'Good Meetings, not More Meetings' at the IMEX Policy Forum 2024 

29th May, 2024

From left to right: Marta Gomez President of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) Hildur Björg Bæringsdóttir, Account manager, Meet in Reykjavík Þórdís Lóa Þórhallsdóttir Deputy Mayor of Reykjavík and Chair of the Meet in Reykjavík Committee Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, Manager, Meet in Reykjavík Anju Gomes ICCA Regional Director Middle East

This year's IMEX Policy Forum in Frankfurt, themed "Good meetings, not more meetings - transforming the business events industry," kicked off at the Marriott Hotel.

From Reykjavík, Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Meet in Reykjavík Committee and President of Reykjavík City Council Thordis Loa Thorhallsdottir and Sigurjona Sverrisdottir of Meet in Reykjavik joined to emphasise the synergy between the city and the MICE industry.

The Forum united representatives from 18 destinations for a workshop and public forum. Policymakers and MICE industry leaders debated trends and challenges, agreeing that better communication is key. They explored how to spotlight the benefits of business events and tackle communication hurdles, stressing the influence of policymakers through networking, trade, and nation branding. Enhanced dialogue between policymakers and Convention Bureaus could also address issues like over-tourism.

During a panel, representatives from three destinations, including Iceland, shared their communication strategies. Iceland highlighted two cases: During the pandemic, it positioned itself as the first destination to reopen, targeting younger audiences through social media.

This campaign, a collaboration among regional bodies, the government, and Business Iceland, showcased the power of joint efforts. In another instance, Iceland swiftly tackled negative media during small volcanic eruptions, reassuring travelers through effective communication and institutional cooperation. Both cases underscored the importance of teamwork and clear messaging.

The public forum featured panels of industry experts discussing the shift from transactional to transformational business events. Over 110 industry leaders examined how to integrate AI in live events, align events with core goals, and measure outcomes.

Topics included the industry's role in global challenges, the need for international collaboration, ethical practices, and the future of innovation and sustainability in business events.

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