The IMEX Group appoints new Chief Operating Officer

19 June 2024

Gary Coombs has been appointed Chief Operating Officer at the IMEX Group. In the newly created role Gary will lead on implementing the processes and structures needed to support the strategic direction of the global trade show business. As part of IMEX’s senior management team, he is also a member of the Board.

Founded in 2001, IMEX held its first trade show, IMEX Frankfurt, in Germany in 2003, and expanded to the US launching IMEX America in Las Vegas in 2011. Its award-winning events regularly attract over 13,000 industry professionals from 100 countries.

Gary will coordinate teams across various departments to ensure delivery of the company’s vision and initiatives with the Operations department, Marcomms and IT & Transformation all reporting into him.

The new role was created as part of an operational review across the business of 80+ staff. It will ensure all team structures and roles underpin the company’s future ambitions and support its vision: A thriving global business events industry focused on positive change plus its newly created values: Put People First; Achieve Together and Lead the Way.

Transformation focus

Gary joined IMEX as Chief Information Officer in 2021 leading projects to transform how the company uses technology to create an enhanced and efficient service for its clients. He oversaw the launch of a new online platform, underpinned by ExpoPlatform, designed to add further value to attendees’ participation at IMEX shows with features including free business lead scanning for all buyers and exhibitors. Previous to IMEX, Gary spent the majority of his career in the media and events sector having held positions at The Economist, EMAP and UBM. He prides himself on building strong, high performing teams to deliver a company’s vision, underpinned by technology and data.

Gary says of his new role: “’Achieve together’ is one of our company values and we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver our shows without the best in class structures, culture and processes in place to support the hard work our team puts in every day. I’m excited to help our talented and passionate team continue to drive forward the business and lead the way.”

Carina, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “The beating heart of our company are our two shows – IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX America – and ensuring they continue to deliver business benefit, inspiration and connections to the global meetings and events community is our core goal. In his new role Gary will ensure our teams are best placed to achieve this. We’re delighted to appoint him as COO and look forward to continuing to work with him to deliver the impactful, forward-thinking shows we’re renowned for.”

Outside of work, Hove-based Gary likes to make the most of the sea on his doorstep by kayaking or paddleboarding. He also enjoys the gym and spending time with his wife and children.

Gary Coombs, Chief Operating Officer at the IMEX Group
Gary Coombs, Chief Operating Officer at the IMEX Group

Photo: Gary Coombs, Chief Operating Officer at the IMEX Group. Download image here.

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