This Just In

IMEX Frankfurt: A Week Full of “Firsts”


FRANKFURT — In keeping with its reputation, last week’s IMEX Frankfurt served as a launching pad for fresh ideas and new initiatives. The May 14-16 show drew 12,000 attendees, 4,000 of which were buyers, to Messe Frankfurt. Organizers estimate that 60,000 meetings took place on the show floor.

The show, which is known for its firsts, delivered once again. Among these, it featured education conducted entirely in German—its broadest range of German language education ever—as part of its MICE Impact Academy. A new partnership with Cloverly allowed attendees to make contributions toward climate change by balancing their travel; in their individual IMEX accounts, attendees could see their estimated carbon footprints​, and choose to offset by investing in a selection of carbon credit projects from around the world.

“We had many other wonderful new initiatives including Wonder Walks, where we looked at the power of nature and biophila use in trade shows, a tour led daily by the inimitable Robert Dunsmore,” Tahira Endean, Head of Programing, said. “Our Tough Talks series covered Men, Mental Health and Suicide with Rob Hosking and Darren Edwards, Social Anxiety with Melva LaJoy Legrand and The Menopause with Ciara Feeley, all leading open discussions that allowed the participants space under Chatham House Rules to truly connect.”

Industry associations also launched new research at the show, including the International Congress and Convention Association’s (ICCA) “Partnering for Success 2024,” which provides regional insights into the global association meetings industry, including a ranking of the most popular meeting destinations. Also announced at the show was the launch of the Events Industry Council’s new Future Landscapes Survey, a year-long project examining the emerging issues and supporting trends that are most likely to shape the events industry in the years to come. The project will culminate with a comprehensive report in Q4 of this year.

Related. PCMA and SANCBE Announce Convene 4 Climate Event

Industry groups also used the show to announce new partnerships, including one between ICCA and the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA), which will allow ICCA to bolster advocacy efforts for its members within North America. Also announced, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is partnering with the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe (SANCBE) on Convene 4 Climate, a new event for sustainability leaders to be held October 2-3 in Barcelona.

IMEX also serves as a barometer to measure the health of the business events industry, and this year was no different.

“I’m delighted to see the return of the Asian market,” IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom said. “Japan, which had its largest ever representation, used the show to communicate the business readiness of those areas affected by the recent earthquake.” He also observed that Africa is experiencing growth, with Uganda stating that the tourism segment (of which business events is included) is now its dominant industry.

Next year’s IMEX Frankfurt will take place May 20 – 22, 2025.

Reach Tahira Endean at; Ray Bloom at

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