When the pandemic struck and in-person events were suspended in early
2020, a number of BPA-audited trade shows pivoted to become virtual events. However, organizers soon found they needed guidance on reporting metrics for digital events since there did not seem to be any “industry standard.” To address this need, BPA began working with UFI to develop reporting standards for a digital or “hybrid” trade show that would also allow it to earn “UFI Approved Event” status.
During the work to develop reporting metrics for a virtual exhibition, BPA encountered a larger hurdle: the need for standardized metrics for digital event platforms alongside an industry-approved taxonomy for the exhibition and events marketplace. To tackle the issues, BPA in early 2021 organized a working group made up of UFI, IAEE and SISO, as well as a number of other event organizers, exhibitors and event tech platform partners. Phase one of the working group’s mission was to recommend amendments to the UFI requirements for “UFI Approved Events.” UFI has now released revised auditing rules that include the recommendations of the digital event metrics working group.
“The result of our work will enable organizers to include audited counts of attendees and exhibitors with both classified as ‘national’ or ‘international’ such that organizers can apply for ‘UFI Approved Event’ status,” explained Glenn Hansen, President and CEO of BPA. “For phase two of the initiative, the group’s intention is to suggest a common and universal interpretation of terms and definitions, and to serve as guidelines for industry players to be more discerning with regard to the various statistical data released on exhibitions whether face-to-face, digital or hybrid model.”
Those organizations and associations participating in development of the digital events standard terminology along with BPA include:
- Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)
- ClearTone Consulting
- Consumer Technology Association
(producer of Consumer Electronics Show)
- Exhibitors WINH LLC
- International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE)
- RussCom IT Systems