“The planners we’ve met with so far today really tick the box for us – they’re association planners from the medical and financial sectors wanting to hold events at a scale that perfectly suit the venues we have to offer.” Tricia Loh, head of sales at Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau, is one of the many exhibitors busy doing business on the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt, currently taking place until 23 May.
Karina Grützner, director of Convention Marketing at the Stuttgart Convention Bureau, agreed: “I’ve been to 13 IMEX shows, and we’re especially busy this year. I like to talk with hosted buyers and I also like meeting other industry professionals because they’re very interested and focused on what they need.”
While business forms the backbone of IMEX in Frankfurt, the show also offers plenty of experiential and learning opportunities for planners and exhibitors alike.
Inspiration Hub, the show's education powerhouse located in the new Discovery Zone, is home to some topical and timely education. “Waste is one of the biggest issues we have in the world,” said Laure Berment who delivered the learning session What a waste! Finding solutions for world problems using co-creation at the new Red Lab. According to Laure from Too Good To Go, the world's number one app for fighting food waste, 50 tons of waste is generated each second. She invited planners to discuss how they can address this through their events and – importantly – how they can communicate their actions and encourage others to act sustainably.
Hosted buyer Jennifer Papenfuss from OSIsoft Europe left the session inspired: “If I walk away from an education session with one idea, I’m happy. I’ve left with plenty of ideas that I know I can implement, such as the concept of food repurposing. So smart - I love it!”
The Red Lab also hosted Meet the geeks – technology trends to enhance your skills in the 21st century. The ‘geeks’, Nanna Ulsoe and Jane Ulsoe, pride themselves on being disruptors in their field and shared their method of cutting through today’s information overload.
Technology was a focal point of other education sessions including AI and the future of events which showcased examples of how real life events have used the latest AI technology. Chatbots, facial recognition, robots and even emotional recognition, currently used at the Wimbledon tennis championships, all featured. Are service robots an answer to the challenges in the meetings industry?, a session held at the ZEUS Innovators Club painted a picture of the near future detailing how robots can be used at events and venues.
Dancing robots, holographic presentations, magic and a walking piano were some of the experiential concepts inspiring planners in the new Discovery Zone.
Patricia Torres, a hosted buyer from ISA CTEEP in Brazil explained: “The Discovery Zone is very creative and makes IMEX really stand out from other events I’ve attended. This area really encourages you to open your mind to new concepts and creative thinking.”
IMEX in Frankfurt continues until 23 May at Messe Frankfurt.
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