IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom hailed a record number of hosted buyers and visitors to the 2011 show, “almost 9,000” as the exhibition drew to a close at Frankfurt Messe today (26 May).
Asked by CN whether the Icelandic volcanic eruption had affected visitor numbers, Bloom said: “We were very fortunate with how the wind below. It hasn’t affected us at all”.
Bloom added that strong contingency plans had been in place and a pledge issued on the IMEX website to look after anyone stranded by the ash fall.
Bloom added that Japan had kept its booking and “decided to tell everyone they were here”. The Japanese Tourist Office, he said, had also booked for IMEX America.
IMEX 2011 attracted 3,900 European and long-haul hosted buyers. Bloom said: “Results like these confirm that the IMEX model works, and works extremely well for exhibitors and buyers. Both parties now appreciate the value of resources such as the diary and appointment system, the IMEX App with over 1,200 downloads and the website”.
Bloom picked out the Politicians Forum as a key success of the show and pointed out that study results released by the US Convention Industry Council showing the US meetings industry to be worth over $900m gave new confidence to the industry “now coming back” after recession.
Mexico and Switzerland were also set to embark on impact studies and the UK industry was also keen but searching for funds.
The UK is also searching for politicians to take part in the Politicians Forum.
Asked by CN why the no-show, despite the recent formation in Westminster of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on the events industry, Bloom said: “We made representations to the group and the result was they didn’t come. If UK politicians are seriously interested in our sector they must demonstrate it. After all, they have put themselves above the parapet”.
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