Imex Frankfurt empowers planners

Imex Frankfurt readies to welcome 3,000 buyers over May 23 to 25

With 3,000 buyers registered so far, buyer demand for Imex Frankfurt in May continues to track upwards. This is a clear indication of the industry’s appetite to come together at the show, taking place May 23 to 25, to address challenges and build forwards.

The wide variety of suppliers lined up to exhibit span the world and include: Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Croatia; North & South America – Peru along with Boston and Georgia (both of which are increasing their presence); Asia – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia.

Sarawak, the largest of Malaysia’s 13 states, will have its own stand for the first time and will also be joined by the region’s tourism minister. Hotel groups Accor, IHG Hotels & Resorts, NH Hotels and Radisson are among the exhibitors expanding their presence along with destinations - Boston, Georgia, Los Cabos and Morocco.

Despite bumpy economic headwinds, demand for in-person events is strong and many parts of the global market have responded with investment in refurbishments, new properties, product innovations, new technologies and enhanced attendee experiences. IMEX Frankfurt will be the stage for several important announcements including Cairns Convention Centre, which is set to re-open this spring following a major refurbishment and expansion. The Asia Convention Alliance will hold their inaugural event during IMEX while Cvent are among several suppliers presenting new research.

Education programming centres on IMEX’s 2023 Talking Point – ‘Human Nature’ – which gives attendees the chance to learn and embrace skills such as public speaking, experiential design, emotional intelligence as a leadership skill, focused attention and more. IMEX Frankfurt 2023 also makes allowance for sessions of evergreen interest including contract negotiations, talent acquisition and management, incentive programming and food and beverage planning.

An extensive, free programme of 150 educational and networking events starts with education for specialist audiences the day before the show, on Monday 22 May, followed by six tracks of general learning that run Tuesday to Thursday on the show floor’s Inspiration Hub.

1. Technology and innovation: Here attendees can delve into new technologies or learn how to increase their use and variety of technology to enhance, measure and improve their events. At the More than Experience Lab, DRPG and Maritz will offer up-to-the-minute tech-focused, design-thinking sessions.

2. Trends and research: Industry-leading organisations and associations – including SITE, EIC, MMGY and AMEX – are set to release new or updated research and offer guidance on what it means for the future of events. 

3. People and planet: IMEX’s People & Planet Village is home to best practice, activations and advice from those at the forefront of sustainability.  Education and discovery sessions include a close look at UN Sustainable Development Goal no 6 – water - plus a panel on which Mariela McIlwraith from Meeting Change examines the future of air travel with aerospace experts.

4. Business practices:  Planners currently need fresh insights and ideas for navigating change including how to manage inflationary pressures, attract new talent and motivate remote teams. According to Eszter Mattiassich-Aszody from Siemens Healthineers and international crisis leader Thomas Lahnthaler, these leadership and life lessons can come from surprising sources, such as children. Eszter explains: ““It’s interesting to observe the sheer flexibility of their minds....there are no barriers.”

5. Experience design: Creating an enduring sense of belonging or engaging a dispersed community ranks high on list for many event planners.  In his case study presentation, Brian Allan, founder of Rock Your Business, will reveal what it took to bring together Ukrainian refugee children through his Choral Singing Workshops. To date he has conducted workshops for over 10,000 children to raise funds to open weekend centres around Poland where children can receive musical therapy via choir and music workshops.

6. Event marketing: “We live in a neuroscience-based world where understanding the values participants bring to an event can power its success,” says David Allison. Allison will be joined by Google’s Megan Henshall and founder of Storycraft Lab, Naomi Clare, in How to measure and manifest belonging for events ; A collaboration between Valuegraphics and the Google Experience Institute (Xi).

“While doing business and powering industry growth sit at the heart of our forthcoming show, IMEX Frankfurt is designed to deliver an enriching, broad experience that ripples further than the eye can see. We recognise that creating experiences, not events, is more important than ever and that people in our global industry also want to feel connected, revived and re-inspired. We’re happy to lead the way and play our part,” sums up Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

IMEX Frankfurt evolves every year, and this latest edition is no exception. This time around, however, attendees can expect a few surprises - the IMEX Group is set for change, with details to be revealed onsite.