Innovation and growth at IMEX 2008
ORGANISERS of IMEX report an increase in participation from all sectors of the industry and from across the world to this year’s show in Frankfurt held from April 22 to 24.
A rise in the number of hosted buyers and an increase in the number of key German decision makers expected, IMEX organisers are predicting the busiest and largest IMEX to date.
The demand for extra stand space has been high from both new and existing exhibitors with more than 60 exhibitors having already increased their presence.
Notable increases have been seen from across the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Japan, Macau and Singapore. From Eastern Europe, Bulgaria returns with a 76 per cent larger stand, while Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Slovakia are all increasing their presence.
Others increasing space come from Argentina, France, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, Malta, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Tunisia. Travel groups Hogg Robinson Group, Kuoni and TUI have all increased their presence by between 75 per cent – 120 per cent, with Emirates Airline also taking over a third more space.
US representation will also be higher with Las Vegas, Texas Tourism, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau joining established IMEX exhibitors New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City and Florida in a new centralised US quarter.
More than 450 hosted buyer groups are now confirmed for the exhibition, including many new groups from traditional European markets, plus long-haul markets of North America, the Middle East, Australia, China, Thailand and India.
A boost in the numbers of high quality North American planners is also expected as a result of the co-location of The European Meetings and Events Conference, delivered by MPI, which takes place in London on the weekend prior to IMEX. Working in close partnership with Visit London, ExCeL London and MPI; plus sponsors Hilton Hotels and Novotel, North American planners who are placing business internationally are being offered a one-off hosted buyer programme incorporating the conference in London and IMEX exhibition. Up to 50 such buyers are expected to attend.
Other developments for 2008 include a stronger focus on attracting more German buyers, and association meeting planners to IMEX. For the first time, IMEX’s strategic partner, the German Convention Bureau, will offer two new seminars specifically targeted at German association buyers on the first day of the show.