IMEX Policy ForumOne of IMEX’s longest running, most prestigious and influential Forums has undergone an evolution with a name change reflecting a shift in focus. The newly-named IMEX Policy Forum, formerly known as the Politicians Forum, takes place on Tuesday 15 May 2018, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt, at the InterContinental Hotel.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains, “The Forum has evolved over the past 15 years and the name change better reflects the event as it is today. We decided to change the name to the Policy Forum because the meeting doesn’t just host politicians, but a wide variety of policymakers and government influencers. It’s a Forum which brings together the meetings and events industry with the key decision makers in order to inform and influence strategy.

“Governments, regions and cities have a huge amount to gain from embracing the meetings industry and we want to extend the Forum to all those involved in city development. The Policy Forum will continue to play a major role in fostering the partnership between the meetings industry and destinations.”

IMEX is collaborating once again with Professor Greg Clark, CBE, Chairman of The Business of Cities, on the programme including an open discussion and new workshop session designed specifically for local, municipal and regional policymakers and destination representatives.

Professor Greg Clark explains: “This industry is growing - it is sophisticated, substantial and has very broad and deep benefits for the places that host it. It also has important linkages with other industries and provides capabilities for many of the globalising and innovating sectors in the world today.”

The Policy Forum is designed to facilitate collaborative global discussion around five core elements: Strategy, Advocacy, Development, Engagement and Enlightenment. This unique high-level event will bring together up to 40 policymakers, including national and regional government ministers, and political influencers with around 80 industry leaders.

They will meet to exchange knowledge and best practice on how to make the most of the wide-ranging benefits that investment in conferences and meetings can bring, from income and employment to inward investment, education, scientific and cultural advancement.

Current hot topics such as over-tourism, political instability, security, innovation and knowledge hubs will also feature on the Policy Forum’s agenda.

The Forum launched in 2003 and has established itself as a crucial connection point for the meetings world and public policymakers. Over the years it has proved to be a major catalyst in advancing the understanding of the critical role that the meetings industry plays in many aspects of national and regional development. Organisations which have attended in recent years include the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Iceland; Ministry for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, New South Wales; Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ukraine; the Japan National Tourism Organisation; the Prime Minister’s Office in Tanzania and a Member of Parliament from Sweden.

The IMEX Policy Forum is organised in collaboration with European Cities Marketing (ECM), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) under the auspices of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC).

City, municipal and national government policymakers are invited to join the 2018 IMEX Policy Forum. Registration opens in January 2018 - visit www.imex-frankfurt.com/whats-on/policy-forum