Global Exhibitions Day 2021: The Reactions

7th Jun, 2021

Global Exhibitions Day (GED) 2021 has become the single largest day of awareness and advocacy for the exhibition industry ever, with the participation of around 110 countries and regions. Next year’s GED will take place on June 1st, 2022.

The sixth ever Global Exhibitions Day, which took place on 2 June 2021, spread the message that “exhibitions are the fastest of fast tracks to economic recovery” across the globe. GED 2021 demonstrated the unity of the industry and proved that exhibitions create platforms for growth and recovery, whilst also instilling confidence in others to participate in organised events that prioritise safety and success in equal measure.

It’s clear that 2021 is a pivotal year for the global exhibition industry. Exhibitions generate €493 billion (US$551 billion) in business sales each year. In addition, visitors and exhibitor expenses generate a total of €299 billion (US$334 billion) across the exhibition industry value chain (organisers, venues and service providers) and in tourism-related activities (accommodation, food and travel).

The rollout of the vaccine is making it possible to reconnect again on the show floor. Markets are starting to reopen around the world and events are taking place again in Europe, the United States and Asia. The industry is ready to be better than ever!

From videos to meetings, from webinars to hybrid events, from webcasts to social campaigns and virtual contests, and more, people and organisations from around 110 countries/regions participated in GED 2021.

The global reach online is at the same level as in previous years (final figures detailing the online reach will be available in the GED documentation in a few weeks). Over the course of the GED 2021 campaign, we saw a real appetite across the industry to meet again, as people participated live webinars and hybrid events for GED, while many more activities celebrating the people and power of exhibitions took place throughout the industry, leading up to and on the day.

Anbu Varathan, UFI President, says: “participation in this year’s Global Exhibitions Day has been amazing! GED 2021 definitely is a unification of the industry, presenting the opportunity to share hope and optimism, and to focus on the important role of exhibitions in reconnecting and rebuilding communities and economies. We’ve seen thousands of event professionals celebrating across the globe, and saying how proud they are to be part of the industry and how much they value face-to-face events. This memorable day raises awareness, as we demonstrate our passion, purpose and power!”

Much like the exhibitions and events that the industry hosts, GED is a day for showcasing our industry, whilst also having fun and sharing stories. Some of the most prominent activities during GED 2021 were the “voices of the exhibition industry” quote cards, GED celebration videos and people sharing their memorable moments in exhibitions.

“This year’s GED celebrates recovery and resilience. The engagement of event professionals has put a spotlight on both the size and passion of our industry. It’s also been an opportunity to see the creativity, diversity and multicultural nature of exhibitions,” says Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s CEO. “We are business event professionals, and the best prepped sector in the world to set up and run exhibitions and business events safely, with top-class procedures in place. Exhibitions are ready for you, and are better than ever!”

The key messages from GED 2021 will continue to be shared throughout the year, and the next Global Exhibitions Day will take place on 1 June 2022.

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