Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group joins the conversation as the industry celebrates today the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), 12 April. “The global meetings industry has taken great strides forward since 2001 when we launched the IMEX concept and I became totally involved,” says Bauer.
“Looking back at the last decade I think there were four huge tipping points for the international meetings industry.”
Bauer sites these points as: globalisation; the emergence of various cities and regions around the world as knowledge or innovation hubs; meteoric rise of mobile technologies and the internet; and the TED factor.
“Not long ago news headlines were dominated by talk of BRICS and before that the big talking point was ‘the waking of the tiger’ as many Asian countries and especially China started to bring their full buying power and influence to the global marketplace.
“Now that we’re all operating in a more integrated market, buyers and sellers are faced with more innovation and more choice – but also more competition and more complexity.
“We have exhibitors from over 150 countries coming to IMEX in Frankfurt next month, including many from Africa, the Middle East and Central America who were not at the show in the early years,” Bauer notes.
2. Knowledge hubs
“These are places that have deliberately leveraged their local innovation economies to elevate their destination brands, developing new multi-partner coalitions and new attendee experiences in the process.
“Increasingly it’s been the local meetings industry businesses or partners who’ve kick-started that coalition effort,” comments Bauer.
3. Rise of mobile technologies and the internet
“In many ways the rise of the web and mobile technologies has ignited a new appreciation of what makes us human.
“Meetings and events are the ultimate expression of a human desire for shared experience; one that’s rooted in a single, distinct behaviour – gathering together in one place at one time,” says Bauer.
4. ‘TED factor’
“For anyone in the business of regularly delivering information or education, be it to B2B or consumer audiences, TED changed the game and the rules.
“Events such as SXSW in Austin, the me Convention in Frankfurt and C2 in Montreal (also on show at IMEX) demonstrate how event business models are being transformed before our very eyes. Smart Monday, powered by MPI, in Las Vegas and EduMonday prior to IMEX in Frankfurt were partly shaped and inspired by the ‘TED factor’.
“Looking ahead, there’s a new space in which events such as IMEX are now working. It’s defined by a kind of ‘super-convergence’ of business, technology, entertainment, academia and politics. The result? This is an incredibly exciting time to be in the meetings and events industry!”
IMEX in Frankfurt starts with EduMonday at Kap Europa Congress Centre on 14 May.