Business News

Industry Associations Forge Together

Two execs sign contract from associations

Skift Take

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events and UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, have signed a memorandum of understanding to re-establish a regular exchange between the two.

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry have agreed to collaborate with the best of the events and exhibitions industry in mind. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

“We must unify to make the industry stronger,” says Marsha Flanagan, CEM, IAEE president and CEO. “There are still a lot of people who don’t know what we do as an industry and how we impact the economy. We have to come together to have a unified voice.”

Last year the 90th UFI Global Congress was held in Las Vegas. The first time the gathering was held in the U.S. During it, a North American UFI chapter was created. 

Associations Looking to Work Together

“With our new North America Chapter, we want to make sure to deepen the relationships with the associations where we currently don’t have them. We certainly hope that this MoU with IAEE will herald the beginning of a new chapter here,” says UFI president Geoff Dickinson, CEO of dmg events.

The two groups will initially focus on advocacy. They will help drive support for the Exhibitions and Conference Alliance’s (ECA) annual Legislative Action Day. It takes place on May 30 in Washington, D.C. IAEE will also contribute to Global Exhibitions Day on June 5. UFI serves as the lead for this global industry awareness day.

Other areas covered by the MoU include collaborations on upcoming events. One of which is the China Expo Forum for International Cooperation (CEFCO). Both associations are co-organizers.

“The collaboration agreement between these two industry giants marks a historic milestone in the events industry. Having been a member of both organizations, I’ve experienced their merits firsthand. I’m thrilled to witness this pivotal moment,” says Martha Donato, president and founder of MAD Event Management. She is also serves as the UFI North American regional director.

IAEE CEM Fellows

In other IAEE news, it recently created a CEM Fellows program. This honorary recognition program is for those in the industry at the pinnacle of their careers. 

“We want to recognize professionals who have proven their ability to influence others through their successful track record of accomplishments,” says Flanagan. 

IAEE is also part of a year-long study with the Events Industry Council (EIC). It is focusing on emerging industry issues and trends.“The ability to see the disruptors that will most affect our industry in time to understand, learn, and apply them to our greatest advantage optimizes our potential for progress and overall growth,” says Flanagan.

The EIC expects to release its Futures Landscape Report in Q4 2024. The study will touch on diverse topics including, but not limited to, political and geopolitical issues, economic trends, technology, safety and security, and environmental impact.