The leading trade show for the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry opened its doors on Tuesday with more exhibitors and better education programme.
The scale and diversity of the hosted buyer programme is also another important feature of this year’s exhibition. 64 new stands join the line up of 3500 exhibiting companies on the show floor while over a third of previous exhibitors have increased the size of their stands on 2013. Growth from various regions of the world testifies to the meetings and events industry’s growing appetite for the appointment-driven trade show, with an 11% increase in space taken by Asia Pacific exhibitors, 5% increase from Latin America, an 8% increase from the USA and 3% from Europe. Strategic partners, the GCB German Convention Bureau, are hosting over 230 exhibitors on the show’s single largest stand, F100.
20 new hosted buyer groups, the majority of which represent long-haul markets, add to the number of hosted buyers expected at the show this week. New services have also been introduced to help buyers make best use of their exhibitor appointments and business meetings at the show. A spacious new lounge for hosted buyers has been constructed to take account of rising numbers.
The IMEX professional education programme has also increased in scope and size in order to service the industry’s appetite for professional development while meeting the needs of rising numbers attending the show. This year’s programme is 25% bigger, with over 200 workshops, seminars and campfires being delivered by 132 speakers and industry experts. The GCB’s German language Seminartage programme will again offer German language education every day, including morning keynotes by high profile speakers. The programme is also delivered in the same eight-track format as the show’s English sessions.
Other German education includes a ‘Future Trends Clinic’, which is run by Veranstaltungsplaner, a leading association of German event planners, plus guided ‘IMEX Tours’, organised by MICE Club. The tours start by giving small groups of German visitors a short education session based on a theme from the recent GCB ‘Megatrends Report’ and continue with a guided tour of exhibitors and IMEX stands on the same theme.