“Feedback from exhibitors and visitors has been encouraging and positive,” said IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom. “Plenty of business has been done and there are further promising opportunities.”
Ray Bloom continued, “Nearly 9,000 hosted buyers and visitors who came to participate and do business at this year’s show took part in over 62,000 individual appointments, stand presentations and group appointments. More than 50 per cent of appointments included an appointment profile or an RFP, increasing the effectiveness of these meetings. In particular hosted buyers have stayed at the show longer, with Thursday expected to be a particularly strong last day. An important factor in this is that, amongst the 3,900 plus hosted buyers attending, have been many new buyers from countries such as China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt and Israel at IMEX for the first time, making the highest ever number of long haul buyers to attend the show.”
Also, on the show floor, there were 55 new stands and 20% of returning exhibitors increased their space this year. In addition 70 major stands have invested substantially in completely new stand designs including exhibitors such as Portugal, Dubai and Australia.
Ray Bloom said. “This had a great impact in the hall and is clear testimony to their strong commitment and investment in the industry and in IMEX.”
Steen Jakobsen, Director, Dubai Business Events, said: “This year we invested in a new, larger stand design as the show is our best and most important platform for showcasing the Dubai brand and our partners.”
The latest developments to the IMEX education programme have also been well received by visitors particularly several of the creative and innovative sessions.
Highlighting Be Well at IMEX, a new health and wellbeing initiative across the show this year, Ray Bloom reported that, a notable feature of it, the first ever IMEXrun, sponsored by Rio and organised by sports by tlc, was oversubscribed with 250 people from 50 countries taking on the 5km street circuit.
At the Opening Ceremony, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company and a passionate advocate of the power and value of meetings delivered a powerful, engaging and memorable keynote speech. One of his striking comments was “Why do I think the meetings industry really matters? Not just because you get the message out, you inspire customers and drive business. You also matter because you create a network effect that is not just measured in numbers, but because of the people that you touch. You are truly changing the world."
Ray Bloom said: “It was a great compliment to the industry that Bill joined us this week at IMEX. We at IMEX, and our industry worldwide, greatly appreciate his continuing public acclamation of the valuable contribution that meetings and events make to business and economic growth. We could not have a better advocate for the industry.”
Exclusively [email protected], Association Day & Evening and the Politicians Forum continue to strengthen their growing reputations. 80 corporate buyers with a combined annual meetings and events spend of over $270 million, together with 300 association executives and a group of 40 politicians and government officials were evident on the show floor having taken part in these influential events.
Social media activity was also at an all-time high with an increase of over 40% in Twitter messages exchanged and a 17% increase in the number of contributors, while there was also a 150% year on year increase in Facebook posts. Looking ahead
Looking forward to 2016, Bloom announced that PCMA will be launching their Business School at IMEX in Frankfurt. This signature PCMA educational programme offers high-level education from business school professors and will take place on the day prior to the show – adding important additional value to the show for senior professionals.
Also in 2016, IMEX will partner with ISES (International Special Events Society) who will hold their first Global Summit on the weekend following the show. A group of senior corporate executives from the US and around the world will attend the IMEX exhibition as hosted buyers, followed by the Global Summit which will take place in Scotland.
At the closing press conference Ray Bloom also announced that, for 2016 only, IMEX in Frankfurt would move to April, taking place on 19 to 21 April.
Summing up, Ray Bloom said: “This has been another inspiring and productive week for thousands of buyers and exhibitors who have come to do business, network and learn here at IMEX. There are already exciting new features in place for 2016 and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to IMEX in Frankfurt next April.”