Imex reaches target for Declaration of Support
FOLLOWING the signing of the Imex Declaration of Support for the meetings and events industry by the president of the Istanbul chamber of commerce, the Imex Group has reached its first phase target of 100 signatories for the advocacy document.Shortly after Ibrahim Çağlar signed the declaration during the MPI European Meetings & Events Conference at the Halic Congress Centre in Istanbul, Dr Gerhard Rusch, City Councillor for Tourism, Graz, also put his name to the declaration, bringing the current total to 101 names as of mid-April. Other positive outcomes from Imex’s political advocacy efforts include Azerbaijan exhibiting at the show for the first time. This follows the attendance of the Azerbaijani director of the department of foreign tourism, ministry of culture and tourism, Fikret Mammadov, at last year’s politicians’ forum.This year an Azerbaijani delegation will be led by the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr Dr Nazim Samadov, who will attend the Politicians Forum, and Florian Sengstshmid, Managing Director of the newly formed Azerbaijan Convention Bureau.Talking about their participation in Imex, Samadov states: “The Azerbaijan Convention Bureau (AzCB) is the lead agency for promotion of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) activities and has the mandate from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to implement the strategy for Mice development in Azerbaijan.”States Ray Bloom, chairman of the Imex Group: “Achieving full-scale global understanding of the true benefits of the meetings sector is clearly a long-term task. However, when we see visible advancements, such as the politicians and dignitaries who have signed the declaration to date, together with the participation of the Azerbaijani delegation at this year’s show, our joint progress becomes real. It also provides further encouragement and focus for the work that lies ahead.”Speaking as one of the leading industry associations that actively support the Politicians Forum, Arnaldo Nardone, president of International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), added: “I urge all ICCA colleagues who want to positively influence their government officials and politicians to sign up and participate in the Politicians Forum by bringing influential individuals to Frankfurt in May.” This year’s Imex Politicians Forum takes place on 20 May at the Villa Kennedy. The day’s programme will include a ‘Global Exchange of Best Practice’ session with a case study by Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners.