IMEX in Frankfurt this year clearly highlights how inspiring innovations, energizing experiences and solid resilience are driving continuing business growth in the industry.
At the opening ceremony of the 16th Frankfurt show continues until May 17. Attendees can visit more than 40 new stands from all continents including the Russian Convention Bureau, the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Ras Al Khaimah, Azerbaijan, the Lebanon Ministry of Tourism and Leading Hotels of the World. The technology area has more new exhibitors including Bravura Technologies on the Tech Pavilion and Event Tech Tribe and a new Tech Café offering product demos and presentations.
The 50 plus exhibitors — a quarter of those returning — who have invested in larger stands include Choose Chicago, Brand USA, the Mexico Tourism Board, the Polish Tourist Organization, Meet Puerto Rico, Visit Britain, Pro Colombia, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Accor Hotels and the German Convention Bureau.
Many of the eye-catching and innovative new initiatives are in Hall 9 separate to the show floor. There, a learning zone has been created with the Inspiration Hub, home to the show’s 250 plus education sessions. The most sensational innovations are the ‘SkyLab’, the chance to experience a meeting in mid-air and in the ‘Dark Lab’, where educational sessions are run in total darkness.
At the IMEX opening ceremony, Gloria Guevara Manzo, president & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) was the keynote speaker. She said that growth prospects for the travel and tourism sector worldwide were good with a golden age ahead but, to fulfill this potential the industry faced three challenges; that the growth must be sustainable; that the industry had to improve the way it handled crises, both man-made and natural; and security. In addressing these challenges Gloria highlighted the importance of partnerships between private and public organizations and the opportunity for the greater use of biometrics for safety and efficiency.
The second EduMonday delivered a full conference program in addition to new events for specific interest groups including Rising Talent for young professionals, an Agency Directors Forum and She Means Business. These events, together with existing high level programs such as Association Day, Exclusively Corporate and PCMA’s Business School, mean that there is more value than ever for all sectors of the industry at IMEX this week.
The 100+ corporate event planners at Exclusively Corporate heard keynotes by Amy Brown, head of creative strategy at Google; Rena Lindell, head of sponsorships at LinkedIn; Amanda Whitlock, EY’s director of global strategic events and Martin Enault, chief operating officer of C2; while the new program at Association Day, hosted at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel, had been structured into three streams following extensive market research. The latest PCMA Business School was led by Adam Kingl of the London Business School who explained how to use the principles of strategic innovation to disrupt existing business models.