GERMANY – IMEX 2012: signs strong for a great show to mark anniversary year

Continued strong interest from buyers across Europe and the emerging economies of Brazil, China and India is fuelling demand for places on the sought-after IMEX in Frankfurt hosted buyer programme. The tenth edition of the event will take place 22 -24 May at Messe Frankfurt. Exhibitor numbers are set to match or exceed 2011, and organisers have taken a new approach to the show’s education programme.
As a result of a positive knock-on effect from IMEX America, IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom has also confirmed that several new US intermediaries will be bringing their key clients to the Frankfurt trade show for the first time. Despite a challenging past year for many European countries, demand from European buyers also remains high. With over 20 new hosted buyer groups being added, the hosted buyer programme is on target to beat all previous records.

Plans are also in place to attract more corporate buyers to the show through a new Executive Meeting Forum for C-level buyers; many of whom, although influential in buying and budgetary decisions, do not usually attend industry exhibitions and events.

Exhibitor interest has been healthy, especially among the anticipated 50 hotel groups, boosted by larger stands from many of the major groups including Fairmont Hotels, Starwood and Kempinski. ATA Hotels will be taking a stand for the first time, whilst Best Western are returning to the show with their own stand.

Demand for space from across the world is also extremely strong with a broad sweep of destinations increasing their presence at IMEX in Frankfurt including Boston, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, Moscow, Paris, Slovakia, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Meanwhile, Visit Pittsburgh makes a welcome return to the show.

This tenth anniversary of the award-winning trade show, will also see a reworking of its hallmark Association Day for association meeting planners. Three new education tracks – ‘Executive’, ‘Operations’ and ‘Meetings’ plus crowd-sourced discussion topics and ‘Ask the Expert’ clinics have all been introduced to give participants more choice plus extra time to take part in more sessions throughout the day. The provisional Association Day programme is now online. 

The IMEX in Frankfurt education programme is also set to provide over 100 different seminars, workshops and learning opportunities. 2012 education tracks will include marketing communication, Apps, health, sustainability and social media plus a new ‘visionary events’ series.

Among the impressive speaker line-up for 2012 are: Martin Suiter, business consultant, who will talk about “Using sport and tourism to push your brand”; Michael Luehrs, Sustainability Services Manager at MCI, who will present on “Engaging stakeholders for change”; Charlie Banks of Positive Impact who will address “The business case for implementing sustainability” and Johanna Fischer, Managing Director of tmf dialogmarketing GmbH, who will present on “Social Media in the Meetings Industry – what exactly do we need it for?”. In addition, David Bancroft-Turner, Managing Director of The Academy for Political Intelligence will run a session on “Political intelligence – How to use positive organisational politics to get results.”