IMEX Closes with Market Optimism

International exhibition trade show IMEX 2008 closed last week against a "backdrop of sound business optimism throughout the global meetings industry."

In his closing ceremony speech, IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, explained that IMEX 2008 had been marked by a series of record-breaking highs, both on and off the show floor.

"An indication of the robust and healthy nature of the international meetings industry currently is that IMEX welcomed well over 8,500 buyers to Messe Frankfurt, of which more than 3,600 were hosted buyers—a far larger proportion of these being from long-haul markets than ever before. Adding to this positive picture is the fact that these buyers achieved over 40,000 pre-organized appointments over the last three days, of which more than 30,000 were made through the individual online appointment system," Bloom said.

A record number of planners and buyers also attended this year's Association Day, Bloom said. The all-day networking event, attended by more than 800, was co-organized by ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association).

Looking ahead to new developments for IMEX in 2009, Bloom said that IMEX would continue to focus on building the quality and scope of its long-haul hosted buyer program, as announced two years ago.

"We have succeeded in tripling the number of long-haul hosted buyers coming to IMEX since 2006. These buyers are of key strategic importance to the show alongside our extensive European hosted program. We will continue to consolidate and build on this program over the next 12 months," he said.

Developments of other IMEX New Vision initiatives were also highlighted, including continued growth of the Future Leaders Forum (FLF), which is run in partnership with MPI (Meeting Professionals International). Eight forums are taking place across North America, Asia and Europe this year, and the Future Leaders Network was formerly launched.

Upcoming dates for IMEX at Messe Frankfurt are: May 26-28, 2009; May 25-27, 2010; May 24-25, 2012.