IMEX 2004 pulls larger participation

Messe Frankfurt gets ready for IMEX 2004

MIDDLE Eastern destinations and hotels have significantly increased their exhibitor space at IMEX 2004, the Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events, incorporating Meetings Made in Germany, to be held at Messe Frankfurt, from May 12 to 14.

With an overall increase of over 25 per cent in exhibitor space, the event has considerably strengthened its international appeal in its second year.
Each of the ten new countries that have entered the European Union  on May 1 have chosen to exhibit at Messe Frankfurt, from May 12 to 14, and over 30 destinations have significantly increased their stand size this year. Among those notable for their increased space bookings are several Middle Eastern, African and European destinations including Dubai, Qatar, Oman, Portugal and South Africa. Asian representation, too, has increased with the Japan Convention Bureau represented for the first time, as well as the China National Tourist Office (CNTO), Brunei and Macau.
Hotel groups have demonstrated their confidence in the show by increasing their commitment. Over half the hotel groups who participated in 2003 have increased their stand space by an average of 50 per cent and include Raffles International, Four Seasons, Leading Hotels of the World and Concorde. A dozen further hotel groups will be participating for the first time at IMEX 2004.
Said IMEX chairman Ray Bloom, “The response to our inaugural show was overwhelming and demand from exhibitors for IMEX 2004 has exceeded all our expectations. The rapid growth shows that the exhibition has responded to a need from both exhibitors and buyers within the industry. During the past year, we have also worked hard to ensure that around 250 hosted buyers will attend from long-haul markets ensuring the truly ‘worldwide’ focus of the exhibition. We have also continued to develop our strong partnerships with the leading international industry associations such as ICCA, MPI and SITE.”
Demand for the hosted-buyer programme has been strong from around the world. A planned total of 2,750 carefully qualified decision-makers will fly and stay free of charge as guests of the organisers from well over 30 markets. These include around 10 per cent from long-haul destinations outside Western Europe such as the US, Canada, China, Australia, Mexico and the Middle East.
IMEX will also host the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Global Corporate Circle of Excellence meeting at IMEX. This exclusive grouping of senior corporate meeting professionals from around the world meet regularly to discuss strategic direction and policies on issues that they face on a day-to-day basis. The strategic partnership between IMEX and the German Convention Bureau (GCB) continues to deliver. Again the GCB will incorporate its ‘Meetings Made in Germany’ fair into IMEX and will host 150 different German exhibitors on its impressive stand.
More than 30 experienced industry training and education providers, including universities, hotel schools, associations and trade publications have signed up to participate in the new Professional Development Pavilion, sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu. This is complemented by the sponsorship Maritz are giving to the Performance Improvement Pavilion which will provide special guidance on how to boost executive productivity, personal motivation and the power of incentive programmes. Cross-cultural skills and issues of multi-culturalism will also be tackled by world expert Richard Lewis, who will be delivering a seminar at IMEX in conjunction with the MPI Multicultural Initiative.
Particular emphasis at IMEX continues to be placed on the encouragement of better business practice and on maximising demand during the show. At least 20,000 on-line appointments will be organised by buyers in advance of the show, including hundreds of group appointments.