19 December 2017, Paris, France : UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, today announces the opening of a regional office in Latin America. Based in Bogota, Colombia, the new office will serve the growing number of UFI members across Latin America, and will be the base for collaborations with national and region industry associations like AFIDA, AMPROFEC, AOCA and UBRAFE. The position of the UFI Regional Manager for Latin America will be filled by Ana Maria Arango.

“UFI is the global association for our exhibition industry. I am very pleased that we are now in a position to also have a permanent presence in Latin America. This is a fascinating region with a lot of potential for growth in exhibitions and events, and as UFI we look forward to connecting the regional players with the global UFI community to facilitate further growth”, says Corrado Peraboni, UFI President.

The permanent Office and Representative based in the region will strengthen UFI’s commitments to the region, and further the reach of the association which works through its Latin American Chapter.

“Ana Maria has extensive experience and knowledge of the exhibition industry in the region, having previously worked as Executive Director of AFIDA (Asociación Internacional de Ferias de América) and Corferias, Bogota. She will be based at the new UFI Latin American Regional Office in Corferias, UFI member since 1956 and host of the UFI Global Congress in 1975 and 2014”, said Kai Hattendorf, UFI’s Managing Director/CEO.

Since it was established in 2014 at the UFI Global Congress in Bogota under the leadership of then UFI President Andrés López Valderrama, UFI’s Latin America Chapter has grown from 17 to more than 40 members. Going forward UFI will be able to better serve existing members as well as the entire industry throughout the region, in close collaboration with national and regional industry associations.

Andrés López Valderrama stated: “As past president of UFI and member of the Latin American Chapter, I have been very pleased to witness the rapid and solid growth of UFI in Latin America in the past few years. December 2017 is an historic date for UFI as it can proudly announce the opening of a new regional office in Latin America. This action reflects the good timing of the exhibition industry in our region and the relevance of this market for UFI. Corferias is delighted to host this new office in our venue and to welcome back Ana Maria as the new Regional Manager. We are convinced that she will have a great role in strengthening the exhibition industry in Latin America and in supporting all UFI members.”

Ana Maria Arango will closely work together with UFI’s new Chapter leadership: Chairman José Navarro Meneses (E.J. Krause Tarsus de Mexico), 1st Vice-Chair Marta Cecibel Lau Marquez (CIFCO, El Salvador), Vice-Chair Fernando Gorbarán (Messe Frankfurt Argentina) & Vice-Chair Juan Pablo de Vera (Reed Exhibitions Americas.)

Another important development to complement UFI’s activities in the region is the establishment of the UFI Latin American Conference, in line with UFI’s other regional Chapters. The first edition will take place in Mexico City on 19 September 2018 and all industry professionals are welcome to attend.

“Latin America is undergoing a substantial growth in the trade show industry, most of the large international organizers have entered this dynamic marketplace, so I think it is important to consolidate UFI’s presence in the region by devoting professional human resources dedicated to help us expand our business activity. I am very happy to welcome Ana Maria, a true professional with a wide knowledge of the exhibition business across the Latinamerican countries, and I am sure this addition to the already dedicated UFI team will be very beneficial to the regional trade show business,” commented José Navarro Meneses, UFI Latin America Chapter Chair.

UFI’s Latin America office will as well work with the national and regional exhibition industry associations in the region, who welcome UFI’s presence in the region:

Ricardo Baquerizo, President, AFIDA

“AFIDA welcomes Ana Maria Arango to the UFI team. We are certain that this new addition will lead to great results in our region and will support the growth of our industry. Congratulations to UFI for demonstrating the willingness to bet on our region. Count with the support of AFIDA.”

Ed Kelley, President, AMPROFEC

“Since the signing of our MOU in 2016, the Board of Directors of AMPROFEC (Mexican Association of Exhibition Professionals) has worked closely with our partners at UFI to promote the Mexican exhibition industry both in our country and abroad. UFI’s opening of the Latin American office is a welcome step in bringing our markets into the global arena. We look forward to working with and expanding our relationship with Ana Maria and José Navarro Meneses – new UFI Latin American Chairman – and are proud to have been selected as the Host Country of the first Latin American Regional Conference in 2018.”

Fernando Gorbarán, President, AOCA

“It is great news that UFI announces the open of a Latin American Office to extend the presence of the association in our region. At the same time for AOCA (Argentine Association of Trade Show & Congress Suppliers) it is also an opportunity to work together with Ana Maria who is an excellent professional and very well known in Latin America. Argentina celebrates this UFI initiative!”

Juan Pablo de Vera, President, UBRAFE

“The appointment of Ana Maria Arango is a clear sign of UFI’s continuous commitment to support the industry development in Latin America. Her background and professionalism will increase the capability to execute our mission by providing better quality of services to UFI members in the region. At the same time we, as members, should take advantage of this additional support to become more connected and active with engaging with UFI’s global community. The entire UBRAFE team and the Brazilian community of UFI’s associates and members welcomes Ana Maria to the team!”