The IMEX Talking Point for 2019 is ‘Imagination’

Celebrating creativity and curiosity at IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America
29th Jan, 2019

In a world of increasing technical capability, the power of imagination is regarded as a uniquely human attribute – and one that’s highly prized. The IMEX Group is championing the power of imagination as its Talking Point for 2019. 

Imagination – the chance to ask ‘what if…?’

The growth of digitalisation – what some call the 4th industrial revolution - is leading to a greater demand for human and emotional connections to be fostered. For the meetings industry, this means that there is a huge opportunity in our new digital world to help people develop those connections, to help brands deliver their messages in exciting and emotional ways that cannot be achieved online.

Carine BauerCarina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Imagination is the glue that holds our events together – sparking creativity throughout the planning process in order to attract attendees time and time again.”

“We’re celebrating and encouraging one of the core aspects of our humanity – imagination – urging everyone in the global meetings and events industry to get creative, exercise more curiosity and challenge assumptions in light of the period of change we’re currently living in.”

The annual Talking Point - imagination - will be brought to life across both IMEX shows as well as through core activities throughout the year. This includes a partnership with, who will research and produce an industry white paper to showcase some of the world’s most imaginative events and design concepts. This research will be launched at IMEX America.

The IMEX team is focusing on three core aspects of imagination for its 2019 Talking Point:

1. Transformation and collaboration

Partnerships can be truly powerful. IMEX is encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate – not compete – with other organisations and the benefits this can bring. Within the event and incentive travel industry, airlines, hotel groups, designers, supply chain businesses, universities, software developers, architects…even whole countries and, especially, cities are all now forming alliances and in doing so they’re transforming business models, customer service and events experiences.

Collaboration is one of the watchwords at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, with the event’s agenda recognising that ‘addressing the biggest global challenges requires the collaborative efforts of business, government and civil society’. 

2. Diversity and inclusion

As an international organisation with a mission to connect people across the world, IMEX celebrates diversity and, through its Talking Point, wants meeting planners to embrace inclusivity. IMEX’s sole aim is to unite and advance the meetings industry – connecting all kinds of people together in order to generate powerful relationships.

The time has come to eradicate bias – and the meeting and event industry is in a great position to lead by example. The Talking Point will prompt professionals to imagine a more inclusive event from the outset and keep diversity in front of mind throughout the planning process.

3. Sustainability

Sustainability continues to top the agenda as more and more companies recognise the importance of issues such as climate change, community development and dwindling natural resources. It’s an issue which has been firmly anchored in IMEX’s business strategy since the foundation of the company in 2003, with performance benchmarked against industry standards including the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Event Standards. IMEX is committed to implementing best practice in event sustainability and also offers education sessions at the shows designed to encourage exhibitors and buyers to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation.

Through this year’s Talking Point, the IMEX team seeks to prompt a fresh approach to greener meetings and events, encouraging planners to demand change. Green materials, food choices, suppliers and more are now not only viable but also distinctly desirable. The IMEX team believes that there really are no excuses anymore and younger generations, in particular, will vote with their feet, their attention and their money to prove how much they want to protect the planet.

Carina Bauer concludes: “Our annual Talking Point shines a spotlight on an emerging or important trend - one that’s making waves around the world and in our industry. By exploring various facets of imagination, we hope to open up ways for everyone in the global meetings and events industry to become more creative and to make a more positive impact whenever they can.

“We’re in contact with our partners, visitors and exhibitors, asking them to share stories that tie in with our three pillars of imagination. As well as developing research, partnerships and education around our Talking Point, we’re already planning to re-imagine last year’s ‘Legacy Wall’, turning it into a uniquely imaginative new show experience…so watch this space!”

IMEX in Frankfurt 2019 takes place at Messe Frankfurt from 21 -23 May 2019. Registration is free.

Check IMEX's interview with Carina Bauer, she reveals how the imagination Talking Point will impact meeting and event professionals.

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