2012 marked the 10th anniversary of IMEX in Frankfurt. With over 3,500 exhibitors, the show brings the world of events into one giant hall. The scale of the event was almost overwhelming.
Exhibitors from across the globe were there to do business. Australia was well represented with a major stand featuring representatives from around the country. A constant flow of buyers attended the stand and it was obvious that Australia was doing some brisk business.
It was fantastic to be able to meet face to face with global suppliers, with whom, up until now, we have only had email and phone contact. Those personal interactions meant that, together, we could generate new and innovative ideas for groups traveling to international destinations from Australia. Those ideas may not have emerged without having had those meetings.
While IMEX is traditionally dominated by destination exhibitors, this year, more than ever, technology providers made their presence felt.
The proliferation of conference app developers meant that delegates and buyers were able to really get their teeth into this rapidly emerging technology. From the buzz around the room, it was obvious that apps are the way of the future for the meetings industry. For a relatively low entry price, an app can be created that allows delegates to log in to their own personal schedule, see delegate lists, communicate with delegates, access detailed speaker bios, receive constant updates and interact at a meaningful level during conference sessions.
It was quite obvious from the energy and enthusiasm in the room, that the future of the global meeting and events industry is bright and exciting, despite any threat of global economic downturn.
The clear message from the event was embrace change with enthusiasm and creativity to prosper to the max.
Thanks to Marriott for hosting an enthusiastic group of Australians to IMEX, including myself.