Industry impact and growth leads the way: IMEX Frankfurt opens today

14 May 2024

Almost 4,000 buyers are expected through the doors at IMEX Frankfurt this week. In the six weeks leading up to today’s opening, buyer, exhibitor and meeting numbers have all consistently tracked ahead of 2023 suggesting a confident return to growth for a market still working through some post-pandemic challenges.

The demand for the show from all quarters of the sector seems to reflect another year of increasing buoyancy and business momentum among event professionals, echoing the 76 per cent of respondents projecting favorable conditions for the year ahead in the latest MPI Outlook survey.

Suppliers have responded accordingly with strong representation from Europe which forms the largest area of this year’s show, closely followed by Asian exhibitors whose share of the show floor is now larger than pre-pandemic levels. Many Asian suppliers have increased their participation in the show: Japan, for example, is set to have its largest ever presence at IMEX.

The show will also feature the largest representation yet from Africa – this includes Rwanda which is celebrating 10 years since its convention bureau was launched and first introduced to the industry at IMEX Frankfurt 2014. Rwanda’s business events sector has since achieved remarkable growth, generating more than 91 million U.S. dollars in revenue last year, up from 64 million U.S. dollars the previous year.

North America’s presence has also increased this year. The Canadian booth is bigger than last year, while the number of US destinations has doubled – over 20 compared to 10 in 2023 – also with the largest footprint since the pandemic. Together with first time exhibitors – Savannah, Bloomington, West Hollywood and Beverley Hills – all US destinations can be found in the new Brand USA pavilion.

The major hotel groups will all be showcasing their portfolios including Sonder and Langham who are both new to the show. They’re joined by Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Marriott, Radisson and IHG which is doubling its presence in Germany to more than 200 hotels in almost 100 cities.

With 40 per cent of planners expecting more attendees at their events than last year (according to Northstar’s latest Meetings Industry PULSE Survey), IMEX Frankfurt buyers are bringing with them a big appetite to meet. Over 50,000 one to one meetings had already been booked before doors opened today. The majority of buyers are joining the show from across Europe, North America and Asia, with almost two thirds from the agency sector.

  • Photo : IMEX Frankfurt galleria - download image here

Innovative and impactful

Underpinning the show’s Talking Point, Impact, are a number of major developments all designed to offer added value to attendees.

The learning program – 200+ sessions in total - strikes a balance between the hard knowledge planners need to support their day-to-day work and the personal issues that resonate with them.

Navigation in and around the show, as well as to and from the venue itself, has been made simpler with the introduction of blue dot navigation in the IMEX app. Meetings can also be booked in the new and improved app up until Thursday afternoon.

Sustainability continues to figure prominently at IMEX with all attendees now able to make a positive climate contribution by ‘balancing’ their travel to and from Frankfurt through a new partnership with Cloverly. As part of a Better Stands Initiative pilot, all booth constructors have been invited to self-assess against the initiative's framework with the aim of replacing any remaining single-use booths with reusable constructions.

“The business momentum we’ve seen going into the show has been remarkable and is a reflection of the resilience of our global events industry. From Africa to Asia, the Americas to Europe, our community continues to thrive and grow. At the same time, we must be ready to play our part in a world that is changing rapidly and ensure that business events remain at the heart of creating transformational outcomes and positive impact. As well as the immediate business opportunities that are at the heart of IMEX, we’ll also be focusing hard this week on creating IMPACT for all,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO IMEX Group.

IMEX Frankfurt is currently taking place at Messe Frankfurt May 14 – 16. #IMEX24

Bookmark this link for quick access to ‘IMEX in 100 photos’ gallery.

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

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