A bigger and better Imex set to open

The Association Day will once again bring together professionals from over 30 countries worldwide

THE 18th edition of Imex Frankfurt will open doors from May 21-23, 2013 at Messe Frankfurt with over 3,500 exhibitors representing 157 countries.

Speaking to TTN ahead of the show, Imex Group CEO, Carina Bauer said, “The continued expansion of airline networks in the Middle East region combined with on-going investment, especially in new hotel properties and conventions centres, means there is always a strong flow of new and interesting opportunities for meetings industry buyers to consider.

“When you combine that with the clear ambition demonstrated by many Middle Eastern countries to service the meetings and events industry to the highest standards, it appears the region has a winning formula.”

Similar to last year, the show will welcome 3,500 exhibitors representing 157 countries including national and regional tourist offices, convention and visitor bureaus, hotels, conference and exhibition centres, cruise lines, airlines, spa resorts, event management specialists and more are expected.

“This year around 4,000 hosted buyers from over 65 destinations are expected,” she added.

“We have around 150 exhibitors representing the Middle East including a diverse range from Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are exhibiting on larger stands this year whilst Dubai has completely redesigned its traditional stand and will be presenting a brand new look and feel,” said Bauer.

Some of the highlights at this year’s events include a new hosted buyer email service to help in the management of pre-show communications and appointments between exhibitors and buyers. An online exhibitor directory which is effectively the ‘shopfront’ for every organisation exhibiting has been updated including new social media, photo and video links which allow exhibitors to provide richer, more dynamic content to showcase their stands and specific industry offerings.


‘Exclusively Corporate @Imex’, is a new event based on the highly successful Imex Association Day model, delivering specialised education and networking for corporate meeting planners and executives. Exclusively Corporate @IMEX will be held at the Villa Kennedy and will start on the Sunday evening prior to the show with a networking dinner, followed by a full day of education tracks and networking.

Imex 2013 will offer more than 150 education sessions this year. All education is free of charge and is divided into different tracks to make planning and selection easier. The 2013 tracks are: Personal Development; Human Resources; Industry Trends & Research; Technology & Social Media; Sustainability; Marketing & Sales; Compliance and a general track. This year, the show has also responded to demand for more networking opportunities by establishing a new ‘Networking Hub’ on the show floor, which will be powered by Meetings Mindset.

A new German language seminar programme includes daily morning keynotes prior to the show plus workshops, campfires and seminars throughout the day focussed on a different topic each day: Compliance, Social Media and Personal Development.

Bauer added, “This year new long-haul hosted buyers include groups from India, North America, Korea, China, South Africa and Russia among others. We have seen interest levels from hosted buyer groups and individuals grow suggesting that the show is on target to meet or surpass last year’s figure of just under 4000 hosted buyers from 71 global markets.”

In terms of exhibitors, there is a strong demand with a diverse set of new exhibitors including Avianca Airline, Hard Rock Hotels, Kerzner International, Memphis, One World (Airline Alliance), Orient Express Hotels, Titanic Resorts & Hotels and World PCO Alliance. Larger stands include Abu Dhabi, Amiando, Bahrain, Visit Denmark, Estonian Convention Bureau, Moevenpick Hotels, Panama, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Qatar, Texas, Tourism New Zealand, Visit England and Warwick Hotels.

Held one day prior to the show, the Imex Association Day is exclusive to association meeting planners. The programme is designed by some of the global industry’s leading associations including ICCA, PCMA and ASAE: The Centre of Association Leadership.

“For the first time the theme is ‘innovation’ and education has been devised by association executives for association executives. Specialised educational tracks for executive, operations and meetings personnel allow delegates to select which education sessions to attend based on their different job roles and responsibilities,” added Bauer.

Findings from the latest Imex Power of 10 Report, called “The Big Picture – Reflections on the Last Decade and Factors Shaping the Future of the Global Meetings Industry,” revealed that: “A perfect storm of megatrends is combining to challenge every assumption and belief we have about how to succeed in global business.”

“The foresight report, which was conducted by Fast Future Research, states that “The industry needs to embrace value-chain thinking and collaboration to assert its identity, prove its true economic impact and position itself as a key enabler of the knowledge economy.” 

“To achieve this, it concludes that several issues demand urgent action: The need to demonstrate ROI to all stakeholders; providing more powerful delegate experiences; co-creating more innovative and effective formats for knowledge-sharing; further development in hybrid event design (and more tailoring to client needs) and providing better value for money to meet constantly rising participant expectations,” she concluded.