The 87th UFI Global Congress is going digital-only this year and will take place, 16-19 November 2020. The previously planned face-to-face gatherings in Basel and Dubai will not now take place.
There will, however, be live and on-demand sessions, networking and match-making, across all time zones and three registration packages are available, which UFI says will make it the most accessible UFI Global Congress ever.
Grip and Glisser will supply the technology and deliver the digital congress under the event’s main theme of ‘Resilience’.
“Our members have been telling us they want to connect, learn and have the global UFI community brought together. Since Covid-19 will not allow us to do this face-to-face, we are moving online, to host the most accessible UFI Global Congress ever. Quality content, flexible timings and accessibility – these are the best ways to serve the global UFI community right now,” says Mary Larkin, UFI president and CEO of Diversified Communications USA.
The UFI Global Congress will host a strong line-up of speakers from across the world to deliver world-class content. Confirmed speakers include economist Dr Florence Eid-Oakden, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger (Munich Security Conference), industry leaders Charlie McCurdy (Informa Markets), Carina Bauer (IMEX), Hugh Jones (Reed Exhibitions), Mary Larkin (Diversified Communications) and Simon Kimble (Clarion Events), digital experts Dahlia El Gazzar (DAHLIA + Agency) and Marco Giberti (Vesuvio Ventures).
The programme is available here.
Congress scheduling has been designed to offer a simple solution to the challenges of hosting a global, digital-only event online. “We have built the programme around prime regional time slots for Asia/Pacific, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and the Americas – so people don’t have to be online around the clock to follow the event. Instead, everyone can connect and follow live from their own time zone, and review other sessions on-demand. On top of this, participants can use the platform to network with peers around the world before, during and after the event, at whatever time works best for them,” says Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO at UFI.
Three packages are available for UFI members globally, including single tickets and discounted tickets for groups of five or 10 colleagues from an UFI member company. “Budgets are tight everywhere, so we are making it possible to join the Global Congress for as little as €145 per person for group bookings, and €245 for a single registration. We are doing what we can to allow anyone who is interested from our member companies to join the event,” says Sonia Thomas, COO at UFI.
Those who registered for the previously planned face-to-face gatherings in Basel and Dubai will be contacted and rebooked based on their preference.
UFI members can still register to participate at the Congress here: www.ufievent.org/uficongress2020/
The home of the digital Global Congress will be an online portal, hosted on the Grip platform, with technology from Glisser embedded. Grip is filling the role of UFI Technology Partner for the event, while Glisser is UFI Digital Event Partner. The platform will go live approximately a week before the start of the Global Congress, allowing participants to become familiar with it and to already begin networking, using the platform’s match-making and scheduling features.
Tim Groot, Grip CEO and co-founder says: “UFI has always pioneered opportunities for engagement across the global exhibition industry, and their monumental efforts to continue their mission throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have helped to keep the industry galvanised. As social distancing restrictions still err on the side of caution for physical events, UFI are again demonstrating that they are at the forefront of events, by partnering with leading event technology firms. The Grip team is honoured to be part of creating the first fully digital UFI Global Congress, and while I’m sure there will be many learnings from this ambitious plan, we couldn’t be more excited to connect and inspire the global community via our market engagement platform.”
“We’ve supported UFI’s physical events for many years, so it makes total sense to continue this relationship in the new world of digital and hybrid events. We are immensely proud of the virtual event platform we have created, and we’re sure the Global Congress will be another successful global showcase for what both businesses can deliver,” adds Mike Piddock, founder and CEO of Glisser.