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UFI Conference hailed a huge success following its first arrival on UK soil

The 2019 UFI European Conference came to a close on Friday (17th May) following two days of sessions and networking.

Hosted by the NEC with conference sessions held at the Vox Conference Venue, over 200 delegates from 28 countries around the world, joined together in Birmingham for the inaugural annual event of The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.

This was a must-attend event for exhibition industry professionals who work internationally.  Delegates heard from world-class speakers from Russia, China and the United States as well as here in Europe, discussing what challenges face the industry and what the future for organisers looks like. 

As hosts, we ensured an excellent welcome was waiting for our visitors, with tours of our venues, offering them the chance to visit Bear Grylls Adventure and go back in time at Warwick Castle for a taste of medieval England.

Having previous been hosted in Verona (2018), Cologne (2017), Basel (2016), and Istanbul (2015), it was the first time the conference had been held in the UK.  The 2020 conference is set to take place in Gothenburg.

Conference Testimonials

Karen Cohen, UFI Event Manager: “We organise a lot of different events around the world for our members in the exhibitions industry, and this year we chose Birmingham for our 2019 European Conference and found this fabulous venue, the Vox Conference Venue at the NEC.  We have been very pleased to work with our host, the NEC, this year.  They suggested the Vox Conference Venue to organise this conference…the venue is very new, the facilities are perfect, and the staff are great.  The head chef is also wonderful, offering us new food and beverage trends which we were very happy with.”


Paul Colston, Managing Editor, Exhibition World Magazine: “It’s a real pleasure to be at the Vox for a sunny two days and to see it really in action.  I remember coming here on a hard hat tour and I saw Mr Thandi present all the plans, and to see it realised is a real big step forward with all the rest of the facilities here (on campus).  It’s great to have all our professional colleagues within the industry experience this too; in my own job I travel the world and see some of the best facilities, so as a patron of Birmingham this makes me really proud that the city has really delivered for UFI.  The content too; the hardware has been amazing but the software too – we’ve had top class speakers, top class journalists here and it’s all come together well.  I’m proud to have been part of it.”


Frank Yang, KINTEX, Korea: “I’ve been to the UFI conference a few years ago but it’s the first time in the UK.  This facility and the surrounding area is perfect, it has the perfect location with access to the airport and the hotels and all the shopping facilities, I love it!” 


Kazimierz Cwikla, Ptak Warsaw Expo, Poland: “Excellent event, and I’ll like to participate in the next congress. The Vox is excellently located, similar to ours, very close to the airport – the main thing is not wasting time for transportation, it's location, location, location.”   

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