PARIS / ATLANTA – Paris based UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and Atlanta based SISO, The Society of Independent Show Organizers, launch a new campaign, called “This Show Is Open”. It supports exhibition and event organisers around the world as they put the industry’s full experience to the task of keeping events going wherever possible, in line with the guidance of health authorities and the interests of their customers.
The campaign launches as the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus is challenging societies around the world. As health systems and governments deal with the outbreak, exhibitions and events around the world are being postponed or cancelled where deemed necessary.
At the same time, exhibitions and events are one of the core elements to keeping industries and economies going – they are both among the most responsive and resilient economical tools.
“Exhibitions and events are essential to millions of businesses around the world. They exist to provide platforms for people and industries to meet, to trade, and to collaborate. Small and medium businesses in all industries in particular depend on exhibitions. And, like all types of events, they support the economy worldwide”, says Mary Larkin, UFI President.
“Exhibitions and events are especially important in times of disruption. We stand to fulfil our obligation to maintain opportunities for people to meet wherever possible. As part of the exhibitions industry, we are committed to keeping our exhibitions and events going around the world wherever we can do so”, says Greg Topalian, SISO Chair.
The “This Show is Open” campaign consists of material that UFI and SISO are making available to their respective memberships – covering all the global leading companies in exhibition management as well as regional and national heavyweights. They can add the visuals and text material to their ongoing communications around upcoming exhibitions – highlighting the fact that, while numerous exhibitions around the world are being postponed or cancelled due to COVID19, many shows are taking place successfully around the world.
“We have one simple message here”, say Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO and David Audrain, SISO ED. “As an industry, we strive to make it possible for every company to come to the show floor, to seek to meet with industry peers, to drive the exchange about how and to what degree their respective industries are impacted by COVID-19, and to secure the successful future for their business."
Industry leaders are welcoming the campaign: “I have been a strong supporter of this campaign ever since I heard of it. At Tarsus Group, we will use the material provided to help get the word out loud and clear that our industry is open and resilient”, says Douglas Emslie, CEO of London based global organizer Tarsus Group.
Both UFI and SISO are as well inviting other associations serving the wider meetings industry to join the campaign, to help to grow awareness.
“As the current president of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, I will invite all the member associations of this global framework to join this campaign. We will also be happy to offer other networks like the ‘Events Industry Council’ to share the campaign - this issue is one that calls for the whole meetings industry to come together and collaborate”, says Kai Hattendorf.