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.

Showing gratitude and appreciation for fellow staffers and teammates – those important people in other departments – can be a fun part of the job.

But it should never come off feeling gratuitous by those who are being shown your gratitude. My number one rule has always been this: make it authentic genuine, and sustainable.

We used to do things like bring pizzas to different departments and also gave away gift cards, movie passes, etc. Those special times were always very much appreciated, as it was a fun way to let off steam, particularly after a demanding group left the hotel. It’s like being back in school – anything that is a break from the doldrums of everyday tasks or schedules is embraced by many and seen as a good thing. Those type of “breaks in the action” to show gratitude are important for team camaraderie and strengthening the bonds between fellow employees who come through for you in some way every day. Too often their deeds are taken for granted.

But there is a very important additional element to all of this high-fiving and pizza, cakes and celebrating together. It’s called sustaining those warm & fuzzies all year long.

Many fellow staffers love the celebrations, and I’m not suggesting you cut those out. But what they really appreciate on a deeper level is a more sustained, constant dose of empathy, understanding, and spirit of cooperation for 52 weeks a year; day in and day out, through the easy days and the rough days. The recommendation here is to show “in the moment” reinforcement and gratitude when it happens or when you see it, when there is no big show to be made. That awareness of those people will pay off in gold. Those little moments, done with consistency, mean more to most than the once-a-year office celebration.

Gary Hernbroth, Chief Motivating Officer, Training for Winners

A resilient industry reassured that business is back: a moment in time at IMEX America

Las Vegas, Nevada, Thursday October 19 – The 12th edition of IMEX America closes on a note of welcome reassurance for the global business events industry today marking its biggest show ever.  

With almost 15,000 confirmed participants on the show floor at Mandalay Bay, of which over 5,000 were buyers (including 4,000+ hosted buyers), the success of this year’s IMEX America confirmed the sector has made a fast, robust comeback with growth in all areas, and both short and long-lead business being booked. Exhibitors also reported the welcome return of incentive trips and citywide, multi-venue events. 

Buyers, of which one fifth represented the corporate sector, took part in over 80,000 pre-scheduled meetings in three days, of which 73,000 were 1-2-1s with exhibitors.  

Beth Olson, director of sales at Visit Santa Barbara, said: “The walk-up meetings have been as beneficial as our scheduled meetings – that was a hidden surprise for us! Our booth partners already have several RFPs in hand and in four days here I’ve covered more business than in four months!” 

“We invested in our own booth for the first time as we wanted a stronger presence at the show,” explained Daniel Palamo, Director of Global Sales for Houston First Corporation. “We’ve had more meetings than ever before and a great quality of buyers. They’re coming to us ready to close business.” 

IMEX
Biggest IMEX America ever

Personalization  

Many exhibitors attracted strong interest from buyers with their personalized merchandise and unusual activations. The Visit Phoenix booth was constantly busy as buyers lined up to have their photos printed onto an edible cookie. Visit Baltimore’s temporary tattoos also created a buzz, while Brand Makers saw crowds of buyers lining up to design and brand their own baseball cap.  

Elsewhere the show’s biggest ever Inspiration Hub, sponsored by WebEx, saw over 2000 people attend education sessions in a variety of formats across six tracks. Topics ranged from the personal – how to manage individual and team members’ mental health – to future trends and forecasts for different territories, sectors and worldwide. As an example, Data Driven Event Marketing Insights with Brittney Hegarty and Nicola Kastner, was set for 30 people but 85 showed up. The high level of interest spoke volumes about how event planners now using data to design events that achieve greater marketing leverage. 

AI and event technology were both big talking points among exhibitors and buyers. Interest in AI is clearly strong, although anecdotal reports suggest that so far only a few companies are using it at an enterprise level. 

Convenience on the go 

Reaction to the ease and simplicity of the new IMEX app powered by Expoplatform was positive, with buyers appreciating the ability to schedule meetings ‘in the moment’ when they spotted business contacts live online. Several exhibitors with a few meeting spaces to fill successfully tapped into the app’s ‘promoted posts’ feature to fill up their schedules within the day. Now that lead-scanning is free and built into the app, the data showed that 124,000 contacts were scanned during the week. The majority were supplier to buyer, but a proportion is also buyers connecting with buyers and exhibitors with exhibitors, confirming the collaborative nature of the industry and the multiple ways in which value and human connections are created face to face at IMEX. In addition, 3000 meetings were booked via the app during the show – a new feature that served its purpose of ‘convenience on the go’. 

IMEX Group, CEO, Carina Bauer, remarked, “I’m delighted the industry turned out in such strong numbers from across the globe this week and that IMEX America once again provided a carefully-designed platform for everyone to come together for business, building better human connections around the world, growing and learning from each other. This was our biggest show ever, which was clear from the fact you can’t see the edges anymore!” 

IMEX
IMEX CEO Carina Bauer at the closing press conference

Speaking at the show’s traditional closing press conference alongside IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom and CEO, Carina Bauer, were Steve Hill, President & CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Stephanie Glanzer, Chief Sales Officer & Senior Vice President at MGM Resorts International and Drew Holmgreen, Chief Brand Officer at Meeting Professionals International. 

IMEX America 2024 will take place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 7, followed by the three-day trade show October 8 -10. www.imexamerica.com

What’s New for 2024?

This month, ConventionPlanit.com celebrates 20 years of providing direct access to meeting professionals. Twenty years ago, we began as a simple search directory. Fast forward 20 years and we offer a variety of services for meeting professionals, including our cost-free and template-free RFP Valet amenity with white glove service.

Our goal has always been to serve our meeting professionals by providing free resources and a direct conduit to the seller. With a rebound in group business and budget season upon us, below are our tips to circumvent staffing issues and experience greater sales production 2024.

ConventionPlanit.com uniquely produces pre-qualified and unduplicated RFPs that are narrowed to a short list for a higher conversion rate and spin-off business.

Empower your sales team to work with today’s buyers.

Spoiler Alert, and a unique opportunity, too! Gary Hernbroth of Training for Winners, our frequent contributing author on sales tools, tips and coaching, has just informed me that his first book is due out in the first quarter of 2024 and will be titled “Twist the Familiar.” How cool does that sound? It’s about achieving success by doing things in new ways, of thinking differently, of unleashing your innovative, creative spirit, whether in sales, leadership or running your own business.  Gary shares some keys for training, prospecting, and making big impacts in the coming year:

“Challenge yourselves to do things in new ways. Even familiar products can and should be presented in different ways since things change so fast, and audiences look for something new. What is new about your company or product? What new stories do you have to tell? What new testimonials can you share? What new problems can it solve? Customers are changing, too, so don’t be afraid to turn over new rocks and “twist the familiar.”

Special Offer: Gary is extending a 20% discount on his training/facilitation, one-on-one coaching, and speaking fees for 2024 exclusively for ConventionPlanit.com members who mention it.

Training for Winners

Phone: 925-736-9392/email: gary@trainingforwinners.com

Reach today’s new meeting professionals

Today’s meeting professionals can no longer be pinned down to any specific location. Commission-free, ConventionPlanit.com attracts 47% of salaried meeting professionals with associations (55%), or corporate (35%) and SMERF/Government (10%). Many of them work hybrid. A whopping 37% are independent meeting professionals who reside in a variety of locations and book anywhere for any market segment.

  • Showcasing an annual listing positions you in front of decision-making meeting professionals when they’re buying! Banner Ads are perfect for exciting announcements.
  • Our curated database provides a continuous feed of new prospects for e-Mail Marketing Campaigns, in which planners can interactively request your follow-up!
  • Messaging is particularly difficult in a cluttered marketplace, yet our e-Newsletter achieves a 52% open rate.
  • Does your data need a makeover? It does if it’s 3 years old. Due to the pandemic, we witnessed a 40% turnover. Why not get your data updated and organized to make sure you’re pursuing the right clients?  

20 for 20 Special Offer: Learn how to customize a plan to reach more buyers with cost-effective efficiency.   To commemorate this milestone, we’re offering 20% off all listing, banner ads, e-mail marketing and e-Newsletter ads and advertorials.

Click to be Contacted.

Info@ConventionPlanit.com | 240 347 4459

ConventionPlanit.com members can maximize their presence for free!

Reach out planners where they can also find you.  If you’re already a member of ConventionPlanit.com you can take advantage of our free offerings, as follows:

  • Unlimited Notices & Special Offers may be posted in the Special Offers section, Meeting professionals will also view it on five more channels – annual listing, e-Newsletter promotion, and our Blog for social optimization in LinkedIn and Facebook.   
  • Update your listing with the latest data, verbiage, and graphics. 
  • Does your hotel have a conference center or special event venue? ConventionPlanit.com will duplicate your listing, to appear in these key categories.
  • Sponsor a prize for a contest to obtain lots of free promotions!
  • Renewing clients will obtain a “This Just In” advertorial to announce breaking news.
  • Planner members of Alliance for Independent Meeting Professionals (AIMP) obtain a free annual listing when submitting an RFP through our complexly free RFP Valet sourcing channel.  
  • To request the Special Offers link or for any of the above submissions, please email Muzette Randall, Director | Marketing Services. Info@ConventionPlanit.com

Celebrate with us!

We invite you to schedule time at IMEX America to meet the ConventionPlanit.com team and learn more about our time-saving resources. You will also be automatically entered to win Two Tickets to Paradise! 

Click here to make an appointment at IMEX ConventionPlanit.com Booth C4547

ConventionPlanit.com celebrates 20 years offering meeting professionals:

  • Supplier Search Directory of hotels, convention bureaus and more
  • RFP Valet® for template-free sourcing and white glove service 
  •  Completely free tools and services with no commissions or hidden fees

We look forward to meeting you and discussing your needs. 
 

IMEX America education program designed to deliver practical insights paired with unexpected delights

This year’s IMEX America education program, an important adjunct to the show’s powerful business and networking engine, combines education, entertainment and clever new formats to appeal to seasoned veterans, industry first-timers and everyone in between.

As always, all IMEX professional education, including the show’s specialist events for association, corporate and agency planners, is provided free of charge.

Tahira Endean, Head of Programming at IMEX, says this year’s program has been designed with one eye on helping people navigate the future: “The demands on experience design are always evolving which means we approach each education program with a clean slate. IMEX America this October is no different. With an understanding that we all digest information in different ways, and we all want choice, IMEX has developed a ‘pick and mix’ of formats. Attendees can also stop by for a few minutes to listen in if they pass a session that takes their fancy. Above all, we’ve designed content that’s unexpected and prompts people to think about themselves, their roles and their talents differently – if they come away with three to five learnings they can immediately apply, then we’ve done our job!”

Image: Tahira Endean, Head of Programming at IMEX

All IMEX America education is delivered within six tracks: Technology and innovation; Trends and research; People and planet; Business practices; Experience design and the increasingly popular Event marketing. Attendees can choose from over 150 sessions, many of them taking place on the show floor’s newly redesigned, multi-theater Inspiration Hub, sponsored by Webex.

Expect the unexpected

The Party Scientist – aka Jacques Martiquet – more than fits the description of ‘unexpected’. An ‘international joy facilitator’ for Fortune 500 companies and international events, his aim is to help corporate leaders apply the science of human connection. Jacques explains: “My mission is to give as many people as possible the greatest antidepressant: Joyful Human Connection. I do this by uniting and uplifting humans as a speaker, workshop facilitator, entertainer and… party crasher.”

Image: The Party Scientist – aka Jacques Martiquet

Visitors can also expect the unexpected at EventProfs Unplugged – a series of interviews with senior industry leaders in a chat show format where anything can happen! “We’re experimenting with some new formats at the show, and this is one of them. We don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s what I love about it – it’s going to be dynamic and surprising,” says Tahira. “This is where education meets entertainment, which is vital in an age of soundbites, memes and TikTok trends,” she adds.

How can you use visuals to tell a story? This question sits at the heart of a series of daily filmmaker workshops. Creatives from around the world will share their own films and then lead a workshop unpacking how they approached various themes including identity and regenerative tourism.

Encore, Maritz Global Events, DRPG and PCMA are among the organizations sharing new – and often surprising – ways to use technology. Sessions cover AI, the metaverse and hybrid events, centering on real-world experiences and how these technologies are being applied. Tahira explains: “We’re focusing on the human implications of technology. For example, how AI can free up time – our most prized asset, surely? – allowing us all to be more creative.”

Google Xi’s new CoLaboratory 

IMEX America 2023 also marks a new milestone in the development of the Google Xi CoLaboratory. With a focus on collaborative exploration, learning and growth, Google and various exhibiting partners and speakers have devised a special program of sessions and spaces focused on experience design and the principles of belonging. 

Acclaimed disability advocate, Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow and part of IMEX AVoice4All – thought leadership – in association with Destination Toronto, will also be sharing her specialist knowledge: “We’ve seen a considerable shift since the pandemic – an acceleration of organizations’ awareness and understanding of accessibility. It’s a potent economic driver that brings benefits for everyone.”

Image: Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow and part of IMEX AVoice4All

In line with current trends and preferences, well-being activities will be embedded across the show and in various styles designed to offer life-hacks, learning, coaching, fitness, nutritional and mental health guidance.  

Full details of all education sessions can be found here.  All eligible sessions throughout the show carry CMP and other accreditations . 

IMEX America 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 16, followed by the three-day trade show October 17-19. 

IMEX America 2023 – ‘the appetite for business is stronger than ever’

Responding to a widespread desire for high value, face-to-face connection, this year’s IMEX America focuses on asking people “Are You In?” The resounding reply from many buyers and suppliers from around the world so far is…Yes! 

Just 7 weeks after registration opened, well over 3,000 global buyers have already registered for the award-winning trade show, taking place October 17 – 19 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.  

Exhibitor interest has also been enthusiastic, with over 40 new exhibiting companies so far contracted. The upswing signals that the North American and global events industry is finally shaking off the suffocating effects of the pandemic to focus on nurturing new business pipelines and market opportunities.  

Global exhibitors expanding show presence  

Increased engagement from previous and new North American exhibitors means the area of the show dedicated to the USA is set to be bigger than ever. Arizona, Boston, Chicago, LA, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle have all expanded their booth space and Denver will have its largest ever booth. MGM Resorts is also increasing its presence with the MGM Grand Las Vegas recently recognized as the largest single hotel in the world.  California, Detroit, Orlando, Omaha and Montreal are among the US destinations investing in sponsored activations at the show. 

Destinations from across Europe and the Middle East are strongly represented. They include Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Monaco, Spain and Dubai. Wales is among the destinations exhibiting for the first time.  Likewise, Asia Pacific makes a marked return to the show with Seoul, Tokyo and Taiwan amongst those confirmed so far. 

Alongside the global destinations, all the major hotel groups will be present including Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Marriott, Radisson and Wyndham.  

With the event technology sector going through massive change in recent years, including the rapid adoption of AI, attendees will discover a wide choice of providers offering event platforms, chatbots, analytics and apps designed to respond to current market needs. Cvent, EventMobi, Fielddrive, RefTech and STOVA are among the tech companies confirmed so far.  

Learning program raises tough topics 

The award-winning show’s learning program has been simplified and redesigned to enhance show floor meetings between buyers and suppliers. Tahira Endean, Head of Programming at the IMEX Group, explains: “This year we’re testing plenty of new short-form formats; we’ve challenged our speakers to create presentations that are engaging and instantly usable to meet the new ways that people want to learn or consume information. Short. Snappy. Entertaining. Easy to remember and digest … these are the buzzwords of our education programming right now. 

“And with Human Nature as the IMEX Talking Point for 2023, we’ve intentionally crafted our program to deliver a balance of both personal and professional growth opportunities. Shaping the program this way recognizes that we bring the ‘whole of ourselves’ to a business event. It encourages attendees to embrace a growth mindset and dive deeper into their own humanity to help us all build better human connections and focus on positive change across the industry,” says Tahira.  

Guidance for first-timers 

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “We know that face-to-face events are where some of the most significant and valuable business conversations take place, so we carefully design both the online and IRL aspects of IMEX America to facilitate that.  And, from the demand we’re currently seeing from both buyers and suppliers, the appetite to meet and do business together is quite remarkable.  

“As well as welcoming returning friends and industry colleagues from around the globe, we recognize that our sector has evolved, bringing with it many new faces, in particular. So, this year we’re helping first-timers come together. We’re offering support, advice and ideas covering everything from how to plan meetings at the show, how to dig into education or decide what to wear, where to eat and who to meet!” 

IMEX America takes place at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, 17 – 19 October, with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday 16 October. IMEX has partnered with HotelMap to offer exclusive hotel deals for all IMEX attendees. Register for the show to unlock hotel discounts and special deals. 

Trade Shows & The Lost Art of Boothmanship

By: Gary Hernbroth, Chief Movitating Officer

Training for Winners

Do you remember your first tradeshow booth experience? I sure do. I was one of six seniors representing Michigan State’s School of Hospitality Business in our school’s booth at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago many years ago. It was “lights, camera, action” for us wide-eyed college students, getting our first taste of a national gathering of hospitality people from all over the country. It was dazzling and a lot to take in.

And then we got to the booth to “work it” and rep our school. Great, now what were we supposed to do? Somehow we figured it out, to shake hands, smile and not do anything to embarrass our school and faculty. Things are more complicated these days.

Many years later I chuckle at that experience, considering all of the conventions and events I’ve participated in, whether as a salesperson in the booth or a customer in the aisles. “Boothmanship” as it’s often called, is truly an art form if done correctly. Tragically, it’s seldom taught in many sales training programs or orientations to the trade. When I cover the topic in workshops, I get a lot of “I never knew there was so much to it” kind of comments.

Many salespeople think the overall atmosphere of “the show” is enough to carry the day and the rest will take care of itself. Far from the truth. You really have to “work it” to get your company’s R.O.I. out of having you there and the expenses of your air, hotel, registration, booth shipping, giveaways, time, entertaining and a myriad of other items that go into attending a trade show.

Meeting and event professionals have a job to do here, too. Your time is precious, and your organization didn’t just send you there to pick up a bunch of logo hand sanitizer bottles, foam squeeze toys, keychains, cookies and all the “stuff” that salespeople want to give you so they don’t have to lug it all back home. Trust me, I’ve lived it and heard it for many years.

At minimum, buyers should visit booths with the intent of learning something new about a new vendor, meet someone they’ve been emailing/texting back and forth, say hi to friends and colleagues, or check on some new wrinkles in their host destination for their upcoming event.  It would also help if they had business cards, which are still not out of fashion with many people. They personalize the interaction between people who share them with each other more than most electronic means will do.

I know some planners who bring their spec sheets and hand them out to viable salespeople so they can follow up with them more efficiently, and they don’t have to repeat their specs each time, in each booth.

Some of the following “dos and don’ts” may sound embarrassingly simple or basic. Don’t be fooled, they are on this list because they still happen – a lot:

  • Give the registered attendee list an advance screening (if available) to pre-pick your places and people to see so that you don’t run out of time. Prioritize your walking route, and then see others after your prime “hit list”’ is complete.
  • Don’t set your booth up like a mine field that is hard to maneuver in. Cutesy may catch the eye, but it has to be practical to accommodate traffic, too. Recently, a vendor put a Christmas tree right in the middle of a booth, making it impossible and clumsy to move around. When she went on a break, her booth mates moved the tree to the outside corner.
  • If you have games, videos, live demos, etc., practice using them before the doors open. Check for glitches, otherwise you look unprepared for “show time.”
  • What will you say as a greeting? What kind of questions will you ask? Open questions do a good job of getting the other person to open up. And remember, we learn more from listening than we do from talking. Don’t feature vomit in your booth!
  • Have business cards and a pen to take notes on. It’s best to take short notes immediately after a conversation so that you can remember the little details for follow-up. If you plan on waiting until that evening when the show is over, good luck. It all becomes a blur and you’ve lost that edge with each conversation you had.
  • Smile, have fun, keep good eye contact; look like you are enjoying the experience. Too many salespeople wear the “my ankles and back are killing me” look on their faces. It’s not a welcome sign for customers to want to engage in conversation with you.
  • Break up the reunion! Exhibitors like to visit each other in their booths. That’s great, but that’s not why you are there. So have your hugs and chats, but when customers walk by or in your booth, disperse the reunion and excuse yourself so you can fly over to the customer. They came into your booth for a reason – and it’s your job to find out why.
  • No eating!
  • No standing there checking your mobile phone. If you have to put out a fire back at work, ask a teammate to cover for you and do it outside of your booth or walk a few feet away. Standing in your booth staring at your phone tells a customer “don’t come in here and bother me, I’m busy.”
  • A colleague and I were looking for information on planning a sales retreat for a corporate client. Three salespeople were huddled around a desk in their booth, and one of them was sitting on the desk, and they were having a friendly time looking at photos on one of their phones. They finally noticed us looking at a brochure, and one of them said, “Let us know if you have any questions,” then went back to looking at the phone. We almost apologized for being a bother.
  • Own the follow-up. Experienced salespeople do NOT count on customers to remember everyone they met at the event and everything they talked about, let alone follow up. If you are in sales, YOU own the follow-up… and make it timely, not weeks later. They may not remember you by then. I got a boilerplate follow up email six months after an event. They wasted their time and effort. Forget it.

Rise above your competitors at the show, take advantage of live customers walking around, and twist the familiar- do something different! You’ll increase your chances for more leads. Planners, take your good notes, too. You’ll have better decision criteria to choose from. With professional, savvy behavior both salespeople and customers can make the tradeshow a great R.O.I. for their time and energies expended.

July 25, 2023

VisitBritain joins The Business of Events as key partner

The Business of Events has confirmed VisitBritain as its latest official partner for its 2023 programme. It marks a fifth year of consecutive support to the Policy Unit and Think Tank.

VisitBritain is Britain’s national tourism agency, and its Business Events team has developed and maintained a strong international reputation in the global events sector. The team places a great deal of emphasis on the fact that business events are more than just tools for economic growth, they are vital drivers for culture, education, and opportunity.

VisitBritain is also home to The Business Events Growth Programme, a dedicated funding stream which to date has supported over 150 events in 19 cities across Britain, supporting key business sectors such as technology, creative services and medical and life sciences. Another key focus for the team has been to work closely with our nations to further support CVB’s as they continue to attract international business. This has been achieved through areas such as enhancing government advocacy for the Industry, investing in critical research, focusing on the legacy and impact of the sector and offering educational workshops and toolkits to boost knowledge on transformative trends.

Paul Black, Head of Business Events at VisitBritain, said: “VisitBritain’s partnership with The Business of Events Is a vital opportunity to further shine a spotlight on the dynamic and evolving business events sector, raising awareness of its enormous economic and societal contribution as well as its desire to drive change. The Business of Events has provided invaluable research which has had huge significance on our sector, working alongside key senior leaders and our nations to impact the future of the Business Events industry.”

Martin Fullard, Director, News & Content, said: “To have the support of VisitBritain Business Events is vitally important to the work carried out by The Business of Events. While Great Britain is a global powerhouse when it comes to tourism, we should never short-change the value of business events. Not only are they a vital inbound revenue stream, but we export billions of pounds of event services annually also.

“Paul Black and his team have done incredible work in educating and supporting their partner network across the country, and the toolkits and guidance they offer reaffirm how passionately they feel about having a strong events sector.

“It is these qualities which makes this a very strong partnership, and we look forward to supporting them on their projects.”

Download the 2023 Prospectus here.

Visit Anchorage Hits the Road!

Alex Wong, Sales Manager, David Kasser, AWE, Senior Vice President – Visit Anchorage with Katherine & David Markham, ConventionPlanit.com

Fresh off a New York City Roadshow, Visit Anchorage hosted a week of client events in Washington DC and the surrounding area. Although the reception originally planned for the rooftop at the Conrad Washington, DC would have been spectacular, the move indoors due to the Code Red air quality alert, was nonetheless stunning and enjoyable.

Anchorage’s David Kasser, AWE, senior vice president and Alex Wong, sales manager presented new developments for their convention center and hotels in the pipeline that have yet to be announced. Keeping with the cutting-edge theme, all guests received a swag bag including a Planeket® that will be featured on Shark Tank this Fall.

Pictured with Katherine Markham are Jackie Springer, US Environment Protection Agency, Leslie Baldwin and Ken Eng, Ski Club of Washington, DC.

The Conrad Washington DC

Teresa Myers, U.S. Grains Council was the winner of the esteemed National’s Bobble Head

Positivity, pride and business growth sum up IMEX Frankfurt 2023

“The 2023 edition clearly reflected an industry pride and renewed confidence among exhibitors and, of course, a strong desire to do business with thousands of buyers,” said IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom at the IMEX Frankfurt closing press conference at Messe Frankfurt today (Thursday 25 May).

Over 3,500 buyers made 55,000 appointments with IMEX exhibitors, of which 47,000 were individual appointments; the remainder were group and stand presentations.

Attendees at IMEX Frankfurt 2023

New this year and free for all exhibitors and buyers was the ability to scan each other’s badges through the IMEX app, delivering instant access to a leads report and resulting in more business opportunities.

Reflecting business confidence on the show floor, Pablo Sismanian, Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion, said: “So far, we’ve had 15 events finalised at the show, worth more than $10m – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve received many enquiries for incentives, and some congresses.”

Claire Smith, VP Sales & Marketing at Vancouver Convention Centre, commented: “The meetings we’ve had have really moved discussions along, including conversations about bringing medical and scientific associations in with between 1,200 and 4,000 attendees. We involve our event partners so buyers can meet the wider team – this helps build trust, which is crucial.”

A new German language Impact Academy, organised by IMEX Brand Ambassador in the German speaking markets, Tanja Knecht, welcomed 60 hosted buyers who share a special interest in using events and event design to achieve both environmental and community engagement goals. Its successful launch augurs well for a repeat in 2024.

Intentional design, brand refresh

Noting the importance of intentional design in both Hall 8 by the exhibitors and Hall 9 by the IMEX team and its industry partners, IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer, remarked on the show’s visual impact and memorability factor being stronger than ever. “This year’s show demonstrated how much more we all know about designing experiences with sustainability and purpose in mind, ensuring accessibility, inclusivity, higher standards of psychological safety and wellbeing….in fact all our human needs,” she said.

Bauer noted that, although IMEX pioneered elements such as the Be Well Lounge many years ago, this year many more people had used it and appreciated its calming atmosphere.  A choice of high-quality, locally sourced, low carbon food, plenty of comfortable and innovative places to rest and work together with low-level lighting in Hall 9 made the whole event experience more enjoyable and ultimately extended its value as a business and learning platform for everyone attending.

Also adding to engagement and positivity at the show was the IMEX brand refresh. Giant letters in the Galleria became the Instagram hit of the week, while attendees responded positively to the IMEX logo’s ‘handshake’ motif and contemporary colour palette.

Looking ahead, a strong relationship with the Google Experience Institute (XI) is set to expand at IMEX America this October. The launch of Google Co-Labs – mini design-thinking sprints – had been well received by large numbers of attendees, who also relished fresh, interactive learning concepts delivered by DRPG, Maritz and Encore. The show also marked the launch of the Valuegraphics Belonging Index, which was gifted to planners who attended a session run by company founder, David Allison, and Google’s Megan Henshall.

Looking ahead, Bauer declared that IMEX is on target to publish its Net Zero Strategy later in the summer and has already established a dedicated project team who are working closely with MeetGreen and isla.

“We’ve always known that strong personal relationships and connections are the bedrock of business, especially in a global market based on hospitality and freedom to travel. Since the pandemic, we appreciate other aspects of our humanity too – shared values, a shared purpose, and the power of collective action. This is why the IMEX mission is to bring the global events community together to do business, learn and drive positive change. This week’s show has exemplified positive change. It bodes well for the future,” concluded Bauer.  

Next year’s IMEX Frankfurt will take place 14 – 16 May 2024.