Business and innovation continue to power IMEX in Frankfurt as it ends its second day. For many of the buyers coming from around the world, the show represents a chance to discover how destinations and venues have evolved.
Tess Di Iorio, a hosted buyer from Imagine Experience in the US, explains: “I’m interested in unique locations for incentive events and it’s been a joy to see how many places have blossomed. I’ve met with Dubai and Ireland among others, and hearing their stories means I now have tangible content with which to engage my clients. At my meeting with Ireland for example, we discussed the possibility of an incentive around Ryder Cup returning in 2027.”
The strong pipeline of events continues across the show floor as Daniel Reid, Assistant Vice President, Global Sales (Europe) at Shangri-La Group, explains: “So far, we’ve had six solid business enquiries for multiple large groups, including a 200-person event for Google in Tokyo in November, a Herbalife event for 250 people in 2023, and another event needing 300 rooms for ten days in April 2023. We’ve met with many high quality, serious buyers.”
Innovation through collaboration
The demands on the industry to innovate to meet the changed needs of the business climate were addressed through some of the 150+ education sessions. Innovation can be facilitated through collaboration as Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB German Convention Bureau, explained in his session Innovating business events through open innovation and collaboration.
A session by Scooter Taylor, co-founder of West Peek, dived into the world of the metaverse, exploring its power as a platform to drive community. “We all want to belong – but how do you engage people in an event if they’re unable to be there in person? This is where the metaverse comes in,” he explained. Scooter then guided the audience through a university gala he held in the metaverse. He emphasised the importance of offering an inclusive experience that’s creative and fresh: “Put a new spin on historical formats”, he advised.
Meaningful community connection
Community tops the agenda for destinations as Jane Cunningham, Director of European Engagement at Destinations International, explained at the launch of Destinations International’s (DI) Pathfinders Programme: “Destinations all over Europe are asking themselves the same questions and primary among them is, how can we engage more meaningfully with our communities? They’re also asking if their business models need adapting to remain relevant.” Jane talked through her learnings from a recent ‘Listening Tour’ of Europe – four issues dominate: workforce; destination impact; community alignment and climate change.
Dawn Lauder, Head of International Conferences at Scottish Event Campus (SEC), shared advice on how event planners can tackle climate change based on her experience of hosting COP26. In What are the legacies for the event industry from COP26? Dawn emphasised the importance of building sustainability into event design from the outset and engaging with like-minded organisations: “Find companies who share the same values and work together. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. We’re all on this journey together and collaboration is key to success. One of the reasons I’m at IMEX is to connect with people who are on the same wavelength.”
Image: There’s no better sound than laughter on the show floor! Download image here.
IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 31 May – 2 June 2022 – the business events community can register here. Registration is free.