Growth in technology and hands-on tech

Imex Frankfurt returns this year from May 16 to 18, and yet again sets a record for the largest show to date, with a 10 per cent increase in space from Africa and Asia and a 9.5 per cent increase from USA and Canada

A comprehensive programme of free education runs across all three days of the trade show, combined with its brand new EduMonday on May 15

Yet again setting a record for the largest show to date, Imex Frankfurt is showing a 10 per cent increase in space taken by exhibitors from Africa and Asia and a 9.5 per cent increase from the USA and Canada.

On the show floor, IMEX’s dedicated technology area will be the largest to date with growth of 15 per cent - with many new exhibitors reflecting the show’s increasing focus on event technology companies. At the heart of the technology section will be the TECHknowledge Area, powered by The Meeting Pool, offering the chance to touch, test and try the latest gadgets such as wearables and virtual reality.

New exhibitors for 2017 include Moldova Tourism, Meet Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kyoto Convention Bureau, Jeju Province and Choose Chicago. Exhibitors with expanded stands include Tourism New Zealand, Shanghai, Korea, London & Partners, Spain, Rocco Forte Hotels, Guatemala, Panama, Uruguay and NYC.

Research carried out for Imex by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) last autumn quantified the untapped potential of technology. It surmised that 92 per cent of meeting planners think they are not making the most of technology solutions.

“So many of the benefits that technology can bring to our industry are still untapped potential; we want to help event planners to see and understand what technology can do for them,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group.

Putting that policy into practice, at Imex in Frankfurt this year, the range of opportunities for event planners to try out and learn about event technology is greater than ever, so too the range of technology providers at show.

Bauer continues: “Technology is one of the five key elements in creating Purposeful Meetings, our talking point for this year. It is vital to the advancement of the meetings industry which we support wholeheartedly. But, taken as a whole, it can be confusing.” By having technology demonstrated by experts face to face and giving people the chance to get to grips with it will be the highlight of the Imex experience this year.

As part of its commitment to finding new ways to help audiences access and understand new technologies, Imex has partnered with Berlin based start-ups ZEUS who will run their EventTech Academy as part of the show’s new EduMonday programme.

Tech experts and entrepreneurs will share personal and engaging insights into event technology today and anticipated tech trends over the next five years. The sessions will take place on EduMonday and throughout the show in English and German.

On the show floor, the technology area is the largest to date with many new exhibitors. The sector’s leading businesses will be there with new products and services, many with larger stand space this year. The choice of potential suppliers is vast and covers every need and they feature innovative ideas using, for instance, hologram technology.

At the heart of the technology section of the show floor will be the TECHknowledge Area, powered by The Meeting Pool. It is dedicated to helping buyers with advice and honest opinions from experts about the right tech for an event and offering the chance to touch, test and try the latest gadgets such as wearables, Virtual Reality and more.

Throughout the show there will be 15-minute TECHbyte mini sessions with tips, tricks and time for personalised questions. More information is available here.

Imex in Frankfurt has also created an initiative to help buyers sample a cross-section of technology solutions at the show through EventTech Tours. Participants will receive a guided tour of a variety of exhibitors during the hour-long tours, which run throughout the show and are in both English and German.

#Imexpitch: Each year the #Imexpitch gives Imex visitors the chance to see various technology start-ups compete for audience attention and votes. This year’s line-up will include technologies dedicated to business networking, streamlining travel, audience interaction, crowdsourcing of content and the better and faster use of data through AI.

The finalists are Fly Another Day; Spacebase; Feathr; SharedXP; and Showpiper.

Each company has five minutes to put forward its product, including the concept, features and unique selling points, to a live audience. The winner, chosen by an expert judging panel, receives free exhibition space at the following year’s show.