Thunder not very frightening as IMEX 2019 kicks off in Frankfurt

A thunderstorm that led to flight delays across Europe failed to deter meetings industry professionals who gathered in their thousands for the IMEX trade show in Frankfurt today.

John Starr, IMEX PR manager, said ‘most hosted buyers’ were accounted for despite a storm over the city on Monday afternoon, which led to a spate of flight cancellations and delays.

The exhibition halls, at Messe Frankfurt, were bustling on Tuesday morning, with buyers (meeting planners) coming face to face with destinations, venues and technology suppliers.

New this year was the Discovery Zone where visitors could check out new innovations, particularly in sustainability, the IMEX team’s favourite ‘green’ household products and examples of the green products and materials used at IMEX shows.

Association congress organisers were already in the city having taken part in the ICCA Association Experts Seminar over the weekend and IMEX Association Day on Monday.

Associations ASAE, ICCA and MCI collaborated with IMEX to create a topical and interactive programme, delivering three Learning Labs covering Leadership, Imagination and Knowledge.

Adrianna Trojak from the European Health Management Association, said: “Today has been excellent, sharing experiences and meeting with many people in similar roles. The presentations have been great and the case studies inspired clear visions of what we could do.”

Meanwhile speakers from the International Olympic Committee, Barclays, Cisco, Microsoft and KPMG shared their approach to events at the Exclusively Corporate on EduMonday.

The dedicated learning and networking event for corporate event directors and planners was held at the Grandhotel Hessischer Hof. and proved a big hit with attendees.

Nicola Wedge, Head of Events at Barclays, defined creativity as “the human spark that gives meaning to life,” urging planners to give their attendees “what they don’t know they want.”

Her advice was well received by the audience. Dana Weaver, CIS, Senior Manager of Marketing Services, Growmark, said: “Coming to IMEX and Exclusively Corporate serves as a reminder to think out of the box and be creative.”

Yasmin Rachid, International Renal Society Relations PV, Fresenius Medical Care Deutschland GmbH, Germany, added: “Attending IMEX is the only chance I get over one or two days to get creative ideas and be inspired. Instead of calling people on the phone, I get access to many people who provide inspiration and new ways of getting things done.”