IMEX 2023 in Frankfurt was a resounding success

 “The 2023 edition clearly reflected an industry pride and renewed confidence among exhibitors and, of course, a strong desire to do business with thousands of buyers,” said IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom at the IMEX Frankfurt closing press conference.(photo above with CEO ICJ Ambassadors on tour)

The event attracted over 3,500 buyers who scheduled a staggering 55,000 appointments with IMEX exhibitors. Out of these, 47,000 were individual appointments, while the rest comprised group presentations and stand showcases. An exciting addition this year was the ability for exhibitors and buyers to scan each other’s badges through the IMEX app, providing instant access to a leads report and creating more business opportunities.

Reflecting business confidence on the show floor, Pablo Sismanian, Argentina National Institute of Tourism Promotion, said: “So far, we’ve had 15 events finalised at the show, worth more than $10m – and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve received many enquiries for incentives, and some congresses.” Claire Smith, VP Sales & Marketing at Vancouver Convention Centre, commented: “The meetings we’ve had have really moved discussions along, including conversations about bringing medical and scientific associations in with between 1,200 and 4,000 attendees. We involve our event partners so buyers can meet the wider team – this helps build trust, which is crucial.”

„This year’s show demonstrated how much more we all know about designing experiences with sustainability and purpose in mind.“

A new German language Impact Academy, organised by IMEX Brand Ambassador in the German speaking markets, Tanja Knecht, welcomed 60 hosted buyers who share a special interest in using events and event design to achieve both environmental and community engagement goals. Its successful launch augurs well for a repeat in 2024.

Intentional design and brand refresh

The intentional design of the exhibition halls, particularly Hall 8 by the exhibitors and Hall 9 by the IMEX team and its industry partners, played a crucial role in creating a visually impactful and memorable experience. IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer emphasized the importance of designing experiences with sustainability and purpose in mind, ensuring accessibility, inclusivity, and psychological safety and well-being. Attendees appreciated the Be Well Lounge, which provided a calm atmosphere, and the availability of high-quality, locally sourced, low carbon food. Comfortable and innovative spaces for collaboration, along with low-level lighting in Hall 9, enhanced the overall enjoyment of the event and extended its value as a business and learning platform.

Also adding to engagement and positivity at the show was the IMEX brand refresh. Giant letters in the Galleria became the Instagram hit of the week, while attendees responded positively to the IMEX logo’s ‘handshake’ motif and contemporary colour palette.

A future of cooperation and growth

Looking ahead, IMEX has established a strong relationship with the Google Experience Institute (XI), which will further expand at IMEX America later this year. Attendees at the show had the opportunity to participate in Google Co-Labs, mini design-thinking sprints, and engage in fresh and interactive learning concepts delivered by DRPG, Maritz, and Encore. The event also marked the launch of the Valuegraphics Belonging Index, presented by David Allison, the founder of the company, and Google’s Megan Henshall. IMEX is committed to driving positive change and will be publishing its Net Zero Strategy later in the summer. A dedicated project team is already working closely with MeetGreen and isla to achieve this goal.

“We’ve always known that strong personal relationships and connections are the bedrock of business, especially in a global market based on hospitality and freedom to travel. Since the pandemic, we appreciate other aspects of our humanity too – shared values, a shared purpose, and the power of collective action. This is why the IMEX mission is to bring the global events community together to do business, learn and drive positive change. This week’s show has exemplified positive change. It bodes well for the future,” concluded Bauer.

Next year’s IMEX Frankfurt will take place 14 – 16 May 2024.