Creativity and experiences were at the centre of content at the latest edition of IMEX in Frankfurt.
From new events at EduMonday to the spectacular and sensational Learning Labs and Live Zone, there were major initiatives and experiences throughout the 2018 IMEX Frankfurt show, extending the borders of the industry into new areas. In addition, new activities around legacy focussed minds on the industry’s future impact.
The result IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom described as “the most creative and spectacular IMEX yet”.
Organisers said almost 9,000 hosted buyers and visitors attended, making 68,000 appointments. Nearly three-quarters of these appointments had mini RFPs attached.
With technology a growing feature of the market, the show provided opportunities for buyers to ‘test-drive’ products in a new Tech Café. Innovations included the C2 SkyLab – the chance to experience a meeting in mid-air.
A Live Zone showcased live entertainment acts and activities.
Gloria Guevara Manzo delivered the keynote at the Opening Ceremony and spoke at the regenerated IMEX Policy Forum, where 30 policymakers met with industry leaders. They discussed 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.
Manzo said the top three challenges facing the travel and tourism sector in fulfilling outstanding growth potential were security, crisis preparedness and management and sustainability.
The Legacy Wall at the show sparked many reflective thoughts about the role of the industry. Exhibitors contributed more than 50 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% of the sessions were assigned with CEs for CMP certification.
EduMonday included three new events – Rising Talent for young professionals, She Means Business and the Agency Directors Forum.
At Exclusively Corporate, 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.
The annual IMEXrun (pictured) persuaded 400 people to get up early to run 5km around the city and the show’s Be Well Lounge gave visitors the opportunity to unwind for a moment during a hectic week.
At the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel 16 May, the Paul Flackett IMEX Academy Awards (newly named in tribute to the former IMEX managing director) recognised the outstanding contribution and professional legacy of three individuals to the global meetings and incentive travel industry.
This year’s roll-call celebrated:
• Alan Pini, chief operating officer at Friends Interactive srl
• Anja Loetscher, director at Geneva Convention Bureau
• Patrick Chen, deputy director International Tourism Promotion Department at Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration.
The IAPCO Innovation Award, meanwhile, was presented to Amber Chen, assistant vice-president at GIS, Taiwan, for her work in transforming a local neighbourhood into an ecomobile community and educating children on the benefits of ecomobility.
The Destinations International Global Ambassador Award, was presented to Turisme de Barcelona, and Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau, picked up the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Unity Award, for her social legacy work and for mentoring the development of young professionals.
Rising star Praeploy Petretti from Chiang Mai University in Thailand was presented with the MPI Foundation/Maritz Global Events Student Scholarship Award and Ben Goedegebuure, global general manager Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Maritz Global Events, was named PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year.