Imex in Frankfurt is the most important meeting and trade show for the incentive travel sector in Germany. On April 19-21 the worldwide exhibition comes back again to Messe Frankfurt (Hall 8), so in order to know whats going up for 2016's edition, we have interviewed the organisers of the show. Carina Bauer, IMEX Group's CEO has answered all our doubts and gives us some advice on how to enjoy this important meeting of the industry.
IMEX Frankfurt is the most important meeting and incentive travel sector trade show in Germany. What stands out IMEX above other similar fairs?
Our hallmark Hosted Buyer Programme, which our founder and Chairman – Ray Bloom - pioneered 30 years ago, enables qualified meeting and incentive travel buyers to attend the show and do business with suppliers from around the world in a fun and efficient environment. Buyers can tailor the Hosted Buyer Programme to suit their needs with the flexibility to choose the people they want to meet with and enable time to network and attend education sessions. We regularly receive feedback from hosted buyers saying how invaluable IMEX is to them: three days of face-to-face meetings gets their event planning underway and saves them an incredible amount of time.
Our high-quality education programme is free to attend and very comprehensive with over 180 education sessions covering topics such as Business Skills, Creative Learning, Sustainability, Technology and Marketing.
IMEX also has unique features including events dedicated to specific sectors of the meetings and events industry such as Exclusively Corporate @IMEX for corporate meeting and event planners; and Association Day exclusively for association executives.
We see IMEX as integral to the meetings and incentive travel industry and as such run programmes throughout the year with the aim of supporting and developing the sector. One such programme is the Politicians Forum which brings together the meetings and event sector with governments from around the world to promote the valuable contribution that our industry makes to economic development and business tourism. We’re also dedicated to supporting and developing up-and-coming talent through our international series of Future Leaders Forums that run in 13 countries around the world.
Finally, IMEX has a broad range of industry partnerships including a Strategic Partnership with the GCB German Convention Bureau. IMEX is endorsed by DMAI, ICCA and Site; is a major partner and sponsor of MPI; has an Industry Partnership with PCMA and is an AIPC Corporate Partner. In addition, IMEX has close ties with every major industry trade association, including ASAE, CIC, ISES and JMIC.
Who can attend the show?
Buyers are invited to attend IMEX in Frankfurt as a visitor or as part of our hallmark Hosted Buyer programme. IMEX welcomes buyers who are responsible for making or influencing the buying decisions or organising a range of meetings, events, conferences, exhibitions and incentive travel programmes around the world.
These buyers come from international or European institutes and professional associations; international corporations; as well as a variety of agencies including association management companies, incentive, business and conference travel agencies and sales and promotion agencies.
Will we see novelties on 2016's edition?
We are constantly innovating and developing the show in line with feedback from our buyers and exhibitors. With 3,500 exhibitors from more than 150 countries together with over 180 education sessions, this year’s show has plenty to offer.
Buyers can meet new exhibitors such as Sardinia, Catalunya Convention Bureau, Wyndham Hotels, Condor Airlines, Variety Cruises and ESA Central & South America DMC. Amongst our 400 plus hosted buyer groups, are more than 20 new groups from around the world. These include buyers from the USA, Poland, China, South Africa and South America.
PCMA (Professional Congress Management Association) is bringing its prestigious Business School to Europe for the first time alongside IMEX in Frankfurt. Hosted by Congress Center Messe Frankfurt, this free of charge programme is open to all and offers executives the chance to develop core business skills and learn from an MBA level professor.
Visitors can also experience a fresh approach to meeting planning at the Play Room, another new feature at IMEX in Frankfurt, which hosts interactive, hands-on ‘quirkshops’. And attendees can re-energise between appointments via meditation and yoga sessions in the new Be Well Lounge, brought to you by InnerSense and supported by Weichlein Tours + Incentives and Munich Convention Bureau.