You’re celebrating Global Exhibitions Day, right?

There isn’t a day that goes by in a year, it seems, without something to celebrate, practice or support. Right now, you could be speaking Russian all daypractising your Yo-Yo skills or making Applesauce Cake.


At Ignition, we’re celebrating Global Exhibitions Day (GED), a chance to focus on the exhibition industry and highlight its positive impact on jobs, business, innovation and local investment. We hope to distract your attention from Yo-Yo Day for long enough to tell you a few reasons why we think this one’s important (and not just because it’s our industry).

1. It’s human

The focus of Global Exhibitions Day is on the human interactions that exhibitions enable – as Paul Woodward of UFI says 'From the biggest multi-national to very tiny family businesses, the opportunity to get face to face with your customers…to be talking with the people you want to do business with is incredibly important'. So really, Global Exhibitions Day is a celebration of the power of human connections – and we can all get behind that.

2. It’s global

We love the fact that this is a global day that brings together people and organisations from all over the world. Our customers are increasingly looking for globally consistent and co-ordinated exhibitions programmes that also recognise local trends and sensitivities, and that means understanding and catering for all markets (that’s where the strong collaboration between our US and UK offices comes into its own). Last year’s GED Awards celebrated entries as far afield as the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Amsterdam RAI and Expo Guadalajara.

3. It makes business sense

In a world of shrinking marketing budgets, events and digital continue to be the golden children, with the UK’s Q1 Bellwether Report showing budgets in events rising continuously for the last four-and-a-half years. This reflects our wholehearted belief in the unique power of human connections, facilitated and enhanced through technology: combining the reach of digital with the power of face to face interactions is clearly a winning formula for businesses large and small.

4. It’s future-focused

A career in the exhibitions industry can be exciting, international and highly fulfilling, and our ranking as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces in 2018 bears this out. Fondazione Fiera Milano, Italy’s premier exhibition and conference organiser, asked students at its Academia what they think the exhibitions of the future will look like, with inspiring results. You can see some of the conversations at Exhibitions World, or check out exhibitions professionals talking about their careers on the UFI YouTube channel.

5. It’s sustainable

One of the core pillars of Global Exhibitions Day is its focus on sustainability. We don’t need to tell you why this is important to us – our business vision was founded on the anti-build and burn principle and we are incredibly proud of our sustainability track record – so we’ll let the GED team have the last word on this topic: 'Exhibitions and events have the power to change patterns of consumption, change patterns of behaviour and help diminish inequalities through gathering powerful influencers and market leaders in one venue'.

OpinionTom Exon