UFI ‘restart’ spurs confidence in Malaysia exhibitions

GLOBAL exhibition organisers’ association UFI concluded its first Asia Pacific conference since 2019 in Malaysia as the country prepares to welcome 75,000 local and international business event participants this year, say officials.

The two-day “restart” UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2023 was attended by 200 delegates, about 150 of whom were from 22 countries and regions. Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) says the event is expected to generate MYR2.8 million (about US$619,000) in economic impact.

“As an important driver of global economic growth, the business events industry is rising at a rapid pace again,” said Abdul Khani, MyCEB chief executive.

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“We are fortunate to have won the confidence of UFI and this conference represents their trust in us to add value to UFI’s global following. On behalf of Malaysia, we strongly believe the hosting of this conference will bridge the gap in strengthening the current portfolio that exhibitions in Malaysia hold, whilst securing more high-profile business events in the future through connections and recognition.”

A MyCEB spokesman said the conference brought more than just foot traffic and economic growth but would also contribute to the socio-economic level of the country, especially in transferring knowledge to Malaysia’s business events industry.

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The event was UFI’s first Asia Pacific conference since Tokyo in 2019, and shed light on how the exhibitions industry could navigate global economic risks and other challenges, the role of technology and effective international advocacy.

Kai Hattendorf, UFI managing director said: “The time is right for us to reactivate conferences as a face-to-face event as we went on a multi-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

“We are glad to have chosen Malaysia for this ‘restart’ event for the exhibition industry in Asia. Malaysia lived up to our expectations from the infrastructure to facilities, cascading to the strong working ethics of Malaysians. These are the qualities required to realise a successful exhibition and MyCEB truly resonates with how we envisioned the industry to flourish.”

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