Today marked the final day of the 14th annual IMEX in Frankfurt trade show, which took place April 19-21 in Frankfurt, Germany. The organizer, IMEX Group, called the show's "three busy days" a huge success, attracting nearly 9,000 hosted buyers and visitors who participated in 57,000 individual appointments and stand presentations with exhibitors, an increase of 9 percent from last year.
IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom attributed the show's high attendance and significant business activity to its focus on "investment and innovation."
"We have invested substantially in bringing more senior hosted buyers into the show for longer periods of time while giving them flexibility to make the most of the opportunities to meet their own needs," said Bloom, who noted that European hosted buyers at this year's show were invited to stay for two nights instead of one, which resulted in more buyers on the show floor for longer periods of time. "At the same time throughout the show, from education to hosted buyer services, there have been many important innovations as we continually strive to help exhibitors, buyers, and visitors achieve their objectives."
Among the innovations attendees experienced at IMEX in Frankfurt was Zenvoy.com, a networking matching system that uses demographic data to suggest matches between like-minded peers before the show; based on successful trials among select groups at IMEX in Frankfurt, the system will be rolled out for all hosted buyers at IMEX's next show, IMEX America 2016 in Las Vegas.
Also on the innovation front: IMEX in Frankfurt included several cutting-edge learning spaces and formats, such as the Play Room, which featured interactive "quirkshops" that provided a fresh look at meeting planning by combining learning and play.
"There is also a strong flow of innovation and investment clearly evident in the creativity and new technology on the show floor," Bloom continued. "The many impressive new designs among the 50 new stand structures and, for instance, virtual reality devices indicate their confidence in their investment in the industry and in the show."
Other highlights from this year's show included the Professional Convention Management Association's first PCMA Business School in Europe, which focused on developing the mindset of an "outthinker"; Association Day and Evening, which hosted 300 association executives for association-themed education and networking; Exclusively Corporate @IMEX, which hosted nearly 90 corporate meeting buyers for education and networking tailored to corporate meeting planners; and the IMEX Politicians Forum, which hosted 40 politicians and political advisors to discuss meetings' contributions to economic development, employment, and education.
IMEX Gets 'Personal'
Finally, the show included more than 180 education sessions, many of which were built around the show's theme: "Business is Personal." In fact, the show's education program included dedicated "Business Skills" and "Personal Development" educational tracks exploring this theme with sessions on public speaking, leadership skills, developing confidence, and fostering strong connections, among many others.
The theme also was present in several wellness activities that took place off the show floor, including meditation and yoga sessions and the "IMEXrun" fun run, which attracted 800 registered participants.
Concluded Bloom, "There [were] countless opportunities for everyone to do business, learn, or meet here this week. The thousands of exhibitors, buyers, press, and other industry professionals here this week to make the most of these opportunities are testament to the strength, resilience, and vibrancy of our important sector."
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