Author Archives: Muzette Randall

About Muzette Randall

ConventionPlanit.com is a complimentary search directory and RFP portal for meeting planners. This blog will feature meetings industry tips and news geared toward meeting planners and an inside look at the trade-shows ConventionPlanit.com participates in.

IMEX supercharges show learning programmes with appointment of industry veteran

The IMEX Group is set to remodel the professional learning programmes delivered at both of its global trade shows with the appointment of Tahira Endean as Head of Programme.

Vancouver-based Tahira’s new role signals a new era for IMEX. A three-year education strategy will capitalise on IMEX’s free to attend programming to meet the industry’s thirst for knowledge and continuous development while embracing a growth mindset.

Tahira Endean, Head of Progamme, IMEX Group

The IMEX education programme was envisioned and developed in 2005 by Dale Hudson, Knowledge and Events Director. It has grown in size and quality over the last 15 years, adding substantial value to the visitor experience. Tahira’s addition to the team will build on that legacy. She’ll work with both the IMEX Marcomms and Knowledge and Education teams to design learning programmes that enrich the show’s value proposition and deliver measurable business benefits.

Tahira explains: “We’re focused on designing learning with buyer requirements in mind first and foremost as we want them to have meetings that are enhanced by education at the show. Our combined aim is for attendees to leave each session with tangible takeaways that also support their meetings onsite. IMEX’s legacy of tailored education that meets the particular needs of agencies, associations and corporate event professionals has always been strong; we’re looking to build on that too.”

“As a veteran of the MICE industry and self-confessed event nerd, I recognise IMEX as the professional home for our global industry. The opportunity to provide knowledge that helps us all develop and grow through turbulent times is important and to do it with a team as committed, passionate and talented as IMEX is really exciting.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Tahira to our team. Her extensive industry experience, large network of contacts and fresh approach supports our aim to keep on innovating and provide powerful, purposeful and multi-faceted experiences for all attendees.”

Changes to education programming are already in place for IMEX America which opens with Smart Monday, October 10 in Las Vegas. IMEX has announced an education theme for the 11th edition of the show – ‘Pathways to Clarity’. Its learning tracks have been consolidated and redesigned. Details will be announced in the next few weeks.

IMEX America 2022 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 10, followed by the three-day trade show October 11-13. www.imexamerica.com

Tahira, former Head of Events at SITE, is currently studying for a MSc in Creativity and Change Leadership. She lives with her family in Vancouver, enjoys cooking and immersing herself in nature.

Press information, please contact: Emma Blake: emmablake@clareville.co.uk

Data Summary: Analysis of Current Trends & Challenges

Best Business Practices Between Meeting Professionals and Hospitality Sales Executives

Another year has passed and with the marketplace in constant flux. We decided to survey our network again to gain an updated understanding of the current trends and challenges to provide up to the minute helpful advice.

The four questions we asked in our survey:

  1. What kind of salesperson are you today as compared to a year ago?
  2. What do you see as the biggest challenge in responding to inquiries?
  3. What’s your biggest obstacle while adding new clients?
  4. What was the biggest hurdle in contract negotiations?

We are happy to share the responses today compared to a year ago indicate that salespeople are feeling positive and optimistic, they are truly ready for customers. As a bonus, they feel they are more personable and better in their roles overall.

We have compiled and analyzed the data and have shared the results in the form of common themes and experiences, as well as our recommendations with you below.

Positive Changes

  • More personable and understanding of how to navigate the current climate and COVID-19 requirements
  • Improved sales skills overall and are more optimistic in booking business
  • No barriers or obstacles when it comes to growing client list or negotiating contracts

Relationship Building

  • Willing to spend time building relationships and seeking aligned clients
  • Employing people skills to work within shorter timeframes and smaller budgets
  • Transitioned from reactivity to proactivity, particularly as it pertains to maintaining relationships and earned trust of clients
  • Communication has transitioned to email and away from verbal communication or in-person meetings
  • Building capabilities to respond to inquiries in a faster manner, clients are becoming increasingly time sensitive
  • Increased emphasis on contracts and conditions with COVID-19 making it difficult to predict and navigate potential cancellations

Resources

  • Challenges arise with delayed responses and inquiries which are more general in nature
  • Pressure on resources as calendars are becoming increasingly full
  • Client budgets and expectations don’t match the value provided
  • The need to move towards more digital resources as manual processes including credit cards, estimates and contracts are now inconvenient

Job Performance

  • Increase in diligence and determination to close sales
  • Realizing and adjusting to the time investment required to respond to all inquiries
  • The need for creativity to ensure potential client replies and increased communication

Professional Knowledge and Skills

  • Higher focus on problem solving and negotiating skills
  • Spending the time to go through processes thoroughly
  • “Soft” skills like patience and understanding are more valuable in client and supplier communication
  • Lean staffing levels pose a challenge

Values, Perceptions and Thoughts

  • Overall feeling more hopeful as to the current and future state of the industry
  • Increased need to balance flexibility with forward planning as event calendar fills
  • New entrants into event positions sometimes mean communicating with less experienced potential clients and contacts, requires thoughtfulness and patience
  • Finding creative ways to understand a potential client’s vision for an event via written forms of communication, previously was easier via in-person meetings or phone calls

Flexibility and Adaptability

  • More in tune with the need to pivot and provide virtual content and services
  • Clients require more consultation to understand needs and move towards being ready to book
  • Shifted from administration to the need for marketing with the increasing need to identify buyer audiences, purchasing habits, preferences, and unique needs
  • Determining the best practices to qualify leads for best use of time and resources
  • Adapting to the short-term nature of more opportunities compared to last year
  • Still navigating how to be flexible and adaptive during COVID-19 times and potential last-minute cancellations

Intuitiveness and Awareness

  • Sales professionals are realizing they are now more cautious while others are experiencing frustration, and for some they have learned to become patient

Given the responses to this year’s survey, we have revised our recommendations to remedy some of the challenges and issues.

All themes explored in the survey play an important role in each person’s development as they reassess their skills to move forward effectively. A noteworthy observation is that goals are shorter than they have ever been before and that the market and environment have truly changed.

Contract negotiations are becoming more tedious making salespeople stressed as clients strive to cover every little detail, particularly as it pertains to COVID-19 regulations. This has meant that contracts take longer to finalize. We highly recommend ongoing contract reviews for both sides to identify realistic terms and conditions with a quarterly review before negotiations are final.

When it comes to building better relationships, flexibility and adaptability are key skills that require continuous improvement to have the ability to fulfil each client’s specific needs on an ongoing basis; this will be a major factor in negotiations and successfully securing business.

If you’re interested in learning more about securing and growing your business in these new economic times, please feel free to get in touch with us at lynne@lynnewellish.com, we are more than happy to chat to you about how we can help.

Presented by:

Lynne Wellish, CMP, CHSE Sales Activator with a focus on unique boutique businesses in the Hospitality Industry.  Lynne@cplanit.com

LoriAnn Harnish, CMP, CMM, CED, CTA Strategic meeting professional. LoriAnn.Harnish@gmail.com

Both are life-long learners and hospitality educators at Scottsdale Community College. Each year they collaborate on a survey to stay current with trends as they update and curate content for their students. Please email your experiences regarding the survey results or to inquire about customized recommendations to help grow your business.

Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Ave

When you want your room cleaned every day – it matters where you stay.

When you stay at the Hilton New Orleans/ St. Charles Avenue hotel, you can rest easy.

For your comfort and safety:

  • Daily housekeeping service
  • Adequate staffing
  • An ideal location, steps away from the French Quarter – but far enough away from the noise for a good night’s sleep

For your food and beverage needs:

  • Restaurant Luke serves three meals a day, room service and meets all of your catering needs

Enjoy mindful meetings:

  • Healthy Menu Options
  • 24-Hour spacious fitness center
  • Nearby trail access

Because cost matters, we are offering cost savings for qualified groups

  • Discounted Group Rates – for 10 rooms per night or more, based on availability. Book by August 31, 2022 and meet anytime in 2022.
  • 2% Rebate to master account, give back to your meaningful organization
  • 3x Hilton Honors Points for the meeting planner upon conclusion
  • Complimentary Beer & Wine for 30 minutes during dates of your meeting

Book Now and Save

‘Milestone moment’ – IMEX America honoured at AEO Awards

The IMEX Group has won Best International Show – Americas at the recent AEO Excellence Awards. The awards, held last Friday (24 June), honoured IMEX America 2021 which took place in November last year at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains why the show was a milestone moment for the team and the wider industry: “IMEX America 2021 was our first show in over two years and enabled us to reunite with our events industry family – we’re delighted to commemorate it with this award. 

“IMEX America was the first international event on American soil after the US government lifted travel restrictions – in fact, the show took place on the day the borders opened.

“Organising a show under these challenging conditions took a Herculean effort from the team, but the appreciation and elation of the global industry who joined us onsite made it all worthwhile.”

Registration has formally opened for IMEX America, October 11 – 13 2022 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. Attendee registration remains free for all buyer and supplier types: https://www.imexamerica.com/register-for-imex-america 

Rants of an Old Independent Meeting Planner

By Barry Zidel, Principal at Meeting Connections, Inc. 

Genesis: How did the events and meeting planning industry really begin? 

In thinking about this wild, wacky, and wonderful industry in which those of us find ourselves, it must have come into being by pure happenstance…rudimentarily perhaps by an executive of a company asking his assistant set up the conference room so he or she could comfortably address either a potential client, or to address internal personnel with, let’s say a somewhat formal or informal luncheon…… something to impress! 

As do most things, those instances can become quite successful, if even by accident. This happenstance bore fruit based on someone’s creativity and labor. My oh my, how this “accident” has grown in global proportions! From these humble beginnings with a singular individual and some creativity, it grew into small independent event and meeting planning companies worldwide! In today’s world there are tens of thousands of these companies in every corner of the globe. 

Of course, beyond these independents, there are in-house corporate and association planners. Make no mistake, these planners are just as sharp and adept as the independents. In fact, there are various degrees of reliance of independents from the in-house planners. Independent planners, by the nature of their existence and potential growth, are exposed to multiple industries and disciplines. My feeling when I got involved in this industry was that one either got it right away, or one did not and honestly never would! There’s no mystique/ It involves: a bit of creativity, psychology, and knowledge of just about everything, and certainly a lot guts! 

So here comes the “rant”. Evolution occurs in every walk of life. In this business “in the beginning” our working tools were lined pads of paper; pens, you know those things you sometimes pickup at tradeshows; pencils that are virtually extinct, an electric typewriter, a high-end “toy” called a telex machine; and of course, a telephone. I found the telephone was a special means of communicating with other human beings, who by the way, were also eager to converse with the caller! 

Now, with all these tools at hand, we were off to the races! We made appointments, had face to face meetings, developed business relationships and sometimes even friendships. From that point, we knew every element we had to deal with and oh my, if we had questions, or better ideas to make a meeting more effective, all we had to do was pick up the telephone to discuss what was necessary and the betterment of the project. Our job, and still is today, is to make our clients look great! 

We understood everything because beyond that old-timers’ stuff, relationships were at the very core of how we conducted this odd-ball amazing business. Generations change of course. Technology really evolves at a more rapid pace than ever before. That doesn’t mean that we, at any age, and for anyone who really cares about this business, have the pride and fortitude to aim for perfection can just not give care about developing relationships at every level of what we do.  

The growth of this industry is thanks to businesses like our small independent planners, corporate and association planners, hotels, a/v companies, off-premises food and beverage companies, airlines, multi-media companies, digital marketing companies, and on and on!  

It’s all about service, knowledge and connections! 

The U.S. no longer requires inbound air travelers to test negative for COVID-19

The U.S. no longer requires inbound air travelers to test negative for COVID-19. The testing mandate is due to end at midnight on Sunday,  June 12, 2022, according to a report from CNN

The Biden administration is expected to make an official announcement on Friday afternoon.

The move follows calls from the travel and hospitality industries to end the requirement, seeing it as a major setback for the recovery of the U.S. travel industry despite a huge demand from travelers. The mandate, which had been in place since January 2021, required all inbound travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status. Other countries, including the U.K., Italy and Germany, have already lifted similar requirements. 

“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, in a press statement. “The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry.

“International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector. More than half of international travelers in a recent survey pointed to the pre-departure testing requirement as a major deterrent for inbound travel to the U.S.”

Dow also said that new data shows that “repealing the pre-departure testing requirement could bring an additional 5.4 million visitors to the U.S. and an additional $9 billion in travel spending through the remainder of 2022.”

Zane Kerby, the president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), also responded to the news. “We are thrilled to see the end of the CDC’s inbound testing rule, which has been standing in the way of our industry’s recovery for too long,” Kerby said in a statement. “Since the start of the year, ASTA has been engaged in a multi-layered advocacy campaign to get to this point, including direct lobbying of Congress and Administration officials, grassroots action and pressure through national and local media. We commend the Biden Administration for taking this long-overdue step and thank ASTA members across the country for their hard work in helping get this across the finish line. While plenty of challenges remain in terms of rebuilding the travel agency business, today is a great day.”

Lorine Charles-St. Jules, the CEO of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, is already hearing a sigh of relief from both travel advisors and travelers. “While most countries, like Saint Lucia, have made it seamless to schedule Covid testing before departing for the U.S., there is always uncertainty in travel,” Charles-St. Jules said. “Eliminating the testing requirement could spur further growth in international travel for Saint Lucia, the Caribbean, and all international destinations that appeal to the American market.”

For more travel news, click here

Solutions for Today’s Challenges

As meetings and events are resuming, new challenges are emerging. David Markham, ConventionPlanit.com co-founder, sheds light on the most frequent sourcing concerns challenging meeting professionals today and how RFP Valet® is especially helpful.   

What challenges are you hearing from meeting professionals today? 

Staffing! Both meeting and hotel sales departments likewise are understaffed, causing communication bottlenecks. Hotel revenue managers typically approve room rates quoted which also stalls the process. We can minimize this by extending the RFP response. Recognizing that limiting the number of destinations in order of preference from which to obtain quotes can be effective for both parties.

Limited Space! In many areas, it’s a sellers’ market because of the rebooking of previously cancelled meetings. Hotels are being careful with room blocks and rates. We emphasis why an RFP should be considered and responded to promptly. To obtain the approval of the hotel’s revenue manager we suggest providing food & beverage guarantee numbers. The more ammunition we can uncover and convey to the hotel, the better.

Where are the opportunities right now for planners to get what they need? 

Flexibility! Understanding that hotels have need periods and everyone has preferred dates, we advise that when putting together the RFP, meeting professionals should first clarify within their organizations what alternate dates that can be considered, including a flexible arrival/departure pattern. These steps can avoid going back a second time to check availability.

Consider both shoulder and valley dates and destinations which may not have been previously considered.  Airlift into select destinations in North America has actually increased over the past several months. Conduct research online and compile a short list of specific properties or destinations prior to going out to bid.

How can RFP Valet® help planners navigate through RFP sourcing in today’s unique landscape? 

Our experienced team consults with planners and distributes their RFP to designated suppliers, including NSOs. Suppliers complete requested bid criteria via email to the planner. Quotes and concessions are automatically compiled onto a comparison chart with attachments to download, forward or print out their results to present at a meeting. It’s all about service, which is so rare today.

What is ConventionPlanit.com? 

ConventionPlanit.com is an easy-to-use search directory and RFP portal that has been serving meeting professionals since 2003. Designed with input from our Advisory Council, our website empowers executives and meeting planners who source their own RFPs and negotiate their own contracts with time saving tools, industry resources and services. There are no commissions or hidden fees to worry about.  Paid advertisers are showcased, making the tools and services completely free.

Why should a planner use ConventionPlanit.com? 

Having an advocate in today’s new landscape is especially helpful today. We provide a powerful means of communication between the buyer and seller.  It saves valuable time finding what’s needed to plan meetings and events. Planners have the option of using RFP Valet®, for tools and services with suppliers, or use the search directory to locate destinations, facilities and service providers. Each listing provides direct contact information, so buyers are in touch with the appropriate sellers. 

A Perspective

Industry wide post pandemic permanent changes

Gary Hernbroth

Chief Motivating Officer

Training for Winners

My recent observations from speaking at the World Conference of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) last month in San Diego are all very positive in terms of the industry “coming out of the pandemic.” It felt like a reunion with people greeting, hugging, dining and laughing together in person, coming off a year’s hiatus as a virtual event last year. Vaccinations were required, masks we optional (I saw very few), and you could put either a green, yellow or red sticker on your name badge depending on your level of comfort with contact. The excitement to be together again, learning and exhibiting, was palpable.

As a speaker, even though I did many virtual programs during Covid, I much prefer being in front of a room again. I could read body language better and use more physical gestures, moving around the room to get better engagement than presenting from a virtual office. The audience got a lot more out of it, as I did.

From an industry standpoint, I think the “permanent changes” posed in the question (at least for the foreseeable future) will revolve around:

·        Hybrid programming will add to an event’s costs and is more work for speakers who do it right, but it affords many more people the opportunity to participate, and creates an additional revenue opportunity for the group beyond just those attending in person;

·        Reduced expectations (and in some cases frustration) by customers, in terms of the way things were done before such as hotel housekeeping, staffing and service levels, meal selections and delivery, RFP responses, etc. I’ve seen many cases already where certain businesses just aren’t as easy to do business with as before the pandemic. It takes 4-5 steps to do what used to be done in 1 or 2 steps. Wait times are longer. Service attitudes seem to be very uneven. Patience will be a virtue, but it will come at a price;

·        Contracting and legal issues have likely turned a corner forever. All parties in a negotiation are wanting (needing) to cover themselves against the throes of a pandemic or similar far-reaching event in the future. We’ve had contracting issues before, but after a world episode like this – with no definitive end date in sight – no one wants to be caught in a legal tree shredder over it if they can help it. T

Data Power Unleashed

Do you have a data strategy? I ask that question of many organizations. Typically, the answer is “no.” When we start to peel back the onion a little, it’s clear that contact data accuracy is an issue. Organizations were not overly effective before COVID-19 with the quality of their prospect and client records. It’s an issue for many companies now as they start to develop new sales strategies.

Just think about how many times your organization has exhibited or participated in an event and had your sales representative download unqualified lists into your CRM. Did you reduce administrative staff during COVID-19 that were dedicated to CRM activity? How confident are you with new sales plans for 2022 and beyond?

Stepping back and looking at a new data strategy can be a key move in helping your sales team be more productive. Data input leads to great data output. Making decisions using solid data is essential to organization growth strategies. If you were in a room with 20 stakeholders, could you answer all the questions they have about your data?

Analytics are part of our daily lives. Whether you are starting your day with a look at your Dashboard, CRM, Traces, Notifications, To-Do Lists or any other strategic or tactical necessities, you are seeking clean and accurate data.

There is an old saying “If it was easy, everyone would do it” that applies to analytics. Using fact-based data to assist with decision making is imperative in today’s world.  Things change so quickly that organizations must be nimble and find ways to get feedback quick.

Errors are prevalent within any CRM and especially lists that could be 2-3 years old. How many records do you have in your CRM? Do you have a strategy that highlights target markets and those potential clients that have a keen interest in your products and services?

Here are five “must do tactics” to drive data accuracy and improve sales productivity when it comes to driving revenue and profitable growth.

  1. Assume your data is old, not accurate and in need of a renovation. That 1990’s house needs a full walk-thru and you should assume your data base is a fixer-upper
  2. Don’t admire what you had in terms of information on potential clients, active clients, and your own high performing salespeople. You are starting a new journey and need to look at “What If” rather than “What Is.”
  3. It takes about eight minutes to validate a record. Make sure you are dedicating trained research coordinators or outsourcing the task to provide your sales team with accurate client records to solicit.
  4. Marketing is important. Use your stakeholders to help develop messages that resonate with potential clients and why current clients use your company for products and services. Use a human voice to provide distinction on why your organization is different. Identify these voices in your CRM and with one-page testimonials. There is a product called Gather Voices that makes it easy to capture video testimonials.
  5. Use a dashboard that is transparent and that team members at all levels have access to.  Highlight and celebrate your top performers in research, sales & marketing.

Act sooner than later.  Turning data into decisions is a purposeful exercise. Business Intelligence is a key indicator for organizations to increase productivity. What does your dashboard look like?

Dashboards allow report consumers to create a single artifact of directed data that is personalized just for them. Dashboards can be comprised of pinned visuals that are taken from different reports. Where a Business Intelligence report uses data from a single dataset, a Powerful BI dashboard can contain visuals from different datasets: www.smartsheet.com

A Power BI dashboard is a single page, often called a canvas, that tells a story through visualizations. Because it’s limited to one page, a well-designed dashboard contains only the highlights of that story. Readers can view related reports for the details.  Being engaged with data proficiency, analytics agility, and community are pillars that can be part of your data strategy plan.

The seven key thoughts for driving action might include a thought process that asks many questions:

  1. Measure: if you can’t measure it, is it important? Will what you measure drive growth? Will it help you stop doing unproductive tasks? Are you measuring meaningful things?
  2. What are the questions you are asking of team members and stakeholders? Do you ask questions and listen, or do you just assume? How transparent is the access to your data? Self Service Models provide data that an on-demand world can find and leverage.
  3. Is segmentation part of your plan? Do you have strategies for your best clients? What is your new sales strategy? Do you have clients that need to be sunset? Are there target markets or verticals that could be easily accessed?
  4. Do you have stories that can be related to prospects that parallel the problems and issues you’ve solved for others? Can you highlight innovation and new ideas in industry publications or presenting at events?
  5. Are you training team members in Six Sigma, Experience Design and Advanced Sales Skills? Do you have the best performing, highly trained and polished sales and marketing teams?
  6. Where does storytelling fit in with your data driven insight strategies? Data Driven Insights involves everyone in your organization.
  7. What are the platforms you are using to gain customer feedback/ Do you have short succinct surveys, Customer Advisory Boards and Trusted Advisors that are your stakeholders?

How are you approaching your biggest challenges and opportunities? Are you in the Red Ocean or striving for the Blue Ocean? Blue Ocean Strategy – Wikipedia

New Vantage Partners recently reported that 98.6 percent of executives indicate that their organization aspires to a data-driven culture, while only 32.4 percent report having success. A 2018 IDC study also noted that organizations have invested trillions of dollars to modernize their business, but 70 percent of these initiatives fail because they prioritized technology investments without building a data culture to support it. What would these statistics look like four years later after the pandemic?

So what? Does it really matter to have a handle on one’s data? Whose responsibility, is it? IT, Sales, Marketing or Senior Executives? Ask yourself the question and the answer probably is that data driven decisions touch everyone in an organization. Working smarter, more productive and driving more revenue can be a result of fact-based data decision making. “Plan the Work, Work the Plan” is a simple way to integrate data into simple and complex decisions. If you can’t measure it, ask yourself “WHY”?

Gary Schirmacher, CMP

Chief Executive Officer

Total Hospitality Industry Solutions (THIS)

With 36 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Schirmacher has led the team at Total Hospitality Industry Solutions (THIS) since OCT 2020. Previously, he led Experient’s strategic plan development and implementation, as well as industry presence for Maritz Global Events for 25 years. He was awarded the company’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, in 2005, and was inducted into the Colorado Meetings Hall of Fame in 2011 with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He served as Chairman of the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado from 2001-2007. Schirmacher is the 2022 Chair for the MPI Global Foundation Board. He is a Past Chair of the Meetings Industry Fund. Gary is a member of the EIC APEX Commission for Business Recovery Task Force. He is a member of PCMA, MPI, IAEE, ASAE, Association Forum and CSAE. Schirmacher is a Past Chair of the PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees and a frequent speaker at major industry meetings and events. Schirmacher is a graduate of the Worldwide College of Auctioneering and Owner of Big Top Auctions USA

IMEX IN FRANKFURT – SHOW PREVIEW

An unforgettable experience with business and human connections at its heart: IMEX in Frankfurt returns 31 May – 2 June

“While doing business and powering our sector’s growth sits at the core of the show, IMEX in Frankfurt stands for so much more. Inspiration is one of our core values and we’re set to deliver this through a creative and cutting-edge show experience. An unforgettable experience that helps attendees reconnect and revive, supercharge their skillset and – importantly – have fun! By coming together – and celebrating 20 years of IMEX in Frankfurt – our community is set to create many memorable moments.” Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, outlines the plans for the return of IMEX in Frankfurt, taking place 31 May – 2 June.

Global exhibitors announce major launches

An international range of exhibitors – destinations, venues, technology providers, incentive companies and more – are currently planning their participation at the show. Suppliers from Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Croatia; North America – Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas; and Asia – Philippines and Taiwan; are among the dozens of destinations who have confirmed their participation in the past few weeks alone.

Parts of the business events sector have forged ahead in the past two years with investments in refurbishments, new venues and enhanced experiences. IMEX in Frankfurt will be the stage for some major launches such as Ethiopia’s new convention bureau, new venues, new professional development programmes and new industry partnerships.

Well over 2,500 buyers from 70 countries have registered to date, and hundreds of global buyers continue to register each week. An international mix of buyers from agencies, corporates and associations, plus independent professionals have all confirmed participation at the show.

Bespoke education for associations, corporates & agencies

IMEX is supporting specialists with dedicated learning for association, agency and corporate executives taking place the day before the show, on Monday 30 May. Exclusively Corporate is set to welcome experts from SAP, Bolt Financial and Siemens Healthineers (as well as a former Premier League Footballer!) for case study-led education and peer-to-peer discussions. Agency planners can shape the focus of IMEX’s co-created Agency Directors Forum, choosing what best fits their needs from subjects including: growth opportunities; lessons learned from the pandemic; adapting to a changed event landscape; trends and technology impacting business strategy, and reconsidering staffing options. Separately, Association Focus will deliver learning and networking exclusively for association professionals of all levels. The collaborative programme offers insight, inspiration and real-world recommendations and resolutions to the challenges facing associations across the world today.

Building connections to support business recovery

It has never been more important to upskill for the new world of work and 150+ educational events onsite cover Professional Development and Upskilling; Creativity in Communication; Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; Innovation and Tech; and Purposeful Recovery.

Team dynamics and roles have shifted since the lockdown leading to a new approach to recruitment strategy. In ‘Where’s my team?’ Tanesha Moody, Former Director Field and Events Marketing at Bolt Financial, will provide guidance on building an evolutionary team from scratch. Her professional theatre background gives Tanesha a unique take on planning and delivering events.

Robert Kenward, Fitability® Recruiter at You Search and Select and Founder of The Hub, is holding a workshop to help event professionals deal with ‘the great resignation’. He says: “As the industry rebuilds, the focus for many businesses is to scale-up by recruiting the right talent. This session will enable delegates to supercharge their recruitment strategy which in turn will have an immediate and positive impact on how they attract, select and retain talent.”

‘One of Europe’s leading business networking strategists’ according to the Financial Times, Andy Lopata, moderates a panel session unpacking the strategy behind ‘Building back together’. Event professionals from Farnborough International, DRPG and Enited Business Events join Andy to discuss the vital role strong relationships played in supporting them during the pandemic, and in their business recovery. Andy explains: “Relationships underpin the success of our businesses and the events we’re involved with. Yet it has become harder to nurture those relationships, let alone meet new people, during the pandemic. My goal is to arm attendees with new ideas, practical advice and, most importantly of all, the confidence and energy to actively pursue a strategy of building, nurturing and leveraging the relationships that will drive their businesses forward.”

Wellbeing moments

Experts from the Listening Collective will bring their own powerful brand of coaching with a dedicated space, The Listening Lab, which will help attendees develop their own ‘listening superpowers’. “When we’re skilfully listened to and challenged, we hear ourselves better – then change follows,” explains Listening Collective founder Jon Barnes.

The focus on wellbeing continues at the Be Well Lounge. Brought to you by Inner Sense and supported by Costa Rica DMC and Weichlein Tours, the Lounge offers a space to pause, unwind and recharge. Attendees craving an energetic start to the day will enjoy the 5km IMEXrun, developed by VOQIN – a bright and brisk walk, jog or run along the banks of Frankfurt’s River Main.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “With our worldwide roster of suppliers and confirmed buyers, we’re confident the show floor will be a hub of activity where the industry can comfortably and effectively do business. We can’t wait to get back to business in Frankfurt and celebrate the sheer joy of being back together – our industry lives and breathes face to face business events and from what we’re witnessing, it’s raring to go.” Carina shares more detail about what to expect at the show here.

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 31 May – 2 June 2022 – the business events community can register here. Registration is free.

www.imex-frankfurt.com

IMEX in Frankfurt 2022 will take place at Messe Frankfurt from 31 May – 2 June 2022.
wFor further press information, please contact:
Emma Blake: emmablake@clareville.co.uk