IMEX in Frankfurt returns on 21-23 May, bringing together business event professionals from around the world to meet and do business. Planners and exhibitors alike can also tap into the rich thread of imagination ideas and activations running through the show, forming IMEX’s Talking Point for 2019. Here are five ways attendees can ignite their imaginations and power up their business results at IMEX in Frankfurt next week:
1. Collaborate and co-create
IMEX is always the living embodiment of the phrase: ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.’ This year planners can network and learn with their peers at one of the many events designed for specific audiences in the meetings and business events industry: Exclusively Corporate, Association Day, Agency Directors Forum.
The Policy Forum brings policymakers together with influential industry leaders to engage national and local governments in the advancement of our industry. This year’s red hot theme: Placemaking.
2. Think and act inclusively
Gender equality, female empowerment and diversity are the focus of She Means Business, a conference created in partnership with tw tagungswirtschaft celebrating the role of women in business and events. Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-founder & Managing Director, ReDI School of Digital Integration, will deliver the keynote (open to all EduMonday attendees) and senior executives from organisations – including PWC, Deutsche Bank and Lufthansa HR Management, Eurometropole de Strasbourg, Rwanda Convention and Melbourne Convention – are among the speakers.
Diversity and inclusion sessions and speakers are also woven throughout the four-day IMEX education programme. New for 2019 is PCMA’s #Iamremarkable workshop on EduMonday. Designed to tackle ‘gender-related modesty norms and glass ceilings’ and led by a team from Google, it will empower everyone taking part to speak openly about their accomplishments, in the workplace and beyond.
Not forgetting the industry leaders and innovators of the future, the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum brings together budding business event professionals to gain expert insight into the meetings industry, learning from and connecting with inspirational industry experts and fellow students.
3. Become more sustainable
Keep a look out for the Imagination Wall in the new Discovery Zone (Hall 9), showcasing innovations in sustainability, the IMEX team’s favourite ‘green’ household products and examples of the green products and materials used at IMEX shows. Attendees can also be inspired by huge strides in environmentally friendly practices – exhibitors who’ve signed up to IMEX’s new Sustainability Pledge, plus nominees for the IMEX-EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award.
“Imagine you could change the world, your country or your city with just one wish. Tell us what it would be?” Attendees are challenged to become change-makers by answering this call and pinning their wishes on the Wishing Tree, found in leafy Central Park, part of the Hall 9 Discovery Zone.
4. Unleash creativity – The sights – and smells!
The sight and the smells of the new Discovery Zone are designed to prompt planners to question the conventional and explore fresh approaches to business meetings and events, with a strong emphasis on ‘experiential’. Expect fire-infused magic tricks, Painting Parties, holograms, dancing robots and a piano… played using your feet. Parts of the show are also infused with a new IMEX scent, designed to uplift and inspire.
EduMonday on May 20 at Kap Europa will showcase its own mini ‘Imagination Zone’, where attendees can tap into their artistic streak at a painting party or unleash some fancy moves at a silent disco to close out the day.
Many of the learning sessions at the Inspiration Hub – the show’s learning powerhouse – focus on the topic of imagination and creativity, offering a wide range of insights delivered by experts from both within and outside the global business events industry.
5. Understand the power of technology
Technology can help to drive innovation but many planners question ‘where do I begin?’ Participating in one of the technology-driven learning sessions or visiting one of the many event tech suppliers is a good place to start. Practical applications of event tech, diversity and a firm focus on future thinking all form part of a packed programme of sessions at The ZEUS Innovators Club in Hall 9. New for this year is the Red Lab, where experts from outside the events sector will deliver fresh perspectives on topics such as ‘Incorporating VR, AR and AI into learning’, ‘Virtual screens and the future of workplace design’, ‘How can data transform the event industry?’ and ‘Are service robots an answer to the challenges in the meetings industry?’.
At the dedicated technology area on the show floor in Hall 8, planners can meet suppliers, experience the latest innovations and gain valuable advice – The Meeting Pool returns to head up the TECHknowledge area of the show floor, offering bite-size tech tutorials on topics including how to boost personal and professional productivity, and how technology can drive sustainability.