IMEX chairman Ray Bloom described the 2019 show in Frankfurt, which drew to a close on 23 May, as “an outstanding week of business, learning and experiences to stir the imagination”.
Bloom reported a high level of engagement between exhibitors and buyers, with 70,000 individual and group appointments, 72 per cent of which had a mini RFP attached.
The IMEX Chairman claimed the show as the largest ever IMEX, taking into account Hall 9. There had been approximately 4,500 exhibitors and 3,800 hosted buyers, although exact figures were still to be collated, he said.
Bloom was speaking at the end of show press conference and also announced a new date for the 2020 IMEX in Frankfurt. The 2020 edition will take place 12-14 May, so avoiding a ‘serious clash’ with newly changed dates of Arabian Travel Market designed to accommodate Ramadan. Bloom said he and his team had moved fast to speak to the venues and hotels and secure new dates to suit all parties.
EduMonday, on the day before the show proper, had transformed the show into a four-day event, Bloom noted, and attracted 1,100 participants.
IMEX CEO Carina Bauer picked that the experiences in the new Discovery Zone and fresh ideas in the Red Lab and the new technology as show stand outs.
“Imagination, the IMEX Talking Point for this year, is the force behind these ideas and behind the concepts in the Discovery Zone like the holographic show and the 360-degree photography booth which are truly mind-stretching experiences,” she said. “Collaborative waste reduction was one of the sessions of The Red Lab. This typifies the ideas challenging the industry to think about how it operates and give everyone fresh perspectives on key topics such as sustainability.”
The IMEX Policy Forum brought 35 political representatives and policy makers from national and regional government organisations worldwide. They were part of 130 participants in the forum who learnt from keynote speaker Dr Julie Grail how to put placemaking plans into action and shared experiences of how business events can act as a catalyst in developing inspiring locations.
Other show features included Exclusively Corporate which brought together 120 senior corporate event planners from companies including Allianz, Amazon, Bayer, Estee Lauder, Mastercard, Nestle Purina, Nokia and PepsiCo to exchange insights and hearing from speakers from the International Olympic Committee, Cisco, Microsoft and KPMG.
The IMEX week delivered 250 education sessions and 47 per cent of the speakers were women and 96 per cent of the sessions assigned with CEs for CMP certification.
The social side of the show include a 5km IMEXrun, Association Evening and SITE Nite, while the Gala Dinner saw major industry awards handed out.