The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has recently signed collaboration agreements with EMECA, the European Major Exhibition Centres Association and UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry.  With these agreements, the EUIPO consolidates its connection with exhibition venues and event organisers across the entire value chain, reaching out to a wider audience that could benefit from the use of Intellectual Property and EUIPO initiatives.


EMECA unites 24 of Europe’ largest exhibition venues, many of which are also exhibition and event organisers. UFI is an association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations. At European Union level, EMECA and UFI have formed the European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA).


Both EMECA and UFI members will benefit from this collaboration by gaining a deeper understanding of why IP can help businesses and how to help exhibitors protect their IP and prevent counterfeiting when showcasing their products at trade fairs. For this the EUIPO will offer expertise through training, webinars, and other collaborative actions.


Inge Buffolo Director of the Customer Department in the EUIPO says: “It is a great pleasure to welcome EMECA and the UFI to the Ideas Powered for business network. We hope this partnership will be fruitful and that together we can provide many benefits to EU businesses. The exhibition industry can play a vital role in reaching out to those SMEs that need it the most, showing them how to protect their ideas at trade shows and fairs through our intellectual property initiatives.”

Barbara Weizsäcker, EMECA Secretary General, comments: “Exhibitions are the platforms for R&D, innovation and new products. Start-ups and SMEs represent the majority of exhibitors on the trade fairs in Europe. We are happy to increase our awareness action together with UFI and via the EEIA towards these companies by signposting the advice and registration options for their IP at EUIPO and the excellent package of services in the framework of the “Ideas Powered for business” programme.”


Kai Hattendorf, UFI CEO & Managing Director adds: “IP is at the core of innovation, and trade shows are the market places for innovation across all industries. UFI is pleased to support EUIPO in their work on making companies less vulnerable and more successful through IP.”


About EMECA – The European Major Exhibition Centres Association

European Major Exhibition Centres Association EMECA is the professional association and unique representation of the major and largest exhibition centres in Europe. It unites 24 leading exhibition venues in Europe, many of which are also exhibition and event organisers. EMECA drives excellence in the European exhibition industry, by fostering the highest business standards and customer service levels of its members. The 24 EMECA members host and organise nearly 2.000 trade fairs a year globally, out of which 1.550 in Europe on a gross rented space of nearly 38 mio sqm. They welcome nearly 500.000 exhibitors and roughly 38,5 mio visitors in Europe (pre-pandemic figures).


About UFI – The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry

UFI is the global trade association of the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry. UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents more than 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 60 national and regional association members. More than 780 member organisations in 83 countries around the world are presently signed up as members. Over 900 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities.




EUIPO is the European Union Intellectual Property Office responsible for managing the EU trade mark and the registered Community design. EUIPO also works with the IP offices of the EU Member States and international partners to offer a similar registration experience for trademarks and designs across Europe and the world.


EUIPO offers a new scheme of awareness raising, providing training and consultation as well as preferential rate registration options for SMEs – under the scheme “Ideas powered for business”.

You can access the details here:  


In the framework of the European Exhibition Industry Alliance (EEIA), EUIPO exchanged ideas on possible joint activities and sharing best practices and information with EMECA and UFI members.

The aim to reach out to as many companies as possible about the value and protection of IP via the exhibitions and other business events. For instance, EUIPO could provide info sessions to all interested members and individualised services to organisers’ staff and single exhibitions.


Should you have any questions or need additional information, do not hesitate to contact us.


Press and media contact

EEIA Secretary General
Ms Barbara Weizsäcker
Rue de l'Amazone 2
B-1050 Brussels

Tel +32 2 535 72 50