Countdown to business started yesterday – IMEX 2010 opened with intent
Wednesday 26, May 2010
IMEX opened its doors yesterday to an anticipated 3800 hosted buyers from across Europe and long-haul markets including North America, Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa, India, the Middle East and Asia plus many thousands of trade visitors from around the world. All will have the opportunity to meet and do business with 3500 different exhibitors from over 150 countries.
Now in its eighth year, the award-winning trade show for the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry has developed its hosted buyer programme over the last 12 months with the result that more hosted buyers will stay for three full days. According to IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, “This means that buyers will be spending even more time on the show floor, meeting exhibitors and doing business which, after all, is the number one objective for everyone here this week. We are also delighted to welcome 45 brand new hosted buyer groups to the show this year, including a marked increase of buyers from the emerging markets of China, India and Brazil.”
As well as welcoming 38 brand new stands to the exhibition; another 62 established exhibitors have increased their stand sizes since last year including eight hotel groups.
Demand from Asian exhibitors has also been particularly strong with Sri Lanka, Seoul, India, Korea, China, Malaysia, Macau, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan all set to make an impact with larger stands.
Several cruise companies are among the new exhibitors including Transocean and Business on Cruise. Madrid and Poznan - a previous IMEX Wild Card winner - are taking their own stands for the first time. Also new from the private sector are Meeting Point International, Showcare, DMC4EU, Green Globe Tourism, Kenes Group and Business Travel Group.
The IMEX New Vision programme continues to set ever higher standards for the variety, quality and scope of its English and German seminars. This year a total of 82 seminars, presentations and workshops are on offer. The Professional Development and Innovation Pavilion, sponsored by the Convention Industry Council provides an excellent platform for drop-in sessions on the show floor. Highlights include a session based on New York Times’ best-selling book – “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything” and first phase findings from Convention 2020, a new piece of global market research that examines how the international meetings and conventions market will change in the next 10 years.
Last year IMEX launched Meetings Under the Microscope to help meeting planners look beyond the logistics of meetings and events planning. This programme has now been expanded with case studies and education sessions. Highlights include “Getting into the mood to meet: Meetings Mindset” by Jon Bradshaw, founder of Equinox Motivation and IMEX Business Development Director, and “Return on Expectations – Lessons from Einstein”, which will be presented by Jeremy Cassell and Tom Bird, of Performance Improvement Consultancy RTP.
Short ‘power’ sessions on the Corporate Responsibility Centre, which is ‘powered by GMIC’ (Green Meeting Industry Council) are also new. These are designed to meet increased demand for green education and will offer case studies from previous award winners and guidance on ‘how to go green’. Also new this year are ‘energiser’ sessions offering daily rejuvenation through guided mediation, yoga and breathing exercises.
Importance of political pressure
The IMEX Politicians Forum welcomes keynote speakers Hein Verbruggen, President of SportAccord and Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee; the Honorary Bruce Baird, MP, Australia and Samuel Koo, President and CEO of Seoul Tourism Organisation. 29 politicians from Sweden, Poland, Croatia, Denmark, Serbia and France among others will be attending the Forum which takes place at The Westin Hotel, today. The Politicians Forum has become one of IMEX’s most influential New Vision initiatives, as evidenced by the number of destinations that have benefited from new funding or support as a result of bringing their politician to the show to increase their understanding of the market.
20 corporate buyers will also be attending the IMEX Meetings for Success forum tomorrow. Launched last year, Meetings for Success aims to support corporate buyers in their efforts to communicate the true value of meetings and events to stakeholders and board members.
This week’s Future Leaders Forum (FLF) is one of 14 such forums taking place around the globe in partnership with MPI this year, which now includes internships and an International University Challenge competition. 110 students will attend a full day of Forum activities on Thursday 27th May.
The IMEX Wild Card scheme continues to attract exciting new destinations eager to launch onto the global market. This year IMEX welcomes three winners: Morzine in France; Uganda and the Hof Conference and Cultural Center from Iceland. Each will be exhibiting on the dedicated Wild Card Pavilion.
New Green Team
IMEX continues its commitment to waste reduction with the launch of a new ‘Green Team’ ribbon scheme which incentivises exhibitors to reduce waste on their stands. In addition, the IMEX Green Awards publicly acknowledge those planners and suppliers who plan and procure with environmental protection in mind. A total of 14 Awards, including the IMEX Academy, IMEX Green and JMIC Unity Awards, will be made at the show’s annual Gala Dinner tomorrow night (Wednesday 26th May).
Talking about the impact of IMEX this year, Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman, explains, “Two important events took place to mark the unofficial opening of the show yesterday. For the first time Site Nite Europe was held in Frankfurt and more than 100 buyers met with hundreds of industry professionals for a reception supporting the work of the Site International Foundation. Another 800 professionals gathered for the Association Evening networking reception. Association Day itself attracted almost 300 buyers from the global association market. It is clear that the power of IMEX now extends far beyond the show floor during show hours. Business is done, contacts are made and partnerships are built during the many dozens of other programmes and events held across the city during the week. IMEX now commands a huge industry presence. It has never been more comprehensive or more necessary for business.”
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