Thailand chosen to host UFI AP 2026

 Monday, August 28, 2023 


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The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) has chosen Thailand to host the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference 2026 in Bangkok. Its decision is based on the strong support expressed by Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Thai Exhibition Association (TEA).

TCEB’s partnership with TEA for the conference is part of TCEB’s strategy to attract more international events to Thailand by teaming up with industry stakeholders.

UFI’s CEO, Mr. Kai Hattendorf, and TCEB President, Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a press conference held on August 22 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (QSNCC) in Bangkok.

The UFI Asia-Pacific Conference is a regional gathering for professionals and decision-makers in the exhibition industry to examine issues affecting the industry, exchange experiences, network and explore business opportunities in the host destination. The 2026 edition is expected to attract at least 200 delegates to Bangkok.

Mr. Kai Hattendorf, CEO, UFI said: “The exhibition industry across Asia-Pacific is successfully recovering after the Covid-enforced break. Our UFI global data shows that the region, including Thailand, is on a similar trajectory as other parts of the world. Those markets who reopened first are already reaching their pre-pandemic revenues again – a strong testament to the value of face-to-face market places and meeting places.

“UFI and TCEB have a long-standing partnership, and UFI is delighted to return to Bangkok in 2026 – this time with our Asia-Pacific Conference. Together, UFI and TCEB will make sure that event industry leaders from the region and beyond will find their time well spent – and leave with new insights, make and renew contacts, explore business opportunities, and experience Thailand’s friendship, hospitality and professionalism.”

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, TCEB, said: “TCEB has been a staunch supporter of UFI through the years and we look forward to working together again to energise the global trade show industry. TCEB is delighted that UFI has chosen Thailand to host the UFI Asia Pacific Conference 2026. This will be the second time for Thailand after the 2016 edition in Chiang Mai.

“Thailand is ASEAN’s top destination for exhibitions. UFI’s decision to bring its Asia Pacific conference to Thailand will help spotlight Thailand’s many advantages as an exhibition hub. Additionally, it will offer opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs to showcase their capabilities and expand their network globally. The value of hosting an event as important as the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference is undoubtable. Thailand and the region will benefit from the ideas, insights, and friendships inspired by it.”

Ms. Panittha Buri, President of TEA, said: “It is a great pleasure for us at TEA to welcome the UFI Asia-Pacific Conference back to the Kingdom of Smiles in 2026. TEA will be working closely with TCEB to make this event a fulfilling, lively, and memorable experience. This will be a tremendous opportunity for our industry colleagues from Thailand as well as those from around the world to reconnect and share best practices within the UFI community.”

Exhibitions is an important component of Thailand’s MICE industry and plays a catalyst role in Thailand’s trade and industrial development. Exhibition visitors as a group is also a lead contributor in terms of revenue compared to other sub-sectors of MICE.

The latest TCEB data indicate that Thailand’s exhibition industry has rebounded strongly and overseas exhibition visitors are leading the way. In the nine months from October 2022 to June 2023, the number of overseas exhibition visitors stood at 204,397. This makes up 46% of the total 440,946 overseas MICE visitors recorded. Exhibition visitors were responsible for 13,017 billion baht in revenue generated, which is half of the total 26, 274 billion baht by all MICE visitors.

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