IMEX Wild Card winners 2013: Fukuoka and Davao

Fukuoka City in Japan and Davao City (pictured) in the Philippines have been selected as winners of the IMEX in Frankfurt Wild Card competition for 2013.  

The IMEX Wild Card programme offers aspiring entrants into the international meetings market the chance to exhibit free of charge alongside established destinations and other suppliers. Winners exhibit on a dedicated Wild Card Pavilion and receive publicity and marketing support. 

Previous Wild Card winners over the years have included El Salvador, Budva, Mongolia, Poznan and Uganda.

For the second consecutive year, both winners will benefit from a new business support package, provided by business events consultancy, GainingEdge. The company has committed to providing each winner with advice on how to maximise return from the IMEX pre-scheduled appointment system, detailed sales and marketing training, as well as help on how to make the most of international trade show participation.

To be eligible for a free exhibition place, Wild Card entrants are expected to demonstrate sufficient infrastructure and skill to support their ambition to flourish within the global meetings market. To qualify, they must never have exhibited at an international trade show in the past.

Ryoko Baba, International Relations Co-ordinator for the Fukuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau, said: “Taking advantage of being the closest Japanese metropolis to Asia, we have been successful with conventions which expect more participants from the Asia-pacific region. Our growth plans will now start with joining ICCA and appearing at IMEX.

“We will also target conventions relevant to made-in-Japan technologies such as videogames, beauty products and robots, as well as sports events, which Fukuoka is prominent for.”

Art Boncato, Regional Director at the Department of Tourism Davao, added that his city was “delighted” to have been selected as a Wild Card Stand winner at IMEX in Frankfurt this year.

“It is a rare opportunity for our destination to be given attention on the global MICE stage. This opportunity would definitely firm up our mission to work very hard in making Davao City a serious MICE player,” he said.

IMEX takes place in Frankfurt 21-23 May 2013 at Messe Frankfurt.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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