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2024-03-07 | Shenyang

Strengthening Exchanges Plays Key Role in the Internationalization of Exhibition Industry

Ms. Diane Chen, General Manager & Member of the SML Board at Shenyang New World EXPO was proud to introduce UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. UFI is the leading global association of the world's tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry which are brought together to build, maintain, and support the world's market places. With more than 840-member organizations in 87 countries and regions around the world, UFI's main role and goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. More than 895 UFI approved events proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike.

Strengthen multi-party cooperation in the exhibition industry

Having opened in March 2017, the Shenyang New World EXPO ("EXPO") is the premier and most innovative conference and exhibition venue in Northeastern China. As a proud member of UFI since 2012, EXPO is committed to the rapid development of the regional exhibition industry utilizing high industry standards supported by UFI. EXPO has implemented exhibition standards and specifications, resulting in improved exhibition operation and customer/visitor service quality. This has made significant contributions to the rapid development of the regional industry by guiding multi-party cooperation within the exhibition industry.

As an active facilitator of the meeting and exhibition industry, MS. Diane Chen, General Manager and board member of EXPO is currently Vice-Chair of Asia-Pacific Chapter and board member of UFI. Ms. Diane Chen has been active in UFI for 12 years, supporting the exhibition industry association's mission and driving its development in China. She has served as a regular instructor at UFI-VMA's Public Venue Management School (VMS) which is held annually in China. The VMS program has been designed to meet the specific needs of the Chinese exhibition market. It is taught by CEOs and senior managers of well-known Asian venues who bring their practical experience of operating venues in China, as well as their knowledge of management, industry standards, and networking opportunities with industry veterans. The 2024 VMS program is scheduled to take place in late May at the EXPO, and UFI would like to invite all event industry professionals to participate in the program.

Openness and communication are crucial

“The dedication and enthusiasm of UFI's Board to the exhibition industry's development has impressed me and industry leaders stayed collectively strong during Pandemic. In early February I attended the Global CEO Summit at Amsterdam and am very encouraged and inspired by the confidence of the Industry leaders about the exhibition industry sustainable growths after COVID while realizing the significant challenges ahead. I will continue to exercise my best efforts to contribute to the exhibition industry while attracting more talented people into our industry. The experience I have gained and that I am gaining working with and learning from such a network of professionals can only enhance my future career development." said Ms. Chen.

Ms. Chen added: “I am committed to taking China's exhibition & conference industry to the international stage even more while representing the voice of China exhibition industry. Having lived and worked in Europe and the United States, I have a deep understanding of the different cultures and importance of the openness and communications. The world would benefit from understanding China better before offering conclusions; China can benefit from being more open to the world and integrating its exhibition success into the global market with proactive and realistic steps. Being most aware of the challenges and opportunities, I am dedicated to enhance promotion of the integration of China's events industry into the international exhibition & conference industry platform and to facilitate international exchanges. My goal is to be influential in enabling the international MICE market to better understand the Chinese market, enhance the international competitiveness of China's events industry and strive for conditions that will be mutually beneficial.”

Ms. Chen believes that strengthening business relationships as well as international trade exchanges and cooperation are key measures to promote the internationalization of China's events industry. She advocates that China's convention and exhibition industry participate more actively in international convention and exhibition events, cooperate closely with international convention and exhibition organizations, and jointly discuss the development trends and challenges of MICE and trade. Through the integration of international advanced MICE concepts, technologies and talents, China's events industry can enhance its knowledge, professionalism and internationalization, and better adapt to the needs of the global market.

To enhance the iconic position of China's convention and exhibition industry

In 2023, EXPO and its team encountered a variety of challenges and opportunities as they endeavored to revitalize the events industry in the aftermath of the COVID epidemic. The senior management team promptly resumed business operations by optimizing and adjusting antiepidemic policies, adapting to market changes, and maintaining its high industry standards. The international community and customers recognize EXPO for its standard of operations and professional services. EXPO has successfully hosted many large-scale events, which have positively contributed to the development of the city and regional economy, as well as the improving of the business environment.

"In 2024, EXPO will continue to face the complex and diverse dynamics of the region's economic environment. The staff will continue to apply international standards of operation and service excellence to adapt to changing market demands and achieve sustainable development. The goal is to highlight marketing advantages from proven customer and facility care. EXPO is a true industry asset and is committed to maintaining its iconic position not only in the region, but setting an example in all of China as to what the exhibition and meetings industry means to the Nation economically.” said Ms. Chen. Ms. Chen told the reporter that event venues are facing a variety of new trends and challenges that require adaptation to ensure successful operations. Firstly, the changing needs of customers and visitors require venues to focus on the customers and visitors more and deeply understand their needs and expectations. In addition, with the popularization of generative artificial intelligence (GenAl), the events industry is set to undergo changes, and EXPO will actively embrace emerging technologies such as GenAl to promote the digital transformation of the industry. Meanwhile, dealing with the climate crisis has become an important topic for business operations. It is essential that EXPO addresses the impact of climate change on the event industry and work towards reducing carbon emissions to contribute to “Net Zero Carbon Events”.

She stressed that the industry must work together to strengthen business relationships and the positioning of event venues and help more people understand and recognize the importance of the exhibition and meeting industry. EXPO's team can showcase China's exhibition industry achievements and values globally through promotional efforts, enhancing its image, recognition and influence. “2024 will be a year in which we will enhance our efforts of contributing to the development of China's events industry while receiving global recognition for it." said Ms. Chen.

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Leo Liu