Record number of buyers from across the globe attend IMEX 2010

Friday 25, June 2010


Record number of buyers from across the globe attend IMEX 2010


Post-show figures issued today about IMEX 2010 show that the leading worldwide exhibition for the meetings, incentive travel and events industry achieved an increase in the number of long-haul buyers attending, including a significant number from emerging meetings markets.


The figures reveal that long-haul buyers made up nearly 25% of the overall buyer mix at IMEX, a rise of 10% compared to 2009. Eastern European buyers also rose from 11.5 per cent to 14 per cent of the total. Just over 60% of the buyers attended from the traditional and established European markets. The total number of visitors, which takes into account both hosted buyers and trade visitors, was 8,905.


US buyers make their mark

For the first time ever, buyers from the US represented the third highest proportion of hosted buyers (9.5 per cent) at the award-winning trade show. The increase is attributed to IMEX’s ongoing focus on developing strong relations with companies such as HelmsBriscoe and trade industry associations including MPI, DMAI, ASAE, PCMA and Site all of which have a strong US pedigree. The launch of IMEX America also appears to have benefited IMEX in Frankfurt. Anecdotal feedback from exhibitors suggests the launch of the new US show generated huge interest from the US market and encouraged buyers to come to Frankfurt to experience the unique IMEX business model for themselves. 


Simon Mills, Head of Business Visits and Events and Partner Marketing, Visit Britain, stated: “We’ve met with a huge variety of buyers from North America and Europe in particular. The opportunity to deal directly with the best buyers around really enables exhibitors to do some good business here.”


Similarly, Jan Wittouck, Executive Officer of the Belgium Convention Bureau commented: “The thing that has stood out for me in particular is the number of American buyers visiting our stand, and also the number of American buyers that I met at Association evening.”


Russian buyers were also more in evidence this year. Previously the show’s fifth largest buyer group, Russian buyers have moved up to fourth place and now represent 7.5 per cent of the total. Buyers from Brazil, China and India also attended in significant numbers for the first time. 


In total 3870 hosted buyers attended IMEX 2010 from 63 countries including long-haul destinations such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Syria, Thailand, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela among others. 


From the more established European markets German buyers accounted for 17 per cent of the total; UK 11 per cent; France 6 per cent; Italy 5.5 per cent; Switzerland 4 per cent; Spain and Belgium 3.5 per cent and the Netherlands 3 per cent.


The proportion of association meeting buyers also remained strong and rose slightly from 12 per cent in 2009 to 13 per cent this year. IMEX is unique in the meetings market in being able to deliver such a high proportion of qualified buyers from the global association market to the show, thanks in part to its dedicated pre-show Association Day & Evening. Of the remaining buyers, agencies accounted for 70 per cent and corporate clients 17 per cent. 


Commenting on the figures, Ray Bloom, IMEX Chairman, said: “I am delighted that our focus on attracting new buyers, especially from the US and strong emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Russia and India has been successful and welcomed by exhibitors. We continue to have a strong and purposeful vision for IMEX in Frankfurt and to develop partnerships with both existing and new intermediaries in Europe and around the world. I’m especially pleased that we can prove just how much business the show generates from all these buyers thanks to our unique, transparent and measurable online appointment and messaging tools.”


This year, online individual and group appointments rose to an unprecedented 57,000 – a rise of 14% on the previous year, with diary messages exchanged between buyers and exhibitors rising 9% to just over 12,000. These key indicators all point to the seriousness of the buyers at IMEX 2010 and underpin the key business drivers of the show.


Trade visitors (non-hosted) this year totalled 5,035 and represented 90 different countries. German visitors again dominated, accounting for 68 per cent whilst non-hosted UK visitors totalled 4.5 per cent. Visitors from the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Austria all accounted for 2 per cent each of the total. 


Once again 3,500 separate companies exhibited at IMEX, representing 157 countries. Further statistics can be found online at:



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