- Özgür Töre
Since IMEX in Frankfurt was canceled due to COVID-19, the IMEX team have created a brand-new virtual experience, due to launch 6 May and run for several months.
PlanetIMEX has been designed as a destination in its own right and will feature 3D, interactive islands, each created using principles borrowed from the world of online gaming.
Visitors to PlanetIMEX will be granted unlimited, free access to a variety of content and activities on three islands: A beach-themed Community Island; A forest-inspired Education Island and a Networking Island characterised by canyons, mountains and valleys.
Although the execution is light-hearted, each island has a serious purpose. The intention is to keep the spirit of IMEX alive by allowing visitors to explore, reconnect, talk future business and continue learning in the company of friends and colleagues from the global business events community.
Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO said, “We decided early on that we wanted to gift something back to the industry we love while continuing our commitment to providing high quality education, business and networking value. Rather than switch to a one-off online event, in true IMEX fashion we opted for innovation through transformation! Instinctively we looked to our Nature Talking Point for inspiration.
“PlanetIMEX is therefore a fresh and original concept with a visual charm that pays tribute to the exhibitors who always make our shows look so appealing. We’ve combined education, community, and business introductions with wellbeing, including some old favourites such as #imexstillrunning. All of this takes place in a new ‘magical place and space’ which we hope the industry will appreciate and value. That said, like many others in our industry, this has been – and remains – a learning curve. We’ve jumped right in to try something new and we’re excited to learn, refine and enrich it over time.”
PlanetIMEX goes live on 6 May when both Community Island and Education Island open to industry visitors. Education programming starts on EduMonday 11 May with a day of education and interactive content, starting with a keynote by Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Bigwood is also the lead on the IMEX Nature Talking Point research, supported exclusively by Marriott International, and set to be launched later this year.
Tuesday 12 May will be IMEX Community Day, with content delivered by a range of IMEX’s association and other partners. It will also include the IMEX-MPI Future Leaders Forum.
On Thursday 14 May IMEX Introductions will encourage industry buyers and suppliers to explore potential new business relationships and spark up one-to-one conversations.
The following week on Monday 18 May, PlanetIMEX will provide specialist content aimed at specific buyer communities, including a new interpretation of Exclusively Corporate, the Agency Directors Forum and Association Focus.
The education platform on PlanetIMEX has been generously designed and developed by sponsors, Cvent.
Patrick Smith, CMO of Cvent, the market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, explained, “All of us at Cvent are incredibly proud to be partnering with IMEX to help them bring this extraordinary online experience to life. As longtime leaders in the meetings and events space, IMEX Group is dedicated to helping everyone in the industry make connections that matter. While the in-person experience at IMEX in Frankfurt will be greatly missed this year, our teams have collaborated to create a unique and deeply engaging virtual environment. While nothing can replace meeting face-to-face, it’s important that as industry leaders, we make the best of this current situation, and to be able to help IMEX deliver their great content to their global audience in an interactive, compelling way is really exciting.”
Over time the IMEX Group plans to expand the content, programmes and engagement opportunities on PlanetIMEX. Access is free although registration is required for both education content and IMEX Introductions.