Villa Kennedy hosts Exclusively Corporate @IMEX

Eighty corporate buyers from 20 industry sectors and with a combined annual meetings and events spend of US$180m gathered at Frankfurt’s Villa Kennedy on the eve of the opening of the IMEX Frankfurt trade show, for the second Exclusively Corporate @IMEX.

The group, which included buyers from 21 countries, took part in an education and networking programme, which kicked off with a short introduction by Patrick Delaney and Padraic Gilligan, Managing Partners of SoolNua and members of the IMEX facilitation team.

The pair described the day’s two educational themes – creativity and compliance – chosen by the delegates themselves, as a conundrum. “Today’s programme is designed to show you how to manage this Catch-22; this apparent conflict between being more creative and free in planning meetings and events while staying ‘safe’ and within regulatory bounds,” they said.

A keynote presentation was delivered by UK entrepreneur Michelle Mone (pictured), OBE, Owner and co-founder of the Ultimo designer lingerie brand.

Mone said creativity was driven by having less money, not more. “In the early days of Ultimo I organised a stunt on London’s Oxford Street which cost us just £500. The press coverage that followed was worth £54m. That single event spread the word about our brand all over the world. It was a turning point for Ultimo and we never looked back after that,” she said.

Following Mone’s frank keynote, the buyers who included Chief Operating Officers, Global Procurement Managers, Heads of Corporate Events, Event Managers, Marketing Managers and more broke into two groups to hear a choice of education sessions.

‘Interactive Media and Engagement: A Conference Case Study’ was led by Luann Edwards, Strategic Communications Consultant for FM Global. Running concurrently was a session co-presented by Jeff Leggett, Meeting Manager for Co-Operators Insurance and Board Member of the Financial & Corporate Planners Association, and Padriac Gilliagan.

At the same time, a private meeting was convened for the most senior executives present, which was facilitated by Terri Breining, President of the Breining Group and Kimberly Meyer, President of Meetings Analytics.

After ‘Better Events on Tighter Budgets’ by Charlie Heavey, Environment Manager for Innocent Drinks and ‘Regulatory Compliance – A Meetings & Events Game Changer?’ by Mark Handforth, Director of Compliant Venues, the buyers were invited to round off the day by sharing ideas and questions in a facilitated World Café session.

Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO said of the event: “The feedback was excellent. Exclusively Corporate has fast established itself as a valuable and popular part of the preshow IMEX education programme and, of course, the fact that it brings 80 or more corporate buyers into the trade show from day one is extremely important to our exhibitors.”

IMEX 2014 runs at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, from 20-22. Visit the Mash Media stand G380.

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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