The IMEX Group is introducing an annual ‘talking point’. The 2017 IMEX Talking Point is ‘Purposeful Meetings: How to plan with deeper meaning, innovation and insight in mind’. It will feature explicitly through a range of new initiatives and implicitly within the programmes for both IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America 2017.
The IMEX team consulted widely with partners and researched industry trends extensively before identifying and choosing ‘Purposeful Meetings’ with the strapline ‘How to plan with deeper meaning, innovation and insight in mind’ as the talking point for 2017.
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group explains the thinking behind the new move: “We’re committed to continually adding to the value of the learning and networking opportunities we provide through our trade shows. That means we have to keep ahead of industry trends and keep talking to all our visitors and exhibitors to discover their problems and needs and decide how we can help solve them.
“Having an annual talking point allows us to listen and respond quicker and with more intention to those needs. Our chief focus is always going to be on bringing buyers and sellers together, face to face, in the most efficient and enjoyable way possible. But the IMEX Talking Points will inject more immediacy, stronger direction and a clearer distinction between each show year to year.
“That said, each annual talking point won’t dominate education content or industry debate. We’ll continue to deliver education and training under our 10 tracks as we have done for many years now.”
Bauer sums it up as: “There is a shift towards the intentional planning and creation of ‘memorable moments’ not meetings, and ‘experiences’ not events. ‘Purposeful Meetings’ are engaging, inspiring and enjoyable with long-lasting positive outcomes. They are successful and satisfying because they’ve been planned with specific outcomes and behaviours in mind, and they achieve these outcomes and behaviours by taking into account five key elements: Behavioural Science, Meeting Design, Health & Wellbeing, CSR Legacy and, of course, Technology.”
She explains: “Being a ‘purposeful’ planner (or a purposeful company or brand, for that matter) requires a change in thinking, a fresh approach plus new skills and knowledge. This is part of a bigger trend towards meeting planners and event marketers becoming much more strategic.”
New research and training certifications
To back up its commitment to ‘Purposeful Meetings’, the IMEX Group has already formed two partnerships with leading industry specialists. IMEX is partnering with PSAV, a leading global event technology services company, to support a major piece of research and industry white paper. Dr Amanda Cecil of Indiana University and Janet Sperstad of Madison College, USA, will release their first findings at IMEX in Frankfurt in May when Sperstad will present a keynote ahead of further developments planned for IMEX America.
The IMEX Group has also entered into a three-year agreement with EventCanvas.org Foundation which allows IMEX to offer Event Design Certification at both of its shows as part of its pre-show education programmes on Monday. The certification training will be offered free of charge to around 20 English and 20 German planners.