Strong turnout for IMEX in Frankfurt 2011
Friday 11, February 2011
Another strong showing from the hotel sector, continued expansion of the hosted buyer programme and excellent exhibitor interest, including several new exhibitors, will combine to make this year's IMEX in Frankfurt another must-attend event on May 24 -26.
Exhibitor demand from across the world continues to be high. New exhibitors include Dragonfly Africa (DMC) and Oberoi Hotels with Costa Rica, the Lithuanian Tourism Association and Latvia all making a welcome return. Destinations that have increased their stand sizes for 2011 include: Thailand, Paris, Moscow, Hungary, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Further increases will be seen from many private sector companies including: Carat Tours, Turkey, Abercrombie & Kent, Allied International, World of DMCs and Team Andaluces. The Balearics, including Mallorca, will now exhibit on their own stand, independent of the main Spanish stand. New technology exhibitors will include Eventsforce and Showcare Event Management.
A strong turnout from the large international as well as smaller hotel groups will also be evident. Hyatt Hotels make a welcome return whilst Accor, Arosa, Concorde, Corinthia, Mandarin Oriental and Steigenberger Hotels have all increased their stand sizes.
With the launch of IMEX America having a positive effect on North American exhibitors eager to share in the proven business results that IMEX delivers, the US area of the show floor continues to expand and includes destinations across the country including: Arizona, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, Las Vegas, The Venetian/Palazzo, NYC and Company, the Washington DC Convention and Tourism Corporation, Greater Boston CVB and Texas Tourism.
2011 Wild Card Winners
Also new are this year's Wild Card Winners - three destinations that are new to the international meetings and conventions market. Each has demonstrated both the ambition and sufficient infrastructure to win a sought-after free exhibition place at the show. Exhibiting on the Wild Card Pavilion in 2011 will be Mongolia, Budva in Montenegro and Jurmala in Latvia.
Expanding hosted buyer programme
20 new groups of hosted buyers will be attending the show as a result of fresh partnerships with CWT Group, IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events), Ring Hotels, Select Group Marketing, SportAccord, SPIN - the Senior Planners Industry Network - and Smart Ideas Greece.
Carinho Hotels and Resorts, NH Hotels Czech Republic, Dolce Hotels Switzerland, Hilton Montreal, Incentive Destinations, Meetings in Europe, Starwood Hotels and Resorts UAE, Tour House Brazil and ALATUR are also confirmed as new participants in IMEX's expanding hosted buyer programme.
As part of its continuing effort to encourage continental hosted buyers to travel by train, a group of buyers will be travelling by fast train from Paris to Frankfurt. Those hosted buyers taking advantage of the many fam trips now being scheduled by European destinations before or immediately after the show can now book train travel direct with Deutsche Bahn to benefit from further travel discounts.
A record number of hosted buyers attended the show in 2010 - 3,870 - and this is likely to be exceeded in 2011. The IMEX hosted buyer programme is supported by strong partnerships with Starwood, Marriott and Intercontinental hotel groups, all of whom bring their top clients to the show and continue to make a discernible impact on the high quality and number of buyers who attend.
Association Day strength
The annual IMEX Association Day, which takes place the day before the show opens, is now firmly established as an unmissable education and networking event for up to 300 international and European association meeting buyers.
The day's education programme is co-ordinated by ICCA, with German language sessions organised by IMEX founding partners, the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and input from association management company, MCI.
Concurrent seminar topics for 2011 include: "Lessons from cutting-edge medical congresses" and "The impact of mobile apps and social media on associations and their meetings". German language sessions will cover "Turnaround management" and "Product development within associations." The evening networking reception for 800 or more association day delegates plus recognised IMEX exhibitors and suppliers will take place at The Westin Grand.
Market-led education programme
Offering over 80 sessions, this year's education programme at IMEX in Frankfurt will feature several brand new sessions and topics with many taking place on the CIC (Convention Industry Council) - sponsored Professional Development and Innovation Pavilion on the show floor.
Anne Hellman, Executive Director of SportAccord will talk about the enormous business scope provided by sporting federations around the globe. With 100 different sports holding well over 1,000 events internationally each year, she will guide her IMEX audience through the different bidding and funding arrangements they can expect to encounter when pitching for sports-related business.
A new Women's Leadership Forum will be also led by Liz Jackson, President of Jackson Consulting and Susan Sarfati, CEO of High Performance Strategies. Other seminars will include "Build your perfect events team" by George Sirius, CEO of Eventsforce Solutions. Event management consultant, Richard John, will present a personal and professional development seminar on "The success pie".
German language seminars will include a session from business advisor and mediator, Mathias Haas, who returns to IMEX by popular demand. 'Germany's most down to earth trend-watcher's' seminar for 2011 will be an examination of assumptions, proven facts and megatrends entitled "Knowing how the hare thinks".
New hot topic 'campfires'
A new addition to the IMEX education programme will be a series of hot topic 'campfires'. These 30 minute sessions will be available to just 10 or 12 visitors offering an intimate setting to discuss subject matter with experts and peers. Campfire sessions will offer fast-track introductions to fundamental business skills including the value of in-house PR, new cross-cultural approaches and managing online services. All will be delivered by experts in their field.
Another important part of the IMEX education programme will be the chance for participants to hear the latest findings from the next phase of the Convention 2020 research report by Fast Future Research. IMEX is a founding sponsor of this multi-phase and multi-partner global meetings industry research study.
The IMEX partnership with new performance company, Meetings Mindset®, will be highly visible to buyers, exhibitors and visitors before, during and after the show. The Meetings Mindset® team will aim to show that the right pre-show preparation and post-show processes can make a huge difference to an individual's productivity and business results. Onsite IMEX visitors will benefit from a series of multisensory experiences including tailored menus, lighting and room design intended to heighten performance.
Other New Vision elements will include the IMEX Politicians Forum, which will welcome 40 political representatives this year. Meetings for Success, which specifically supports the educational and networking needs of corporate meeting planners is also being expanded. Further details will be announced nearer the show.
In an effort to add further value to IMEX online, a series of 30-60 second training videos will be introduced on the IMEX website. These have been crafted to help exhibitors, buyers and intermediaries make the most of the many unique business improvement, marketing and communication tools available to them.
More new initiatives include an expanded partnership with online company, i-Meet, which will allow all registered exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors to use the international social networking portal to exchange contacts and network in advance of the exhibition.
Further environmentally focused innovations this year include 'Badge-Back Bins', which will be placed at all exit points so that IMEX's 100 per cent recyclable badges can be collected and recycled. A second new scheme - 'USBs: Share Your Spares' - will provide bins for IMEX participants to leave any surplus USB sticks for recycling through a schools distribution partner in India.
Looking ahead to IMEX in May, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom says: "This is a momentous year for IMEX. Not only do we have our ninth exhibition in Frankfurt looking as strong as ever, but IMEX America will also launch in Las Vegas in October. The fundamental ethos of IMEX in Frankfurt - that it exists to help buyers and exhibitors do business more efficiently than they could possibly do elsewhere or by any other means - has never changed. By concentrating on getting this aspect of the show right and by being determined to improve both value and service year on year for the benefit of everyone who attends we have built up a reputation for excellence and delivery. Once again, we are looking forward to delivering an excellent show come May."
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