UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has launched a new education programme in China. The inaugural UFI-VMA Venue Management School kicked off on November 20.
The three-day program was hosted by the Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre (SNIEC), a long-time UFI member and strong supporter of UFI’s activities in China. The program was oversubscribed with 34 students from 15 different venues across China.
The program offered participants an unmatched learning environment. The curriculum included three days of lectures delivered in Mandarin by experienced senior-level managers from leading venues in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenyang, to name just a few.
Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director/CEO, commented: “In recent years, additional venue space has become available in almost all regions of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Venue investments are long-term investments – they require the necessary infrastructure as well as qualified staff. UFI’s new Venue Management School offers programm aimed at qualifying venue managers to handle the needs of the international exhibition organisers that are bringing business to these venues.”
The lectures included group work, case studies, best practices, and more. The program covered core areas of venue management including customer care, safety & security, back of house operations, venue marketing, leadership skills, human resources management, and many others. The program was delivered under the terms of a partnership between UFI and the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited based in Australia.
Nancy Wang, from Shenyang New World Expo, was the top performing student at this year’s program. “It is a great honor for me to attend the inaugural education program launched by UFI-VMA Venue Management School in China and I am very happy to be awarded as the outstanding student,” she said. “My sincere thanks to UFI and VMA for preparing this comprehensive and practical arrangements and curriculums and inviting the great venue management experts as instructors to share their knowledge and experiences. As Chinese venue managers, we are very inspired by our industry peers and instructors of this program, and will apply the knowledge we learned to our daily work and enhance our professionalism.”
The program also included a mandatory final exam, a gala dinner, and a city tour for students from outside Shanghai. This program was supported by the generous sponsorship of Ungerboeck Software. Following the success of this year’s program, UFI will announce the dates and location of the 2018 edition of the program early next year.
The lack of qualified staff managing exhibition venues internationally is based on massive growth of exhibition space available. UFI’s recently published “World Map of Exhibition Venues” shows that in recent years, additional venue space has become available in all regions of the world. Some 1,221 exhibition venues currently serve the industry. Venue investments are long-term investments – so these trends underline the positive outlook for the exhibition industry mid- to long-term.
The exhibition market in Asia continues to grow at an impressive pace and over the past decade, Asia’s venue infrastructure has also rapidly expanded. Asia now offers more exhibition venue space than North America.