Frankfurt. IMEX 2010 came to a close at Messe Frankfurt today with IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, announcing that the award-winning show has once again set new records for hosted buyer numbers and countries represented. The past couple of years have challenged our industry on many fronts, not least economically, but I am delighted that both buyers and exhibitors have voted with their feet and turned up in greater numbers than ever to do business at IMEX this year,” said Bloom.
A record number of well over 3800 hosted buyers from more than 60 markets attended this year’s show, among a visitor total of nearly 9000. The mood amongst buyers and exhibitors was also positive and optimistic, with many reporting increases in levels of business and appointment numbers. A typical example was Nik Racic, Director of the Croatian Convention and Incentive Bureau who said on day two of IMEX: “We have 25 exhibitors on the Croatian stand and they are so far reporting 10 – 12 % more business than last year”.
Buyers from emerging markets were particularly evident at IMEX, demonstrating a new wave of buying power and interest that many exhibitors were pleased to see. Buyers from Brazil, Russia, India and China attended in larger numbers, with groups from Asia and the US also noticeably bigger than last year. Changes to hosted buyer itineraries for 2010 ensured that more of them stayed at the show for three full days and spent longer periods on the show floor with exhibitors. However, Bloom explained that IMEX will still continue to focus on developing European markets to maximise reach to buyers in the UK and on the continent in addition to the long haul markets.
The IMEX education programme also proved extremely successful this year. It was the biggest programme delivered to date, with 82 separate sessions, most of which were packed out. The majority take place outside of show hours so as not to cut across core business. “It is clear that people arrive at IMEX with a determination to get the most out of each day and that our education programme has now become a considerable asset and an important part of the value that IMEX delivers,” said Bloom. The new CSR Drop-In Power Sessions had been especially well-received he remarked.