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Exhibition World | Interview21Paul Woodward, UFI Asia/Pacific regional managersince 2004, has taken the reins as managingdirector of global exhibition industry associationUFI, following the retirement of Vincent GĂ©rard.In 2000, Woodward founded BSG Asia, a businessintelligence and strategy consulting firm specialising inbusiness media, information and events in Asia. He hasbeen based in Hong Kong and involved in thedevelopment of business media and events in the AsiaPacific region since 1985. Since 1990 he has conductedmore than 500 business intelligence and strategyconsulting projects.Prior to founding BSG he was MD of Asian StrategiesLtd, the research and strategy consulting division ofMiller Freeman Asia. He was also a director of MillerFreeman Asia, which now trades as UBM Asia.Tasked with leading the UFI teams in Paris, AbuDhabi and Hong Kong, Woodward's new role is toensure UFI pursues its various programmes andservices, and continues to successfully support thebusiness objectives of not just members but theexhibition industry worldwide.UFI president Manfred Wutzlhofer said of hisappointment that UFI members will appreciate the"seamless management transition" facilitated by Paul'smove from east to west". So here, in an exclusiveinterview for EW, he speaks out on the key challengesand opportunities he is looking to address and exploit asthe association moves into a new phase of post-recession growth.What are the key challenges that face UFI in thenext 12 months?"I prefer to see them in terms of opportunities and thereare, as I settle into my new role, obviously a huge numberof these opportunities. They range from ensuring we areproperly engaged in the issues emerging for our industryaround sustainability through regulatory issues inBrussels and Beijing to supporting the development ofthe next generation of leaders through our educationprogrammes. "Balancing the differing needs of our members invarious parts of the world is quite a challenge and onewhich requires serious thought. At the same time, wehave the ongoing challenge of ensuring that UFImembership represents top quality in our industry. "That's one of the reasons we've tightened up the UFIApproved Event criteria and that is engaging the UFI teamin quite a lot of work right now. But it's very worthwhile andpresents us with a great opportunity to demonstrate to theworld just how good UFI members are."As you take the baton, what are the key objectivesthat you have set yourself?"Firstly, I would like to ensure that we are really wellfocused in all that we do on how we are adding value toour members' businesses. At the end of a year of UFImembership, I would like them to be able clearly to seehow we have helped them. "Secondly, we need to ensure that our membershiprepresents the most important, top quality organisationsin our industry all over the world. Of course, among the550 member organisations in 83 countries we have today,most of the key ones are already involved. But there are afew missing and I'd like to see them active in UFI as well."Taking the batonPaul WoodwardEWspeaks to UFI's new managing director, Paul Woodward.THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW.EXHIBITION-WORLD.NET| September 2010|