UFI European Conference in Poznan – summary

The European Conference 2022 of the UFI – the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry took place on the grounds of the Poznań International Fair from 4 to 6 May, 2022. This year, one of the most important events of the exhibition industry in this part of the world took place in the capital city of Wielkopolska. The event was hosted by Grupa MTP (PIF).

Representatives of dozens of countries from Europe and other regions, associated with the meetings industry, met in Poznań to participate in lectures and panel discussions related to the future of the exhibition industry, the changes and challenges facing the industry.

– It’s nice to see the industry coming back to life after two years of pandemonium. Exhibition pavilions across Europe are starting to fill up. Exhibitors are returning with great enthusiasm, as are buyers. The gap is closing, there is a growing need to return and attend trade fairs and exhibitions to establish business relationships,” said Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director of UFI.  

The conference saw, among others, the premiere of the report “The Future of the Trade Fair Industry”, prepared by Poznań International Group and infuture.institute, whose founder and CEO is Natalia Hatalska. The report is a picture of the current state of affairs and future scenarios which allow us to better understand how the MICE industry can function in the new reality and what the changing society expects from it.

The tradition of the conference is the participation of guests not only in lectures and panel discussions, but also sports activities within the UFI bike & running club.

Conference participants left a unique souvenir in Poznań. The guests planted plants and created a pocket garden, showing that a responsibly designed event is one which leaves a trace. The pocket garden is 370 square meters and was created on a part of the square which until now was mostly covered with cobblestones and occupied by cars. Now it is full of plants. The plants were chosen so that the garden not only pleases the eye with flowers and fruits, but also attracts insects and birds, and increases the biodiversity of the area. Pollinators and other insects will have their own home in the garden, birds – nesting boxes, and all animals will benefit from a watering hole in hot weather.

UFI meetings are above all about networking, so conversations were fostered by informal evening meetings. The first of them took place in the newly opened Port Sołacz restaurant, the second – in the Młyńska 12 restaurant.