Following sustained year-on-year growth since its inaugural exhibition, IMEX – the worldwide exhibition for the meetings and incentive travel industry – has today announced further growth for its 2008 exhibition with record numbers of exhibitors seeking bigger stands.
The hosted buyer programme is also expected to continue its worldwide expansion, due to significant increased demand. This expansion is supported by several years of steady, sustained growth in the global meetings industry, added to IMEX’s reputation for delivering new business opportunities each year.
The demand for increased exhibition space is across different territories and a variety of sectors. Spain, the Czech Republic, Malta, The Canaries, Argentina, Greece, Kuoni and Steigenberger Hotels are among those exhibitors who have already confirmed sizeable space increases for 2008.
New exhibitors confirmed include Capella Hotels & Resorts, GHM Hotels, China and the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau.
Explaining their decision to increase the size of their stand, Julia Hartmann, global sales support at The Steigenberger Hotel Group said, “We first exhibited at IMEX in 2005 and the show turned out to be a big success, so Steigenberger became a regular exhibitor. When all the Steigenberger brands came together to exhibit on one stand in 2007 the result was 650 client contacts with the potential for more than 2.5 million euros ($3.53 million) of business each year, a good reason to increase our IMEX stand 100 per cent.”
Continued growth of the reach and quality of the IMEX hosted buyer programme, which this year welcomed over 3,500 international buyers, including heightened demand for the long-haul programme from the US, Asia and Eastern Europe, appear to be among the reasons why exhibitors have responded so positively.
Said Ray Bloom, IMEX chairman, “Year on year we put an enormous effort into qualifying new buyers for our hosted programme to ensure that we maintain our high quality standards and deliver outstanding business opportunities for our exhibitors. This year in particular, the result of that focus has been a noticeably stronger appetite for increased space in 2008. This is also encouraging news for the wider meetings industry too. There’s a widespread buoyancy and eagerness to the market at the moment which is extremely rewarding to be a part of.”
The IMEX hosted buyer programme is also set to grow next year. It will be marked by a continued focus on all the main European markets with further expansion expected from across Eastern Europe. Buyer groups from North America, India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and the Middle East have already been confirmed.
IMEX 2008 will take place from April 22 to 24 in Hall 8, Messe Frankfurt, Germany.