Top takeaways from IMEX Frankfurt 2023

1 min

The key learnings from IMEX Frankfurt

As we start to look ahead to IMEX America, we’ve been reflecting on some of the hottest topics that caught our attention at IMEX Frankfurt. Here are our top five takeaways.

Event design starts with belonging

Learnings from Megan Henshall, Google, Naomi Crellin, Storycraft Lab, and David Allison, Valuegraphics, revealed event design that centres on belonging is paramount to creating safe, inclusive, and successful events. “Belonging is a key value that we’ve not been cultivating”, explained Megan. Explore the Belonging Index to discover what belonging means to your event participants.

We recommend reading: Creating safe events doesn’t happen by chance by Tim Mousseau.

Sustainability is (still) king

More than one in ten of our education sessions focused on sustainability, making it the hot topic of the week. If the scale of the task is leaving you unsure where to start your sustainability journey, Clare Melton, S&P Global, advises: “Doing something is better than doing nothing”. Read about sustainability at IMEX and our journey to net-zero.

Face-to-face connections drive better business

More than 70,000 badge scans during the show meant there were a lot of conversations happening in Frankfurt this year. As Skift Meetings summarised in their post-IMEX Frankfurt wrap-up, “conversations create the buzz”. This is especially true for new talent coming into the industry: in the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum, Christopher Kai explained the need for networking to further your career: “You’re one connection away from your dreams.”

AI won’t replace humans (yet)

The show floor was buzzing with discussions around AI and the use of tools such as ChatGPT in event planning, marketing, and sales processes. As Hannes Schwarm highlighted in his session, VOK DAMS trend radar 2023, AI won’t kill human jobs, but teams will need to learn how to use AI both effectively and ethically.

Our time is more valuable

New work from home and flexible working policies adopted during the pandemic instigated a new wave in people’s attitude towards their work-life balance. Tatiana Tudela, incentive planner, Orbee, observed: “There’s been a distinct shift in the way people approach their working lives…” And in MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Portrait of European Meeting and Convention Travel 2023 report, nearly 60 percent of attendees reported they’re likely to extend a business trip for leisure purposes in the next 12 months. Travel writers, Daniel Scheffler and Alexis Steinman sparked ideas on how to create unique business travel events, reminding us to focus on authentic and meaningful experiences.

About the author

Charley Murfitt is IMEX's Content Producer. She is a proud advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and the circular economy.

Charley Murfitt

Content Producer