IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom has hailed the 12th edition of the Frankfurt show, which closed 22 May, as the largest IMEX ever. There was, he said, “a more positive and buoyant business mood than we’ve seen for some time”.
Bloom (pictured) reported that 30 per cent of stands had increased in size for 2014 and the show had attracted 64 new stands.
Speaking at the show’s closing press conference, Bloom said feedback from exhibitors about the many refinements made to the show’s online appointment system, the expanded education programme, the specialised pre-show events and the show’s app, had been very positive.
He said a visitor total of nearly 9,000 had included just under 4,000 hosted buyers, coming from 77 countries. More North Americans had attended the show than ever before, he noted and that this contingent had only been strengthened by the Las Vegas IMEX America show.
A third of the hosted buyers, Bloom added, had come from long haul markets to Frankfurt this year.
Bloom picked out the pre-show corporate buyer event, Exclusively Corporate @IMEX as a “great addition to the hosted buyer programme”.
Corporates in the meetings sector, Bloom believes, are the most isolated sectoral group in the industry, and he said that a lot of time and effort had been spent getting 80 of the main corporate buyers and executives from 21 countries to the event. Their purchasing power Bloom estimated at €180m annually.
Of the 65,000 appointments that took place over the three days of the show, between buyers and exhibitors, Bloom said 53,000 represented one to one appointments and stand presentations.
IMEX CEO Carina Bloom told the press that technology had played an increasing role in driving the show forward this year. The appointments, she emphasised, had been chosen by the hosted buyers rather than it being a matching system. This, she stressed, was unique to the IMEX model.
An appointment booking system allowing exhibitors to add up to five profiles in their diaries had seen a 19 per cent uptake, with usage, in terms of messaging and use of functions up 600 per cent on 2013.
Bloom added that the IMEX Politicians Forum had been attended for the first time by Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
“After many months of dialogue with the UNWTO, the WTTC and the Joint Meetings Industry Council, the meeting between these organisations secured agreement to collaborate on three areas of common interest in the future,” said Bloom, and expected detail of the meeting to be released in the coming weeks.
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