A number of innovative new support services and education offerings, plus a rise in new hosted buyer groups and exhibitors will be some of the hallmarks of the IMEX in Frankfurt trade show, opening May 20th at Messe Frankfurt.
A new pre-show concierge service to help first-time hosted buyers get the most from their attendance at the show is being launched this month (March). It is one of several new ideas being introduced by the IMEX Group to increase business and networking value for buyers attending the trade show. Each new buyer will receive a telephone call from the IMEX concierge team giving them the opportunity to ask questions relating to travel, appointments with exhibitors, the education programme or other subjects.
Beyond the trade show format
In addition to a brand new IMEX App, delivered by QuickMobile; refinements to the IMEX portals and website plus live, preshow ‘how to’ webinars, IMEX now offers a wide choice of personalised support services for exhibitors, intermediaries, trade visitors and hosted buyers. These high quality, high-touch services build upon the core trade show format (which combines business, education and networking) with new opportunities to both increase and demonstrate return on investment.
New hosted buyer groups
20 new hosted buyer groups are confirmed to date and include groups from Travel Alberta, Hong Tourism Board and Energy Cities Alliance.
Among the 3500 exhibiting companies attending will be some exciting new exhibitors and destinations including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hong Kong, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Peru. Hotel groups are once again a growth area at IMEX with Club Med, Dorchester Collection, Falkensteiner Hotels, Great Hotels of the World, Le Hotels and Parc Hotels all attending as new exhibitors.
Several new educational and exhibitor hubs are being introduced on the show floor, allowing for allied or complementary exhibitors to be found in one place. Technology exhibitors will be located on a new Technology Pavilion; a new Meeting Design Hub will house specialised exhibitors and deliver education on all aspects of meeting design and a new Tech Hub will be introduced, following a successful trial at IMEX America in October. The Tech Hub will provide a quick and easy update on new technologies plus hands-on education sessions for a maximum of 30 people. The Sustainability Hub is modelled the same way for maximum convenience and ease of location, mixing ‘meet the expert’ opportunities with information and education sessions on one purpose-built stand.
New themed tours
Having trialled show tours in 2013, IMEX will now be offering German visitors a range of guided tours for 2014. The new IMEX tours allow German visitors to take part in an education session on a theme inspired by GCB Megatrends research. Following the session participants will be led on a guided tour of various stands on the same theme. The tours are designed to increase visitor knowledge and expand potential new business contacts.
Education remains strong pull
This year the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Centre – the main education theatre on the show floor – will provide a single site for all English and German language education, with the exception of daily GCB German keynotes which will take place each morning in Hall 9. The Inspiration Centre will also house a new Creativity Zone, Hot Topic Tables with moderated peer-to-peer conversations, plus a new Meet the Expert Clinic. As in previous years, the Centre will also be home to all IMEX 30-minute campfires, 45-minute seminars and the Research Pod.
All German language education, including the primary GCB-Seminartage programme, plus all English language sessions will be organised into six tracks for 2014: Trends and Research; Sustainability; Technology and Social Media; Risk Management and Compliance; Marketing and Communication and General Education. A new track – Business Skills – has been introduced to meet demand for education about the fundamentals of good business practice regardless of industry type.
As last year, Veranstaltungsplaner – the largest national association of corporate meeting planners in Germany – will also have a dedicated education and research clinic on the show floor.
New vision growth
IMEX’s hallmark Vision Initiatives continue to grow and add further value for all audiences attending. The programme for the preshow Association Day – with education designed to address association management challenges – is now live online. The event continues to provide professional education along three dedicated tracks, with an afternoon of concurrent sessions followed by new hot topic, facilitated group discussions and rounding off with an evening networking reception.
Final details for Exclusively Corporate @IMEX (also on Monday May 19), which provides an afternoon of private education and networking for corporate meeting planners and senior executives, are also being put into place. IMEX will announce full programme details, together with a well-known UK business entrepreneur as keynote, shortly. The event’s theme will be “Innovation and Creativity in an Era of Regulation and Compliance – the Challenge for Corporate Meeting Planners.”
IMEX recently announced two influential speakers for another of its Vision Initiatives – the 2014 Politicians Forum. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and David Scowsill, President & Chief Executive Officer of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are both confirmed speakers for this important annual advocacy event.