Good business, satisfied buyers and exhibitors, and the feeling that something like normality has finally returned to life and the MICE industry: IMEX 2022 in Frankfurt am Main was just what the industry needed after a good two years of the COVID-pandemic.
"It was a great week for our global industry. There was a sense of togetherness and celebration at the show. And it felt good to be in the same room together again," concludes Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group.
This "feeling" is so important, she says, because this is precisely what the industry "thrives on and is motivated by." Just as important, of course, was the business, Carina Bauer was pleased about signings, about "some big contracts" and many more business deals.
Many inquiries and firm business deals
Frankfurt Fair is one of the former: it was able to land two unexpected orders on the very first day. This also confirmed the team's decision to have its own stand at IMEX for the first time ever. "This was my 17th IMEX and the best IMEX in years," said Christine Spitzenberg of Frankfurt Fair, pleased with the good organization and contracts signed.
Daniel Reid of the Shangri-La Group was also extremely satisfied. "Among others, we had six really requests from huge brands for big groups. These include Google, Herbalife and a major telecommunications company." The inquiries were from London, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Dubai – and he is very optimistic that good business will come from them, the Shangri-La manager said.
Optimistic outlook for the next few years
Everything points to 2023 and 2024 being very good years for the industry, he said. At the same time, the challenges of "a new business reality cannot be denied," Bauer pointed to labour shortages, travel disruptions and supply chain issues.
On the bright side, he said, planners are "by nature resourceful, adaptable and determined." And they - just like the industry as a whole - have learned a lot during the crisis, the IMEX boss stressed, adding, "I sense a strong determination to rebuild, albeit on new foundations. Suppliers are also doing their best to adapt and respond. We can be very optimistic about the future."
IMEX saw an excellent attendance of about 9,000 in the halls this week, including nearly 3,000 buyers, most of whom were hosts. The number of exhibiting companies was 2,300.