The UFI European Conference is hailed a huge success following its first arrival on UK soil at the Vox in Birmingham.

The 2019 UFI European Conference was held in Birmingham from 15-17th May, for two days of sessions and networking – the first time the event had been held in the UK. Hosted by the NEC with conference sessions held at the Vox Conference Venue, over 300 delegates from 30 countries around the world joined together for the inaugural annual event of UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry.

This was a must-attend event for industry professionals who work internationally. Delegates heard from world-class speakers from Russia, China and the United States as well as here in Europe, discussing what challenges face the industry and what the future for organisers looks like. This year’s European Conference theme was ‘The Organisers’ Future: Challenging Business Models’. In addition to the conference, two UFI Forums also took place.

The Vox was the perfect location to host the conferencing element of the event. The venue’s distinctive setting delivered the ‘wow’-factor with its floor to ceiling windows providing panoramic views of the NEC Campus. The attractive, premium facilities also ensured every session was delivered to the highest standard, with UFI utilising the award winning retractable and soundproof Skyfold walls to create an interactive conference space. The venue also has three boardrooms that were used by organisers throughout the event.

Ian Taylor, Venue Sales Director for NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions said: “The Vox has been designed to stand out from the crowd and its location, teamed with enviable technical facilities and premium seating, makes this a super-powered venue and a real must-try for events heading to the Midlands.

“For the UFI European Conference, as with all our events, we wanted to provide an environment that exceeded both client and delegate expectations, and the team did just that. This was an opportunity for colleagues from across the world to network and do business, and the Vox showcased just what the Midlands can provide for conferencing with its unique and modern offering.”

As hosts, the team also ensured an excellent welcome was waiting for delegates. Tours of the NEC and Vox were organised, plus a chance for them to visit the neighbouring Bear Grylls Adventure. They then went back in time at Warwick Castle for a taste of medieval England.

Kathryn James, Managing Director of NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions added: “The UK’s position in the global events industry and its evolving role in the European political and economic landscape made the mutual desire to bring Europe’s largest meeting of international event industry professionals to our shores even stronger. It’s brilliant to have hosted the UFI European Conference 2019, reinforcing our role at the heart of the UK events industry, as one of Europe’s busiest event destinations.”


Here are a few testimonials from those in attendance…

Karen Cohen, UFI’s Event Manager…
“We organise a lot of different events around the world for our members in the exhibitions industry, and this year we chose Birmingham for our 2019 European Conference and found this fabulous venue, The Vox Conference Venue at the NEC. We have been very pleased to work with our host, the NEC, this year who suggested using The Vox.  The venue is very new, the facilities are perfect, and the staff are great.  The head chef is also wonderful, offering us new food and beverage trends which we were very happy with.”

Frank Yang, Director of Convention Marketing at KINTEX in Korea…
“I went to the UFI conference a few years ago but it’s the first time in the UK. This facility and the surrounding area is perfect, it has the perfect location with access to the airport and the hotels and all the shopping facilities, I love it!”

Kazimierz Cwikla, Senior Vice President of Ptak Warsaw Expo in Poland…
“Excellent event, and I’d like to participate in the next congress. The Vox is excellently located, similar to ours, very close to the airport – the main thing is not wasting time for transportation, its location, location, location.”

For more information on how to make your event stand out from the crowd, contact the Vox team on or 0121 644 5025.