The boss of the world’s largest business software company has said that face-to-face meetings trump emails and PowerPoint.
Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, gave the keynote speech at the opening of the largest-ever IMEX show in Frankfurt.
He said: “Why do I admire the meetings industry? You are on the frontline in the battle against all the bureaucrats that think that emails and PowerPoints ever changed a darned thing.
“Meetings matter – you have to celebrate the victories, reinvent the business and inspire the people.”
The show has attracted 34 new hosted buyer groups, including attendance from long-haul markets such as Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa.
In the hall for opening day were 300 international association representatives who took part in the IMEX Association Day and Evening on Monday, alongside as 80 buyers from the corporate sector who attended the annual Exclusively Corporate @IMEX event.
Around 40 government representatives from all over the world including ministers, senior regional politicians and policy makers are visiting the exhibition today before meeting industry leaders and taking part in the 13th annual IMEX Politicians Forum.
This year IMEX features 55 new stands including exhibitors from every continent.
One in five exhibitors have this year chosen to book larger stands at the show.
The Asia Pacific region has boosted its presence by 16% as a result of expansion by China and Taiwan. In addition, countries including Japan, Indonesia, Macau and Singapore have also all expanded their stands and Busan, Korea takes its own space for the first time. North American exhibitors with significantly larger presence include BrandUSA, NYC & Company and Texas Tourism.
A notable first-time exhibitor is the Calabar Convention Centre in Nigeria.