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April 16, 2008

UFI Open Seminar in Macao is a resounding success

UFI’s third Open Seminar in Asia, which took place in Macau, has been praised as a great success by the 170 delegates from 23 countries and regions who attended. Focusing on the topic New Exhibition Opportunities for Asia, the seminar was hosted by the new Venetian Macau Resort & Hotel.

“These meetings are going from strength to strength,” said UFI’s managing director, Vincent Gérard, who was in Macau for the event. “We were wonderfully looked after by the Venetian, which is a spectacular venue, and the programme really seems to have struck a chord with delegates. The room was full from the first session to the last.” The meeting included some of the new features adopted in UFI’s European Seminar in Bilbao in June last year. These included “ask the expert” sessions, interactive panels and structured networking.

Speakers included Brand Events’ Chris Hughes and Media 10’s Lee Newton, who both challenged delegates to think innovatively about how consumer events can evolve away from traditional exhibitions. A panel comprising Interads India’s Rajan Sharma, David Zhong of VNU Exhibitions Asia and Fiera Milano’s Shahin Javidi then gave some very different perspectives on the potential impact of joint ventures on exhibitions in Asia. This was clearly important to the audience as delegates voted 99% in favour of the view that more joint ventures are likely in the future in Asia.

Day two saw Professor Per Mollerup from Denmark wake delegates up with a very stimulating talk on “wayshowing”; his concept of how to reorganise venues and events so that they serve attendees various needs much better. CMP’s Michael Duck, David Zhong and Asia/Pacific Chapter Chairman Chen Xianjin then discussed various opportunities for regional trade fairs in China and India. All agreed that these would become increasingly important in the near future.

In the final session, Singapore’s Edward Liu was the expert who answered delegates questions about his views on operating in challenging markets. Vietnam was high on the mind of a number of the questioners. Finally, Pradeep Gupta, the CEO of Cybermedia from India, talked delegates through the different types of events which have emerged in the high tech sector. As usual, delegates spent a good deal of time networking including using the Expostudio web-based appointments system and the social functions. These included an evening reception at the Macau TV Tower hosted by the Macau Trade & Investment Promotion Institute and a lunch hosted by the Macau Government Tourism Office.

Next year’s UFI Open Seminar in Asia will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention & Exhibition Centre on 12-13 February.

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