Discovering how destinations and venues have evolved
For many of the buyers who came from around the world to attend IMEX in Frankfurt 2022, the show represented a chance to discover how destinations and venues have evolved.
Tess Di Iorio, a hosted buyer from Imagine Experience in the US, explains: “I’m interested in unique locations for incentive events and it’s been a joy to see how many places have blossomed. I’ve met with Dubai and Ireland among others, and hearing their stories means I now have tangible content with which to engage my clients. At my meeting with Ireland for example, we discussed the possibility of an incentive around Ryder Cup returning in 2027.”
The strong pipeline of events continues across the show floor as Daniel Reid, Assistant Vice President, Global Sales (Europe) at Shangri-La Group, explains: “So far, we’ve had six solid business enquiries for multiple large groups, including a 200-person event for Google in Tokyo in November, a Herbalife event for 250 people in 2023, and another event needing 300 rooms for ten days in April 2023. We’ve met with many high quality, serious buyers.”
Meaningful community connection
Community tops the agenda for destinations as Jane Cunningham, Director of European Engagement at Destinations International, explained at the launch of Destinations International’s (DI) Pathfinders Programme: “Destinations all over Europe are asking themselves the same questions and primary among them is, how can we engage more meaningfully with our communities? They’re also asking if their business models need adapting to remain relevant.” Jane talked through her learnings from a recent ‘Listening Tour’ of Europe – four issues dominate: workforce; destination impact; community alignment and climate change.
Dawn Lauder, Head of International Conferences at Scottish Event Campus (SEC), shared advice on how event planners can tackle climate change based on her experience of hosting COP26. In What are the legacies for the event industry from COP26? Dawn emphasised the importance of building sustainability into event design from the outset and engaging with like-minded organisations: “Find companies who share the same values and work together. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. We’re all on this journey together and collaboration is key to success. One of the reasons I’m at IMEX is to connect with people who are on the same wavelength.”