Speaker & Author; CEO, The Possibility of YOU (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
09:15 - 10:00

Keynote Speaker

by: Johan Reyneke, Founder & Owner, Reyneke Wines (South Africa): Commitment and Integrity – A Farmer’s Journey

Pressures and profits - a theme not only in our industry. To set us off at this year’s Congress, we have asked South African winemaker and surfing champion Johan Reyneke to share his story with us. A story about innovation - and failure. About overcoming obstacles - and using change. A story about successful entrepreneurship - and the wisdom of family education. And a story that will give you food for thought for how you approach your work.
10:00 - 10:45

NGL Grant Session - Sustainable Growth: Smart Exhibitions

Selin Cakici, Vice-Chair of the Board, HKF Trade Fairs Fuarcilik A.S. (Turkey)
Katharina Keupp, Business Developer, Messe München GmbH (Germany)
Neo Mohlatlole, Co-Founder and Business Development Director, Seven Colours Communications (South Africa)
Thomas Revell, Sustainability Manager, GES (UK)
Diana Salman, HR Strategic Change Manager, IFP Expo (Lebanon)

Join the conversation with the 2017 NGL grant recipients to hear their perspectives. For centuries the essence of our industry has been connecting people. Staying relevant requires changes within our companies leading to the creation of truly smart exhibitions. What business set-ups do we need for the new generation to come? How can we leverage our existing industry knowledge to progress? Why should we focus on sustainable growth?
Sponsored by
10:45 - 11:15

Networking and Refreshments

Sponsored by
11:15 - 12:15

Panel Session: Pressures, Profits and Opportunities in Emerging Markets

Damion Angus, Managing Director, Montgomery / Angus Montgomery (UK)
Martin Glynn, CEO, MAD Event Management (USA)
Martin März, Founder & CEO, fairtrade Messe und Ausstellungs GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)

Entering into an emerging market can be very rewarding but also very challenging. This panel brings together players who have “taken-the plunge” into new markets in Africa, Asia and the Americas, to share their most expensive mistakes and their biggest successful gambles. Learn how to thrive when you dive into the unknown!
11:15 - 12:15

Hot Topic Session

Featuring Gilan Gork, Mentalist

Moderated by: Mark Cochrane, Regional Manager, UFI (Hong Kong)
Gilan Gork is a mentalist, whose main aim is to empower people with the ability to get the buy-in, agreement or support they need from others, so they can reach their highest success. Gilan Gork creates unique learning experiences that help people unleash their influence. He teaches how to apply a working knowledge of influence and persuasion to real-life practical situations, to be able to lead, sell, negotiate, market and inspire on a new level. During this hot topic session, Gilan Gork will demonstrate, through psychology, non-verbal communication and presentation, how YOU can increase your ability to positively and ethically increase your influence ability.
12:15 - 13:30

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by
13:30 - 14:30

Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - Best Practices

Parallel session

Moderator: Angela Herberholz, Marketing and Communications Manager, UFI (France)

Sharing best practices is at the heart of our association, and with the annual UFI award programme, we receive many outstanding industry success stories that we plan to share among industry professionals. During this Special Interest Group, the 2017 UFI Award winners will present their innovative industry solutions in the fields of:
Education: Retention - How to keep key competencies in the company.
Marketing: From show organisers to industry gurus. Success stories from evolving businesses.
Operations & Services: Successful approaches to creating the perfect customer journey.
Sustainable Development: Best destination approach to implement sustainability.
Technology: Digital innovation - What will be our solution for the future?
13:30 - 14:30

Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - Government Pavilions

Parallel sessions

Moderator: Nick Dugdale-Moore, Business Development Manager, UFI (France)
Interviewee: Jerry Kallman Sr., Chairman, Kallman Worldwide, Inc.

Why do some governments understand the value of exhibitions better than others? Government support for exhibitions varies wildly; from countries that give extensive and wide reaching support and funding like China and Germany, to countries like the USA that provide no funding at all for companies to exhibit internationally.
Jerry Kallman Sr. was approached by the Munich Trade Fair Authority in 1963 and his company has been organising international pavilions ever since – now working with 50 exhibition organisers on 5 continents. This session will take the format of an interview with Jerry, using his unique experience to identify best practices in organising pavilions, what to do, not to do, and emerging trends in this important part of the exhibition business.
13:30 - 14:30

Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - Large Venues

Parallel sessions

Moderator: Andreas Gruchow, Member of the Managing Board, Deutsche Messe AG Hannover (Germany) - UFI President 2017
Panelists: Jimé Essink
President & CEO, UBM Asia (Hong Kong)
Kathryn James, Managing Director, NEC Group Conventions & Exhibitions (UK)
Helen Mantellato, Business Development Manager: International and Exhibitions, International Convention Centre Sydney (Australia)
Ricard Zapatero, Director of International Business, Fira de Barcelona (Barcelona)

Security and safety in turbulent times: high priority or hindrance? In today’s turbulent climate, with security threats across the globe, discussions will increasingly revolve around how and what venues and organisers are doing to ensure the safety of participants. How is the threat of security and additional safety measures impacting business? What will the future hold for venue management: business as usual or will venues be forced to rethink the way business is done, trying to maintain a secure establishment whilst remaining hospitable and inviting to the public?
14:30 - 15:00

Networking and Refreshments

Sponsored by
15:00 - 16:00

Parallel Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - Digital Disruption

Parallel sessions

Matthias Tesi Baur, Consulting Partner, MBB Media (UK)
Stephan Forseilles, Chief Technology Officer, Artexis Easyfairs (Belgium)
Gunnar Heinrich, CEO & Managing Partner, Adventics (Germany)

The Internet of Things
Whilst the exhibition industry was relatively slow in adopting the first possible opportunities that came in the first and second wave of digitization (SEO and social media), the next big digital development might have the power to change our industry substantially. The session will discuss and will find first answers to:
• What does the “Internet of Things” mean for the exhibition industry?
• Which effects can be expected short term and medium term?
• Who are the main actors and what are the possible applications and business models in our industry?
15:00 - 16:00

Parallel Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - Human Resources

Parallel sessions

With: Enrica Baccini, Chief Research and Development Officer, Fondazione Fiera Milano, Milan (Italy)

Human Resources roles and responsibilities are changing: from somewhat administrative to more holistic roles. But are H.R. professionals ready and willing to assume these new challenges to become business partners within their organisation?
Choose one out of four parallel conversations: add your voice on talent development, give your opinion on digital transformation, discuss change management or, if you prefer, provide input from outside the industry.
Whether you are an “H.R. expert” or not, there will be much for everyone to share.
15:00 - 16:00

Parallel Special Interest Group (SIG) Sessions - UFI Insights

Parallel sessions

With: Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director/CEO, UFI (France)

UFI’s portfolio of research and educational activities has expanded in the past two years. At the same time, many new members have joined our association. This SIG session serves as both an update for long term members an as a primer for newer ones. We will introduce UFI’s research portfolio and educational programmes, and highlight some of the findings. We also want to hear from you what your needs are regarding research and education.
16:00 - 16:30

Networking and Refreshments

Sponsored by
16:30 - 17:30

Panel Session: Exhibitor Expectations

Mark Brewster, CEO, Explori (UK)
Peter Hall, Managing Director Trade & Consumer MENA and UK (UAE)
Cathy Oates, Customer Insight Director, UBM (UK)
Stefan Rummel, Managing Director and Member of the Management Board, Messe München GmbH (Germany)

Based on exclusive new research commissions for the Congress, UFI research partner Explori drills down into the expectations of exhibitors. Find out how to secure their return and what it takes to keep customers satisfied. Also take away valuable industry benchmarks that will allow you to match the feedback from your exhibitors against regional and global trends. Mark will present the findings of the UFI / Explori exhibitor insights study and discuss the findings with a panel of industry leaders.
19:30 - 23:00

UFI Congress Gala Dinner

at Grass Arena, Johannesburg Expo Centre

A night with the African sky over your head and grass under your feet! Join us for an unforgettable evening of South African hospitality, cuisine and entertainment. (Please take note of the dress code - see "Practical Information".)

Shuttles depart at 18h30.
Sponsored by

Friday 03 November

08:30 - 09:00

Networking and Refreshments

09:00 - 09:15

Welcome by the Congress Moderator

Alex Granger, Global Business Speaker & Author; CEO, The Possibility of YOU (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)
09:15 - 10:15

Panel Session: Changing Formats

Jean-Claude Girot, Executive Manager of the Paris Motor Show (France)
Richard Hobbs - Co-Founder of The HUB (China)
Rod Kamleshwaran - Partner, GainingEdge (Australia)

The traditional format of exhibitions is weakening. This year is seeing a growing number of format changes, date changes, cancellations and cyclical adaptations of shows, mainly in mature markets. This session focuses on change within the business model. We will bring together strong cases that show directions of change and people who share how they managed to reinvent their events.
Sponsored by
10:15 - 10:45

Networking and Refreshments

10:45 - 11:45

Asia-Pacific Chapter Meeting

Chair: Mr. David Zhong, VNU Exhibitions Asia, Shanghai (China)
10:45 - 11:45

European Chapter Meeting

Chair: Mr. Gerald Böse, Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne (Germany)
10:45 - 11:45

Latin America Chapter Meeting

Chair: Mr. José Navarro Meneses, E.J. Krause de Mexico (Mexico)
10:45 - 11:45

Middle East, Africa Chapter Meeting

Chair: Dr. Hossein Esfahbodi, Iran International Exhibitions Co. (Iran)
12:00 - 13:15

Global Industry Review

by: Jochen Witt, President & CEO, jwc GmbH (Germany)

It’s the 10th anniversary of Jochen’s fast paced look at the state of our industry, so we’re preparing something a little extra special for you - you don’t want to miss this one!
Sponsored by
13:15 - 13:30

Congress Close

13:30 - 14:30

Networking Lunch

Sponsored by
14:30 - 16:30

Africa Focus Session

Programming by local host – open session

As an added value for participants interested in the African market, the Association of African Exhibition Organisers will be hosting a workshop focused on doing business in Africa. Included in this session will be a presentation on current market research of the region. This session is open to local industry professionals and all UFI members interested in meeting and talking about doing business in Africa.

14h30-14h35 MC Welcome: Africa Overview Speakers: Victor Kgomoeswana - PPC Director in Business Development and Author of 'Africa open for business'
Carol Weaving - Chairperson AAXO

14h35-15h10 Session 1 - Doing Business in Africa - the Myths, the Realities and the Risks
Speaker: Dr Rutendo Hwindingwi - Keynote speaker, business development director, academic

15h10-15h40 Session 2 - Is Africa really a united Continent?
Speakers: Gillian Saunders - Deputy CEO - Grant Thornton
Atul Todi - CEO 10 Times

15h40-16h20 Session 3 - Infrastructure & Partnerships - Barriers or Opportunities?
Speakers:Ben Leyka - Executive Director - African Agri Council (NPC)
David Ashdown - MD - Spintelligent (Pty) Ltd
Gary Corin - MD - Specialised Exhibtions Montgomery
Mike Lord - Reed Venue Management
Devi Paulsen - MD - Hypenica
Nomathemba Ndlovu, General Manager, Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC), (Zimbabwe)

16h20-16h30 Closing Remarks: Africa open for business
Speaker: Victor Kgomoeswana

Saturday 04 November

08:00 - 15:00

Post Congress Day Tour – Historical Tour

Learn more about the history of South Africa and how events of the past moulded it into the democratic republic it is today with its multi-ethnic society and eleven official languages.
08:00 - 15:00

Post Congress Day Tour – Nature Tour (SOLD OUT)

Visit one of the eight World Heritage sights in South Africa and experience the African wilderness rhino and lion nature reserve. With over 600 head of game, this is the perfect setting for admiring the beloved animals of Africa.



UFI Diamond Sponsors

GES New 70      TCEB

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsors

DHL rgb 70GL logo 70Feathr Logo 70Gauteng logo 70
 FeathrJoburg Tourism logo 70SA Tourism logo 70 TAITRA logo 70


7colours logo 70anyplan logo 70Arcadier Logo 70   balluun petrol logo 70
 fairmate by dimedis Gielissen-Logo-2016 70Hainan Logo 70HK logo
 SNIEC logo 70Specialised logo 70TwoWay-Logo-70  Waytation logo 70

UFI Registration & Running Club Partner             UFI Digital Partner

                   Info Salons                Poken logo 70

UFI Software Partner            UFI Mobile Partner

Ungerboeck Software International       Goomeo

UFI Research Partner                Official Logistics Partner              Official Congress AV Partner

           Explori                  Logo DB Schenker 70             Side- logo 70

UFI Media Partners

CICE     Exhibition Showcase     Exhibition World    Lam Lats 
  MA  Grupo Radar weblogo     Trade Show Executive     TSNN