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Trailblazers of tomorrow set to shine at IMEX in Frankfurt

Around 100 students from universities across eight countries worldwide are set to attend the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum at IMEX in Frankfurt this May. Designed to educate and support students studying meetings and conventions, tourism or hospitality, the Future Leaders Forum is held in 13 countries throughout the year, and the event at IMEX in Frankfurt is the largest of its kind.

Since its inception in 2003, the Future Leaders Forum has delivered many success stories such as Jason Zhang, now a Senior Account Manager at MCI Group in Shanghai and Paola Silk, Global Hospitality Leader at Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel and Suites.

The Forum provides budding meeting industry professionals with a packed educational programme including inspirational and interactive sessions from experts on key topics such as building business relationships and creating the right meetings environment. Students will also take part in the popular round table sessions with well-respected industry professionals from venues, convention bureaus, industry associations and agencies, as well as the opportunity to network and make valuable contacts.

The International University Challenge is set to be the highlight of the Future Leaders Forum at IMEX in Frankfurt. Taking place at selected Future Leaders Forums around the world, the winners of each Challenge are brought together at IMEX in Frankfurt to compete against each other, with the overall winner receiving the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award.

Irina Nikolayenko was the overall winner last year, receiving the MPI Foundation Student Scholarship Award. She explains: “My experience at the International University Challenge at IMEX was second to none. To be able to meet with experts sharing their experience in the industry and mix with fellow students – many of whom I’m still in touch with - was invaluable. I’m now sharing the benefit of that experience with other students, preparing them to take part in forthcoming International University Challenges.”

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group comments: “The Future Leader Forums are now well-established and widely respected by employers, for whom they provide a prime opportunity to identify and nurture the most passionate and talented students and interns. In collaboration with MPI and MCI, our goal is to support the development of the future generation of meeting and events industry professionals by delivering a programme of valuable insight and education. We look forward to meeting future trailblazers at IMEX in Frankfurt!”

The IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum is a year-round programme which is jointly run by IMEX, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and MCI. Final year students studying meetings and conventions, tourism or hospitality at university or college are invited to attend a Future Leaders Forum. Forums typically take place as part of a larger meetings industry conference or trade show in 12 or more locations around the world every year.

Over 110 Forums have taken place and around 6,500 students have passed through the programme since its launch in 2003. 90% of students surveyed have said they are "likely to enter the industry as a result of attending" a Forum.

Locations for 2015 include Brazil, Africa, Slovenia and China, including MPI’s WEC in San Francisco. The largest Forums take place during IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America in Las Vegas, with over 100 students participating in a two day programme.

The Future Leaders Forum programme was developed by IMEX in 2003 to encourage the best and brightest university and college students to plan for a career in the global meetings and events industry.

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