Creativity and experiences in the meetings and events sector took a great step forward at IMEX in Frankfurt (May 15-17).
From new events at EduMonday to the spectacular and sensational Learning Labs and Live Zone there were major new initiatives and experiences throughout the show, extending the borders of the industry into new areas. In addition, new activities around legacy focussed minds on the impact of the industry on the future.
The result was what IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom described as “the most creative and spectacular IMEX yet, generating vitality and energy throughout the show.”
“The imagination and vibrancy of the stand designs are highly impressive, so too the thought and effort that has gone into them. They represent substantial investment that gives a strong indication of the industry’s confidence and resilience.”
This confidence was also evident in the engagement between exhibitors and buyers at the show. Almost 9,000 hosted buyers and visitors attended IMEX 2018 and made 68,000 appointments. 74 percent of all buyer/exhibitor appointments had mini RFPs attached. Altogether the show created many thousands of opportunities to do business.
With technology a growing feature of the market and the show, IMEX has provided new opportunities for buyers to ask for independent guidance,‘test-drive’ technology products and see what companies have to offer by bringing this all together around the new Tech Café.
Eye-catching and sensational innovations
The eye-catching and sensational innovations in Hall 9 including the C2 SkyLab – the chance to experience a meeting in mid-air – and In the Dark Lab made a tremendous impact on buyers and exhibitors alike. The Labs were brought to the show by the IMEX Group’s new partner, the market leading business events specialists C2 International.
The Live Zone which showcased live entertainment acts and activities, and the new Co-working Campus by Zeus Event Tech are also the results of new partnerships with Best of Events, memo-media and Zeus.
Ray Bloom added: “We’re delighted to be working with our new partners and would like to thank them – and all our long-standing partners – for their valuable help and collaboration in truly enhancing the IMEX experience this week.”
Ray Bloom added that it had been an honour to have Gloria Guevara Manzo as keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony and that her eloquent, passionate, challenging speech had made a great impression on the audience.
Gloria also spoke at the newly regenerated IMEX Policy Forum where 30 policy makers met with many industry leaders. They discussed key issues such as globalisation, city resilience and legacy under the theme of ‘The Legacy of Positive Policy Making,’ a reflection of the IMEX 2018 Talking Point.
The new Legacy Wall, a focus for this Talking Point, sparked many reflective thoughts about the role of the industry. Exhibitors contributed more than 50 interesting case studies before the show with buyers adding their stories during the week.
Legacy was also explored for the first time in several of the 250 plus education sessions delivered by 168 speakers which took place in the Inspiration Hub. 84 per cent of the sessions were assigned with CEs for CMP certification.
The new initiatives started on EduMonday with three successful new events – Rising Talent for young professionals, She Means Business and the Agency Directors Forum. Along with the PCMA Business School, Exclusively Corporate and Association Day, these events provided more tailored content for more specific groups than ever.
Google, LinkedIn and EY among keynote speakers
At Exclusively Corporate, over 100 senior corporate event planners from companies such as Siemens, PwC, IKEA, L’Oreal, Hyundai and Bayer came together to hear keynotes speakers from Google, LinkedIn, EY and C2 and to exchange insights with their peers.
This week IMEX signed the PCMA Ascent CEO Promise, which asks CEOs to commit to embracing a culture of inclusiveness in their organisations and events and is also supporting the industry coalition against sexual harassment.
Health and wellbeing is always a priority at IMEX and the annual IMEXrun persuaded 400 people to get up early to run 5 kilometres around the city. The Be Well Lounge gave everyone the opportunity to unwind for a moment during a hectic week.
Making connections is a core element of IMEX and Association Evening, cim-clubbing (supporting the MPI Foundation) and the IMEX Gala Dinner were among 22 IMEX and partners events taking place during the show that brought the industry together.
Ray Bloom summed up saying; “The creative and experiential element of the show has gone so much further than we would have imagined a year ago.
“The new ideas, creativity, new experiences and events combined with all the business that has been done have made this a remarkable week for IMEX and this industry.”