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IMEX Frankfurt Association Day centers on high value insights & inspiration


“I’m always looking for support with innovation and Association Day provides the perfect opportunity to get new ideas.” Danielle Michel, Director of Corporate Program at the Airports Council International European Region in Belgium, who took part in Association Day at IMEX in Frankfurt explains why the specialist program delivers a real business boost to association event planners around the world.

Association Day takes place in Messe Frankfurt (host sponsor) on Monday 20 May, the day before the IMEX in Frankfurt show opens. This top class event is split into three streams – all aimed at senior association professionals and chaired by key organizations in the sector. ASAE, ICCA and MCI have all collaborated with IMEX to create a topical and interactive program, delivering three Learning Labs covering Leadership, Imagination and Knowledge.

Attendees can choose sessions from all three streams and tailor the day to suit their own needs. Each session is expertly curated and designed to get to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of each topic, with experts using real life examples and learnings with an emphasis on open peer to peer discussions. The aim– as always – is for attendees to leave armed with new ideas to put into action.

Three streams – tailor the day

The ASAE Leadership Lab aims to help attendees build their people management skills. Lori Anderson, President and Chief Executive Officer at the International Sign Association, will share her strategic approach to talent management, showing how to nurture an engaged and productive workforce. Managing global teams is the focus of a session by Willis Turner, President/CEO of Sales & Marketing Executives International. Best practice principles in board management will be covered by Mark Engle from the Association Management Center, covering responsibilities, recruitment and succession planning.

The ICCA Imagination Lab will take a creative look at event planning, business development and partnerships. Jennifer George Lion from Experient will share advice on how to be creative with a limited budget and offer tips on delivering meetings that stand out from the crowd. David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation, which focuses on youth, student and educational travel, will hone in on this in his session ‘how to evolve your annual congress’. Chapman will give advice on how to increase profitability, attract more delegates and sponsors and introduce new formats. In the final session, Gemmeke De Jongh from the Belgium Convention Bureau and Jan De Grave, Communications Director at The Brewers of Europe, will explain the insider knowledge and connections which convention bureaus can offer association planners.

24-hour a day technology festival

Festivalisation is the buzzword which begins the MCI Knowledge Lab. Isabel Bardinet, CEO of the European Society of Cardiology, and Antonio de Araujo Novaes, General Director of Campus Party, share first-hand experience of creating unforgettable, immersive experiences that still hit objectives. Antonio will talk about the many elements – content, speakers, attendee interaction and engagement – which have made Campus Party, a week-long, 24-hour-a-day technology festival, a resounding success.

For many associations, corporate funding and sponsorship are vital revenue streams, yet building long term, profitable partnerships around them is a constant challenge. Roz Guarnori, Exhibitions Director at FESPA, a federation of trade associations for the screen-printing and digital printing industry, will explore strategies for securing commercial partnerships and new sponsors. Attendees will then have the opportunity to review their approach to GDPR and share best practice.

The afternoon program ends with a roundtable discussion before attendees join other industry professionals at Association Evening, held at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel, to celebrate the start of IMEX in Frankfurt.

Association Day and Evening is on Monday 20 May, the day before IMEX in Frankfurt 2019 opens. Messe Frankfurt is the host sponsor.