UFI - The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry
UFI was founded on 15 April, 1925, in Milan, Italy, by 20 leading European international trade fairs: Bordeaux, Brussels, Budapest, Cologne, Danzig, Frankfurt/Main, Leipzig, Ljubljana, Lvov, Lyon, Milan, Nizhny Novgorod, Padua, Paris, Prague, Reichenberg, Utrecht, Valencia, Vienna and Zagreb. As a privileged forum for dialogue, UFI's main goal is to represent, promote and support its members and the exhibition industry worldwide.
By promoting the unique characteristics of trade fairs:
- UFI plays the role of an efficient networking platform where professionals of the exhibition industry can exchange ideas and experiences;
- UFI promotes trade fairs and exhibitions globally as a unique marketing and communications tool;
- UFI provides UFI members with valuable studies and research regarding all aspects of the exhibition industry;
- UFI offers educational training opportunities and a variety of professional seminars; and UFI deals with issues of common interest for its members within the frame work of regular meetings of its regional chapters andworking group.
The current UFI President is Mr. Andrés López-Valderrama. Mr. Paul Woodward is the UFI Managing Director.
UFI represents 649 member organisations (composed of 337 Exhibition Organisers, 88 Hall Owner Managers, 126 Exhibition Organisers & Hall Owner Managers, 51 Associations and 49 Partners of the exhibition industry), present in 231 cities in 83 countries on the 6 continents.
UFI has bestowed its quality label upon over 923 trade fairs and exhibitions organised by its members.
As leading international tradeshow organisers, UFI members currently represent more than 4,500 trade fairs and exhibitions;
- more than 50 million square metres of exhibition space rented annually;
- more than 1 million exhibitors participating in these events each year;
- more than 150 million visitors attending these events annually.
In order to allow UFI members to exchange information, experience and know-how, UFI has established several thematic committees. Each committee is headed by a Chairman, and is composed of a limited number of UFI members. The thematic committees are: Marketing Committee, Exhibition Centres Committee, Information & Communication Technologies Committee, Statistics and Transparency of Trade Fairs/Exhibitions Committee, Committee of the Associations.
International Fair Plovdiv was admitted as a full member of UFI on 10 December, 1936, at the 12th UFI Congress in Paris. Nowadays, International Fair Plovdiv organizes seven UFI-approved events: International Technical Fair – UFI-approved event since 1936; International Consumer Goods and Technologies Fair – UFI-approved event since 1985; AGRA International Agricultural Exhibition – UFI-approved event since 1995; VINARIA International Exhibition of Wine-Growing and Wine-Producing – UFI-approved event since 1997; MEDICUS, DENTO, GALENIA International Exhibition of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceuticals and Balneology – UFI-approved event since 2000; PRINTCOM International Exhibition of Printing Communications – UFI-approved event since 2001; FOODTECH International Exhibition - UFI-approved event since 2003.
CEFA - Central European Fair Alliance was founded in January 1995. To make Central and Southeastern Europe a stronger venue for trade fairs and exhibitions of international significance, and one which extends beyond mere physical borders 24 members have joined forces in CEFA. Trade fair organisers in Belgrade, Bolzano/Bozen, Brno, Bucharest (Romexpo, Nexidian), Budapest, Budva, Celje (Celjski Sejem, ICM), Chisinau, Klagenfurt, Ljubljana, Munich (Messe München, Gesellschaft für Handwerksmessen), Nitra, Novi Sad, Plovdiv, Pordenone, Skopje, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Tirana, Vienna and Zagreb (CBBS) have decided to meet the process of European integration by working together more closely in the areas of marketing and public relations, exchanging know-how and participating in joint training activities.
The objective of CEFA is to tackle new problems in an age of increased globalisation with future-oriented solutions. European unity has created a new market that offers new diversity, new opportunities and new sales potential. And because it includes countries in central and south eastern Europe, CEFA makes a special contribution to European integration.
CEFA combines marketing and sales expertise based on a record of more than 60 years of organising trade fairs in the region. CEFA works in dozens of languages and provides experience within all cultural contexts found in its members home countries.
More than just joining different country locations for exhibitions under a shared public relations umbrella, CEFA has set up a network for communications, know-how transfer and training to enhance the quality of organisational and marketing services.
CEFA's mission is to help members offer unique, high-quality gateways to business in the growing markets of central and southeastern Europe, turning them into hubs for spreading contacts and contracts throughout the region.
Janos Barabas, PhD, Vice President of HUNGEXPO Ltd. Budapest (until December 2014) ,took over the position of Secretary General of CEFA – Central European Fair Alliance. He follows Franz Reisbeck, who had served as CEFA Secretary General for almost nine years.
All trade fair participants, i.e. exhibitors and visitors alike, profit from CEFA:
- Efficient access to international markets
- Comprehensive information about all 24 member companies
- Tapping regional markets
- Greater sales potential for exhibitors
The Exhibition Association of Southeast Europe (EASE) was founded in 2003. The headquarters of EASE are based in Novi Sad, Serbia. The founders of EASE are the trade fair centres of Novi Sad, Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Jadran, Leskovac, Mostar, Plovdiv, Skopje, Split, Subotica, Timisoara, Tirana, Zenica and Sarajevo.
International Fair – Plovdiv has been a member of EASE since 2003.
The key priorities of the Association are:
- to strengthen the relations among the exhibition centers in the region
- to establish regional integration and cooperation
- to tap successfully regional and international markets
- to exchange information on exhibition centers, and to attract visitors to the events organized by the members.
The President of EASE is Mr. Rajko Bujković.
Bulgarian Convention and Visitors Bureau (BCVB) was set up in 2004 with head office in Sofia. Its key objective is to promote Bulgaria internationally as an attractive meetings and convention destination.
BCVB members include leading hotels, conference and exhibition venues, PCOs, airlines, transportation companies, restaurants, and service companies directly or indirectly involved in the conference and incentive tourism business.
The members of BCVB are engaged in the tourism industry and are organizers of convention events: Hilton Sofia, Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan, Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts, Kempinski Hotel Zografski, National Palace of Culture, International Fair Plovdiv, M3 Communication Group, Bulgarian Association of Travel Agents, “Bulgaria Air” National Airline, Kongresstechnik Bulgaria, Bulgarreklama, TZUM AD, Sofia Land, etc.
CENTREX was found in 1997 at the initiative of the market leader exhibition organizers in Central Eastern Europe. From 1999 the Union is a member of UFI (the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry). CENTREX efforts are aimed at transparent, measurable, internationally acceptable, comparable, audited exhibition statistics, to promote these data and collaboration internationally, and to publish their data open wide in their annual publication and at their website.
In 2009 CENTREX Union has 20 members in 7 countries of the region – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Slovak republic and Ukraine. The current CENTREX chairman is Mr. Boguslav Zalewski and the executive director – Mr. Karoly Nagy.
International Fair Plovdiv is a CENTREX member since May 2009.