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Industry promotes healthy venues at IMEX Stand No. F350

The Scottish Exhibition + Conference Centre (SECC), IMEX and World Obesity underlined their collective support for healthy conferences at IMEX in Frankfurt yesterday.
Representatives of each organisation took to NextBikes, who are partnering with the SECC to offer free bikes to delegates at the venue, as part of its steps to becoming the first Healthy Venue Champion through World Obesity’s new accreditation scheme, currently being piloted ready for launch later this year.

One of the key themes of IMEX 2015 has been a focus on healthy delegations, highlighted through the event’s commitment to World Obesity’s Healthy Venues initiative.  Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX; Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales, SECC; and Chris Trimmer, Executive Director, World Obesity, were joined by representatives from the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, VisitScotland, MPI, PCMA, IAPCO and NextBikes.  

“Our partnership with NextBikes is the first of its kind in the industry, and one that is part of a wider commitment from the venue to promote healthy conferences,” commented Kathleen Warden, SECC. “We’re working closely with Chris and World Obesity to become the first Healthy Venue Champion and we hope others will follow us.”

”Each year in the United States alone, there are an estimated 225 million visitors to conventions, conferences, congress and other events. All too often these events are unhealthy affairs with healthy food and opportunities to exercise too hard to access,” commented Chris Trimmer, World Obesity.  

“With the new Healthy Venues scheme we want to minimise the negative health impacts of conference-going, and use the opportunity of people stepping outside of their routine to nudge them towards healthier choices by improving the health footprint (“healthprint”) of the venue,” continues Trimmer.  

Healthy Venues will look holistically at the attendee experience; from providing healthier food options, to encouraging more physical activity in and around the venue, with the health benefits being communicated to attendees. In addition to an improved healthprint in the venue, Healthy Venue Champions will provide all planners with some practical ideas on how to incorporate healthier behaviours into their programmes, thus engendering change from all angles.

“We are excited to be working closely with the SECC on their journey to become the first Healthy Venue and we support the excellent healthprint that they are building on their journey to Healthy Venue Champion,” concluded Chris Trimmer.    

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, added, “In order to achieve the most from a conference or event it’s essential for attendees to stay healthy and relaxed during their busy days on the show floor. Encouraging healthy conferences with activities such as this and our new wellbeing initiative - ‘Be Well at IMEX’ all helps attendees to stay on top form and re-energise between appointments.”  

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, commented: “Glasgow’s success can largely be attributed to its close city-wide relationships, a unique framework working in unison to achieve great results. The SECC’s new partnership with Nextbike is an innovative example of this and showcases Glasgow’s position as a forward-thinking, world-class conference destination which puts delegates at the heart of its conventions offering.”

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