The show which opened today is packed with opportunities to do business, find new suppliers and prospects, to learn about the latest trends and meet industry colleagues from across the world.
With 3,500 exhibiting companies representing 150 countries, 400+ exhibitor networking events and with over 180 education sessions, the scope for business and learning is greater than ever.
There are 42 new stands and hundreds of new exhibitors at the show this year covering all corners of the globe including Aruba, Catalunya, Guatemala, Kenya, Montenegro, Romania and Sardinia. The growth of technology within the industry is reflected in a 12 per cent growth at IMEX 2016 with Catchbox, Convertio, Digivents and Fielddrive among new exhibitors.
50 established exhibitors have increased their stands including Brand USA, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Qatar and Serbia. Hotels are again well represented at IMEX 2016 with Wyndham Hotels returning to the show and Hilton, Preferred, Titanic and Trump Hotels taking larger stands. The cruise lines area has doubled with Buy the Sea, 3D Cruise Partners and Variety Cruises exhibiting for the first time this year.
More hosted buyer groups
Demand from buyers worldwide continues to grow. More than 20 new hosted buyer groups are attending the show from China, Latin America, the USA and Poland among many. A group of International Special Events Society members from across the globe are also visiting prior to their Global Event Summit in Scotland.
Many buyers will be spending significantly more time on the show floor as a result of two new initiatives this year. While all buyers can now enter the show at 0945 and group appointments now start later and finish earlier, many European hosted buyers have also opted to be at the show for an extra day by choosing the new two night programme which is already available to long-haul hosted buyers.
On the show floor on opening day are also more than 300 international association representatives following the highly successful IMEX Association Day & Evening on Monday, as well as nearly 90 corporate sector buyers who took part in the annual Exclusively Corporate @IMEX event and who together control budgets in the region of US$200 million.
More than 40 politicians and policy makers from around the world including ministers are visiting the exhibition before taking part, with 80 industry leaders, in the 14th annual IMEX Politicians Forum. The main theme is building and sustaining a successful meetings industry with keynote speaker the Hon Minister Stuart Ayres, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events for New South Wales. ￼
At the Opening Ceremony, keynote speaker David DuBois, President & CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and Immediate Past Chair of Convention Industry Council, highlighted the worldwide impact of the meetings and events industry on the economy and overall marketplace beyond tourism.
In a powerful and engaging speech he said: “The business events industry provides the catalyst for transitioning towards a knowledge and creative society. Indeed governments themselves acknowledge that it takes a meeting or a summit to solve global issues and to avoid catastrophe… and when scientists, medics and technologists meet, they too change the world.” ￼
The IMEX educational programme, based at the Inspiration Hub, will offer over 180 educational seminars and workshops covering ten different tracks to match every need. New this year is a series of short and snappy TED-style talks focused on ‘Trends and Future-Think’ brought by the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus. The Play Room (by Play With A Purpose) brings its interactive ‘quirkshops’ to IMEX in Frankfurt for the first time. Also on Monday, the successful first PCMA Business School in Europe was a new high-level addition to the range of education at the show.
The sharing economy is a hot topic at the show this year. To help all sectors of the global meetings and events industry understand the implications of this new business model better, it will be explored through several seminars including a panel session (9am, Wednesday 20th April) with sharing economy pioneers discussing 'How can we work with the new sharing economy?'
‘Business is Personal’ is a new theme to meet buyers’ own personal development and professional needs, with sessions on leadership skills, developing confidence and fostering strong connections. The show also reflects this with meditation and yoga sessions in the new Be Well Lounge (by InnerSense and supported by Weichlein Tours + Incentives and Munich Convention Bureau), and the IMEXrun early on Wednesday (7am) inspired by Rio de Janeiro.
Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group said: “There are countless opportunities for everyone to do business, learn or meet here this week. The thousands of exhibitors, buyers, press and other industry professionals here this week to make the most of these opportunities are testament to the strength, resilience and vibrancy of our important sector.”