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UFI President says environment is the key challenge for events globally

By Simon Cooper in Singapore

At the recent 77th UFI Congress in Singapore, President ManfredWutzlhofer detailed the environment as one of two key challenges facing exhibition organizers. Against the backdrop of the global financial crisis, he identified new web technologies and the environment as key issues that will affect the exhibition and events industry over the next 12 months.

At the UFI press conference Wutzlhofer noted the uneven impact of the GFC. The economic impact had been felt principally in Europe and N America, with Asia and S. American events largely unaffected. He did however stress that given the international nature of exhibitions, organisers worldwide had to address environmental pressures.

With budgets tight, cost of travelling to events is being closely scrutinized with companies seeking a return on their travel investment. In addition the environmental cost of travel, the carbon footprint of planes, cars etc is putting pressure on organisers to show they are making serious attempts to minimize the environmental costs of exhibitions.

“There is a need for all organisers to look at ways to minimize the environmental impact of their events. These include introducing energy efficiencies, recycling and minimizing waste” he said. Wutzlhofer also stated that the number of ‘green events’ had tripled in the past few years.

He encouraged all organisers to plan and design their events with environmental efficiencies in mind.

UFI is the association of the world’s leading trade show organisers and exhibition centre operators and represents over 550 members in 84 countries. For more information on UFI click here.