Macau hands UFI baton to Melbourne

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to welcome 2025 UFI Asia Pacific Conference. Event to be held in the same week as AIME and Australia Business Events Association meeting

FOLLOWING Macau’s successful hosting of the 2024 UFI Asia Pacific Conference – the baton has been handed to Melbourne, which will welcome the first regional event by the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry in Australia.   

The UFI 2025 Asia Pacific conference has been secured by Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), with the support of Melbourne Convention Bureau.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, is set to host the 2025 UFI Global Congress at AsiaWorld-Expo, which will also make the venue’s 20th anniversary. Activities are being planned across the Greater Bay to coincide with the global congress.

Melbourne’s hosting of UFI’s regional conference was unveiled at The Parisian Macao. Yolanda La Porta, senior manager, event and venue operations, MCEC, made the formal announcement as the Asia Pacific conference closed last week.

Julia Swanson, Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO:
Melbourne is renowned as Australia’s events capital. Our city is geared to hosting multiple events from the large-scale to intimate gatherings. Our infrastructure – the pinnacle of which is the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre gives rise to this, together with the country’s largest hotel inventory, easy to navigate city and an exceptional event supply chain to support the delivery of successful events, exhibitions and experiences for delegates.
“We are looking forward to welcoming the UFI Asia Pacific Conference in February 2025 at a time when our city will be buzzing with some of the regions most esteemed events taking place right here in the heart of Melbourne.”

Nearly 300 delegates from 20 countries and regions attended the two-day UFI Asia-Pacific Conference, which was hosted by the Macau Fair and Trade Association.

UFI is the global association of the exhibition industry, and has over 850 organisations in 87 countries and regions signed up as members, representing more than 50,000 exhibition industry professionals.

Issues discussed at the conference in Macau included sustainability, AI, changing event formats along with the immense potential of China’s up-and-coming Greater Bay and the role of cities such as Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and the island of Hengqin – located between Macau and Zhuhai.

More… Greater Bay to sparkle under Asia-World Expo deal with UFI

“This was our first time bringing this event to Macau since 2008. Both Macau and its MICE industry have grown remarkably since then,” said Mark Cochrane, UFI Asia-Pacific regional director.

“This year’s conference was particularly successful in bringing together UFI members and industry leaders from around the region, including approximately 150 from Greater China.”

Backgrounder… UFI congress heads to AsiaWorld-Expo

Synthia Chan, council chairperson for the Macau Trade and Fair Association, said: “What an honour it was to host the 2024 UFI Asia-Pacific Conference! It got our adrenaline pumping with fun and surprises! And as always it was a pleasure to work with the UFI team. We have been waiting for years to host this event again, and now I can honestly say it was worth the wait.”

The 2025 UFI Asia-Pacific Conference is planned for February 13-14, immediately following AIME. The Australian Business Events Association (ABEA), the country’s peak industry body, will also be hosting a meeting at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in the same week.

Silke Calder, AIME Event Director:
AIME is where the world meets in Asia Pacific, and now AIME 2025 attendees will have an added incentive for extending their stay next year when Melbourne plays host to the 2025 UFI AP Conference. We are committed to strengthening connections with our global colleagues, and with the UFI AP Conference taking place straight after AIME, we couldn’t be more thrilled to give our Asia Pacific community another opportunity to explore our vibrant city and mingle with the business events community.”

“Coordinating these three events to be held in the same week and in the same location is an incredible outcome achieved through outstanding collaboration and partnership,” said Natalie O’Brien, MCEC chief executive.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI chief executive, said: “UFI’s Asia-Pacific Conference is our central annual event for the exhibition and business events industry from across Asia Pacific, and it attracts participants from the rest of the world as well.

More… IPIM takes Macau-Hengqin vision to new heights

“We are thrilled to be bringing this flagship event to Australia for the first time, and look forward to connecting the Australian expo professionals with their international peers in the thriving city of Melbourne.

“By bundling AIME, UFI, and ABEA activities within one week, we will create an international industry hot spot, and a not to be missed opportunity for everyone in the sector to come together to network, learn, and do business.”

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