“At the heart of each IMEX show is a living, breathing marketplace – the fundamental and effective way of doing business that powers our industry,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
“We’ve carefully curated all elements of this year’s IMEX Frankfurt show – from the layout, the education and the experiential – to complement and enhance these in person business conversations. We’re seeing momentum building all the time and look forward to throwing open the doors to our friends and colleagues this May.”
Trends-wise the show will reflect many of the big shifts and changes in the meetings and events industry globally. As a buying force, the Chinese market is back and Asia in general is flourishing, driving event demand, locally and internationally. The big tech companies in Korea are one of several factors behind this growth.
International hotel groups plus smaller boutique hotels will be making their presence felt on the show floor, many of them introducing new service offerings or properties. Frankfurt itself has added to its hotel portfolio with several new openings including the impressive Scandic Hafenpark and B’Mine, the first WorldHotels Crafted Collection hotel in Germany, and NH hotels signature Nhow brand which IMEX is showcasing as hosted buyer accommodation in the city. Many hosted buyer hotels have also benefited from recent refurbishments including the Steigenberger Frankfurterhof, the Marriott, Hilton and the Westin.
Destinations, venues and suppliers span the world and include Croatia, Malaysia, Peru, Portugal, Ras Al Khaimah and Spain. Hotel groups Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Radisson are among the exhibitors expanding their presence onsite as well as Los Cabos and Morocco. Sarawak, the largest of Malaysia’s 13 states, will have its own stand for the first time and will also be joined by the region’s Tourism Minister during the show.
Experts from Google, Microsoft & Pinterest
An extensive programme of over 150 educational and networking events begins with dedicated learning sessions the day before the show, on Monday 22 May.
Monday’s programme is tailored to specific sections of the event professional community:
The complexities of delivering events in a hybrid world will be explored in detail at Association Focus, delivered in association with ICCA, AC Forum, AMC Institute, ASAE, ESAE and Global Association Hubs.
A stella line-up of experts from world-renowned companies spearhead Exclusively Corporate, IMEX’s high-level, invite-only event for corporate event specialists. This includes Microsoft’s Bob Bejan and Salesforce’s Charlotte Pedersen who will go head to head in The tale of two titans – the evolution of event strategy and experience design. Moderator Nicola Kastner explains: “Very rarely do we have an opportunity to learn from two massive tech brands taking such radically different approaches.”
Year on year IMEX’s Agency Directors Forum is redesigned to meet the prevailing business needs of senior agency professionals. 2023’s facilitated discussion will focus on business management issues. Hot topics are set to include people and talent management; succession planning; business drivers, trends and technology and new business strategies, plus new revenue generation models.
New co-located events for 2023 include MICE Impact Academy, an exclusive invite-only education event for German planners, and ELX (Event Leaders Exchange), a meeting for this two-year old community of senior event corporate event leaders from 3,000+ headcount organisations with $3billion+ annual revenue.
Human Nature underpins learning programme
The IMEX 2023 Talking Point – Human Nature – provides a steer for education and interaction. Carina explains: “Our industry is in the business of human gatherings, face to face connections and building communities, so it felt natural to focus on what it means to be human in the 21st century. When we meet in person something special happens – from driving business growth to developing relationships that span the world. This need to come together and meet is an innate to our human nature.
“Our Talking Point also helps to deliver a positivity boost – we’re focusing on what’s good, constructive and loving about human nature; about our potential and ability to change, adapt and thrive in supportive and co-operative ways,” she says.
The result is a set of education tracks reflecting the way people live and work now. Event Marketing is a new addition, while Technology and Innovation; Trends and Research and Experience Design are tried and tested and always in demand. A new Business Practices track will include the ever-popular Event Planner Toolkit while a People and Planet track will specifically address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Professional and Personal Development, Leadership, Culture and Engagement, Wellbeing and Sustainability.
Children as crisis management teachers
New headline sessions will feature contributions from values and human behaviour expert David Allison. From deep inside the data, David brings a clear and powerful truth to transform the way we work and the world we live in. “Our values unite us,” he says. “They can light the way for purpose-driven brands and lead us to a more values-driven world.”
International crisis leader Thomas Lahnthaler will talk about building successful remote teams. He’ll also join Eszter Mattiassich-Aszody, Head of Global Events at Siemens Healthineers to explore leadership and life lessons from children. Thomas explains: “Observing my children is looking at crisis managers in action. The skills that children execute daily are what we as adults have somehow unlearned because of our experience. I want to share these skills that we’ve forgotten how to use.”
The Listening Lab returns with both education sessions and bookable one-to-one coaching. Sessions will explore how people’s individual nature’s influence their professional personas as Dawn Wray, coach and co-founder of The Listening Collective, explains: “Everything’s connected. It’s impossible to disconnect the person and the work issue from who they are and how they show up in the world. We’re learning that people may say to us ‘I want to work on my presentation skills’, for example. But once they start talking, they talk more about how they feel when they’re presenting.”
New, single IMEX account
IMEX has also redesigned the online registration process for its shows. With a focus on improved marketing tools and business insights for exhibitors, to more and better connection opportunities for all attendee types, the new process means every participant has a single IMEX account for both shows. Pre-scheduled appointment functionality has been enhanced while the IMEX app has also been improved. The result is a faster customer journey intended to connect buyers and exhibitors to each other in a way that boosts business and networking return.
IMEX Frankfurt evolves every year and May’s 2023 edition will be no exception. This time around, however, attendees can expect a few surprises – the IMEX Group is set to evolve even further, with more details to be revealed onsite.
Travel and accommodation details – including new hotel booking discounts – can be found here.