Frankfurt. IMEX in Frankfurt opened earlier today in Hall 8 of Messe Frankfurt by announcing a rise in new exhibitor numbers plus a marked upswing in the number of pre-show appointments made between exhibitors and buyers. Over 30 new and returning stands are taking part in IMEX this year, including: Chile, Gibraltar, Memphis, Montenegro and Ukraine.
Opening ceremony emphasised political advocacy
At the IMEX Opening Ceremony, the continued importance of informed political advocacy was emphasised by IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom; a theme that was picked up in remarks by Philippe Fournier, President of JMIC. Speaking to a packed audience, including government ministers and other political representatives set to attend the day’s Politicians Forum, Fournier made the point: “It has always been clear that ours is an industry that strongly and quickly reflects the economic conditions around us. But over the past few years we have come to realise we need to spend more time and attention looking at the other side of this relationship – which is the fact that the strength and effectiveness of the meetings industry actually shapes the state of the economy over the long term.”
New CSR activity – Lunch with ‘Lichtblick’
Elsewhere in Frankfurt yesterday, IMEX showed its continuing commitment to CSR in the local community by organising for a group of IMEX delegates to help prepare and cook lunch for the homeless people living under the care of Sister Sigrid’s Lichtblick hostel. The lunch was sponsored by the Sheraton Frankfurt Congress Hotel, who provided all of the ingredients as well as one of their leading chefs to guide the team’s preparations and final results. IMEX intends to extend its CSR programme further next year with other opportunities for hands-on involvement in local community projects.
Education programme tops 150
The scale of the IMEX education programme has been increased again for 2013. Over 150 seminars, workshops, lightening learning labs (specifically for exhibitors) and informal, small-group ‘campfires’ will be taking place at various locations including the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Centre (sponsored by Poland), the App Bar, the Sustainability Hub and the Tech Tap.
New this year – and designed to address very specific issues currently facing the Germany meetings and events market – is a Compliance Clinic, powered by Veranstaltungsplaner.de (the Association of German Event Organisers). The German language Clinic will offer a wealth of advice on compliance issues, best practice and likely future developments. The Video Corner delivered by Abbit and IMR, and sponsored by London & Partners, has also been extended to allow the filmed interviews with industry experts to be staged and enjoyed by a live audience.
Launch of IMEXLive – remote window on the show
For those industry professionals not able to attend the show in person, IMEX has devised another first – IMEXLive. The new online platform (located on the IMEX in Frankfurt home page) provides remote access to a number of show activities, including video interviews and a webcam. It will also serve as the central hub for all the show’s Twitter feeds and online photo galleries. Sponsored by London & Partners (formerly Visit London), it has been developed by Netherlands-based HCIBS, who also run the @IMEXSocialTeam. This team of four social media experts offers free, hands-on help to visitors and exhibitors throughout the show in order to help them engage more fully and achieve their social media goals. The team is sponsored by Mexico.