The opening of the 2019 edition of IMEX in Frankfurt tomorrow promises a journey of discovery for exhibitors and buyers seeking to enrich their pipelines of meetings, incentive travel and events business. The week ahead also presents hundreds of opportunities to expand professional networks and connections and increase industry knowledge.
Despite political and economic uncertainty in several corners of the world during the first quarter of 2019, this seventeenth IMEX will showcase 318 exhibition stands, including 10 in the show’s new Discovery Zone alone. A total of 35 per cent of exhibitors have increased their presence with three per cent of these more than doubling their space. In total 3429 companies representing 172 countries will be doing business on the IMEX show floor this week.
New exhibitors to look out for in Messe Frankfurt’s Hall 8 include: Barbados Tourism Authority, Brand Your Shoes, Estonian Tourist Board, Gdansk Convention Bureau, Hong Kong Airport Authority and Interprefy AG. While Kubify, Mallorca Tourist Board, Nobu Hotels, Palace Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the Indian Hotels Company, Vietnam Partners and Visit Faroe Islands also add to the line-up of first-time exhibitors.
The total IMEX experience now extends over two halls at Messe Frankfurt. Hall 8 transforms into a noisy, colourful and bustling marketplace for an anticipated 60,000+ business meetings and appointments. Hall 9, which is linked via a galleria, showcases dozens of inspiring installations and chances to meet, greet and also have fun. The Discovery Zone, Inspiration Hub, Co-Working spaces, a ‘Central Park’ food court plus dozens of interactive experiences inspired by the show’s Talking Point – Imagination – combine to make Hall 9 unmissable for buyers and exhibiting staff.
300 workshops and education sessions
With over 300 workshops, learning labs and specialist networking events over four days, IMEX has grown to reflect an industry that’s constantly evolving. Increasingly, influential groups such as corporate events directors and live event agency heads come to IMEX in search of business deals and contacts they can’t find elsewhere with the same ease or efficiency. Events such as Exclusively Corporate, She Means Business, the Agency Directors Forum and Association Day mean that IMEX 2019 is now far greater than the sum of its parts.
Looking ahead to one of the busiest business weeks in the global industry’s calendar, Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, says: “Since launching our annual Talking Point three years ago, we’ve noticed a real uplift in how engaged and creative our exhibitors, partners and sponsors have become, and that’s reflected in the look, feel and enormous scope of this year’s show.
“Of course, there are always challenges, be they political, economic or environmental but time and again we see exhibiting companies rallying to IMEX with one thing in mind – business! And we’re especially pleased to welcome a record 47 new hosted groups this year and have worked hard with new intermediaries across Europe and beyond to attract and qualify these buyers.
“The industry knows there are real deals to be done here; real news and announcements to be heard and, above all, a sense of community – and competition – that’s good for us all. I’m looking forward to an exhilarating week.”