The 10th annual IMEX in Frankfurt trade show opened today in Frankfurt, Germany. According to its organizer, the IMEX Group, the show includes not only its traditional focus on business opportunities, networking and professional development for the meetings industry, but also an "air of celebration" in honor of its 10th anniversary.
"Our 10th anniversary has given us the chance to focus on some of our most successful and long-standing initiatives — and also to raise the bar on others," said IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom, who addressed attendees this morning after the IMEX opening ceremony. During his speech, he highlighted several features of this year's 10th-anniversary show, including:
• Association Day, which took place yesterday and included a re-designed program that received "positive feedback … from the 300-plus association executives who attended," according to Bloom.
• The IMEX Future Leaders Forum, which Bloom said is now a joint initiative between IMEX, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and MCI, all three of which he said "share a strong desire to attract the best young talent into the industry, knowing we face some stiff competition from other sectors."
• The IMEX Politicians Forum, which Bloom called the "strongest yet," with politicians from South Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and France attending.
Other highlights from this year's show are its hosted buyer program, which includes 20 new hosted buyer groups and a total of nearly 4,000 hosted buyers from more than 60 countries; its exhibition, which includes 47 new exhibitors and an expanded technology area; its education program, which has been "greatly expanded" to include more than 130 different seminars; and the launch of IMEX TV and the IMEX Social Team, charged with reporting and broadcasting show news in real time via the IMEX website and social networks.
IMEX in Frankfurt concludes on May 23. For more information about the show, visit www.imex-frankfurt.com.