UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, in partnership with the Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific), has launched a new education programme in China. The inaugural UFI-VMA Venue Management School kicked-off on Monday, 20 November 2017.
The three-day programme 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 programme was oversubscribed with 34 students from 15 different venues across China.
The programme 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 programmes 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 programme 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 programme was delivered under the terms of a partnership between UFI and the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific) Limited which is based in Australia.
Nancy Wang, from Shenyang New World Expo, was the top-performing student at this year’s programme. Nancy commented: “It is a great honour for me to attend the inaugural education programme launched by UFI-VMA Venue Management School in China and I am very happy to be awarded as the outstanding student. 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 programme, and will apply the knowledge we learnt to our daily work and enhance our professionalism.”
The programme also included a mandatory final exam, a gala dinner and a city tour for students from outside Shanghai. This programme was supported by the generous sponsorship of Ungerboeck Software. Following the success of this year’s programme, UFI will announce the dates and location of the 2018 edition of the programme early next year.
The lack of qualified staff managing exhibition venues internationally is based on the 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. 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.