Imex 2011 closes on a high


THE ninth edition of Imex in Frankfurt closed on a high as chairman, Ray Bloom, announced new achievements and record outcomes for the exhibition that represents the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry.

He said: “We saw just under 3,900 European and long-haul hosted buyers in the halls this year; many were here for three full days with the intention of placing business. The total show attendance was almost 9,000. Results like these confirm that the Imex model works, and works extremely well for exhibitors and buyers. Both parties now appreciate the value of resources such as the diary and appointment system, the Imex app, with more than 1,200 downloads, and the website which allow them to extract maximum business benefit from their time at the show.”

The strength of this year’s hosted buyer programme was demonstrated by the presence of representatives from the major industry sectors including American Express, Citibank, Credit Suisse and Nomura International from finance and banking; Danone, Nestle and PepsiCo, from consumer products; Oracle, Cisco, SAP and Siemens from technology and, from the automobile sector, Volkswagen AG, Renault and Bugatti Automobiles. Management consultants too were present from Ernst & Young, KPMG and McKinsey. The show also saw buyers from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. A strong delegation of 300-plus buyers also attended the Association Day.

Bloom added: “This year more than 57,000 appointments were made between buyers and exhibitors, including a record number of individual appointments. The quality and breadth of our education programme has become an increasingly important part of the Imex experience and working alongside a variety of excellent partners and companies we were able to present more than 90 different educational events.”

He explained that several of the Imex New Vision initiatives had reached new heights this year highlighting the Imex Politicians Forum, which saw 25 politicians from 16 destinations meet to discuss the true business value of events with industry stakeholders and association directors. Political representatives from Germany, India, Sweden, Croatia, France, Greece, Mexico, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia and Slovenia attended.

Hyeon Ki Kim, chairman of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee of the Seoul Metropolitan Council said: “By attending the Imex Politicians Forum, I’ve gained a good impression of the meetings and events industry, how hard they are working to involve politicians and how important the industry is to the economy. When I return to Seoul I will help to locate the budget to develop the industry.”

Looking ahead, Bloom said plans for Imex America are going extremely well with the show set to be far larger than first anticipated when it gets underway on October 11 in Las Vegas.

2012 will mark the tenth anniversary of Imex in Frankfurt and Bloom announced that a new branding would soon be launched, plus additional marketing initiatives, particularly within the German market.

He said: “Throughout the year we will be marking the occasion with a number of entertaining as well as more serious activities, including a strong presence on social media. 2012 will also be the year of our next Imex Challenge corporate responsibility project, which I am pleased to announce will be held in Slovenia. We are also delighted that the Board of PCMA has recently sanctioned the launch of a new award - the PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year Award - which will be presented for the first time at next year’s Imex Gala Dinner.

“Next year is going to mark an important milestone for Imex and for the industry it supports and represents.”