IFES Strategic Plan 2018-2020


IFES is the International Federation of national associations and individual companies active in the design, conception, production and show services for temporary structures used at exhibitions and trade shows. It is the only organization dedicated to specific needs of exhibit designers and providers of tradeshow services.


  • To keep acting as a business and knowledge exchange platform for all its members who are active in the international market.
  • To maintain at all times the possibility of multilateral contacts and networking for every member association and member company.
  • To stay in direct contact with major international fairgrounds all over the world.
  • To collaborate with different international organizations in order to guarantee the interests of exhibition contracting companies.

Strategic Drives:

Currently, IFES is financially stable, and we should maintain this stability by focusing on the axis on the roof we mention above and that is – trust, integrity and quality – with 3 main pillars holding in order to keep this solidness the years to come. These pillars are:

International/Global Nature


It is these 3 unique factors that have made us who we are today as an association – as the global collaboration network.

By international or global nature, our membership is covering the entire globe and our presence is in every continent of the world.

By collaboration, the benefit of being an IFES member is not only to run a business or a project abroad, but to receive and get business from abroad, from/with a reliable partner.

By networking, anyone of us can go to any country in the world today and be proud to have a partner there which not only one can rely to do business, but even ask for his advice for personal travelling, visits or even provide support for a client in need for a problem they may have there.

It is these 3 elements that make us who we are today as the global collaboration network

Since we last did our strategy paper in 2015, the following items have happened to IFES:

  • We have grown to almost 300 members.
  • We have successfully launched several activities besides our Annual World Summit, such our participation at Euroshop and EXHIBITORLIVE on a Global Village concept, as well as field trip to Astana and the Expo 2017.
  • We have established multiple communication tools and modified a few existing channels to reach our members and non-members.
  • The Board takes more activities to promote the association further.
  • Our new and stronger management office was finally put in place and provides the right answers to growing demands.
  • We terminated inactive committees to focus on our main objectives and targets.
  • We added a few more motivated and active Board members.
  • We established a solid financial basis to cover additional programs after our difficulties in 2014.
  • IFES has had a big impact in brand awareness with the help of our attendance at several shows and by launching 2 World Views, revaluating our social media, constantly updating our website and initiated educational programs such as Masterclass and ICE (IFES Certified Expert).

This is what IFES has done these past few extremely productive years.

“Price is what you pay – Value is what you get”    … Warren Buffet

The Value of IFES: Promote honesty, integrity and openness in all we do and foster on environment of collaboration.

How should we continue to get the value the next few years:

  • Increase of partnerships with new National Associations throughout the world.
  • Knowledge sharing through education and collaboration with National Associations.
  • Aim to get higher attention from customers for our IFES activities.
  • Better and closer communication with our members and partners by focusing on existing networking tools. (ie. Website, World View, Newsletters, etc)
  • Launch a new digital network tool to enable higher start up for all our members. (ie. App for IFES Events)
  • Help with the protection of intellectual property by finding rules and regulations that will assist us on this.
  • Address complex issues of labor worldwide especially in Europe. In sustainability, be able to discuss and share knowledge on various issues that will ensure companies that there is a long-term profit to benefit from these norms we should abide.
  • Finally, maintain the quality of members and not just quantity.

“The future depends on what we do in the present”              … Mahatma Gandhi

The Future of IFES means Industry Evolution and Next Generation.

Industry Evolution:

An elusive process of trying to anticipate future developments so that action can be taken to minimize possible negative consequences and to seize opportunities.

How should we do this?

  • Digitalization and other new trends in technology – we should be able to distinguish the real lasting innovations and not just trends or fads. This can be achieved by educating and sharing knowledge among us more frequently on these subjects.
  • Be able to understand and learn how to properly complete with other media, especially social media.
  • Be able to better understand topics outside our industry (i.e. security measures is a very important one).
  • Demonstrate to younger people the relevance of our industry.
  • Create a sense that IFES represents a fun, sexy industry with great opportunities for sociability and for doing business.
  • Develop the idea of training our clients to better manage their stands so they can do more business.

Next generation:

More people are entering the workforces who have been raised in a digital world. They are between 25 – 30 years old.  They are starting a career, and probably a family. They are becoming parents and most likely are not in a leading position in the company.

How should we prepare for this?

  • We have to focus on the attitudes and aspirations of young people and understand them.
  • We will welcome younger people to become more active in the IFES Board, and to assist us to understand generation Y.
  • Demonstrate to younger generations the advantages of being a member of IFES, by planning, training and sharing appropriate tools for events.
  • Continue on aiming in educating more next generation’s people to understand the industry better.

We are currently in a situation:

  • Where disorders or difficulties are solved promptly
  • We positioned IFES in a different scope within the association landscape (by having direct membership possible)
  • We heavily invested into the future with several projects (ie Global Village, Education, Field trips, etc)
  • We have reached an equilibrium of stable members between 275 – 300.

All the above made it possible to strengthen our USPs and become a truly global collaboration network.

We understood and learned from our workshops last year in Montpellier with Jeremy Stubbs, that members were looking for information exchange and to be able to have a platform in which they could easily use 24/7 to reach or contact any member they desired.

That is why we listened to your needs and created a brand new IFES App which I hope that you will be able to use and reach out to more members at any given moment and created an actual IFES community network. We strongly encourage you that all the time and effort spent in making this possible, that you actually use this tool to your advantage, otherwise it will be useless.

We will work on white papers to provide you with relevant information on current topics within our industry.

We established the format “News from Brussels” in which we are able to keep you updated on the current developments on the most important exhibition market in the world: The EU.

We will start working with webinars on certain subjects, of which the first one will be the efficient use of the IFES Website and all the advantages it has, such as the member’s area.

We shall focus on the developments and changes in rising exhibition markets like China and India.

We created the Sustainable Starter as a new platform and Chicago is the first of many such events that will take place the years to come.

We encourage all of you, especially the young and passionate ones to come and join our activities. We need volunteers who are willing to share time and ideas with the “older generation” and become better altogether.

Together, we shall make every effort for new ideas and inspirations and continue
to be the” global collaboration network.

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