Less than six weeks after coronavirus concerns forced the cancellation of IMEX Frankfurt, a major exhibition for the meeting and convention industry, its organizers have announced PlanetIMEX, a virtual platform that will replicate some of the live event’s opportunities to learn and connect, but also endure and expand over time.
IMEX Group, which teased the PlanetIMEX news with a YouTube video on April 16, has now revealed additional details on what’s being planned: The company will open two PlanetIMEX zones on May 6, the Community Island and the Education Island. The following week, the original dates of IMEX Frankfurt, there’s a five-day lineup of education, networking, and fun events. Here’s what been outlined so far:
May 11: EduMonday Live, educational sessions led by PlanetIMEX experts
May 12: Community Day, educational sessions from IMEX partners, as well as the IMEX-MPI Future Leaders Forum
May 13: #imexstillrunning, a 5-km solo run challenge, following a tradition of the in-person events
May 14: IMEX Introductions, a day for buyer-supplier connections
May 18: educational sessions for independent, corporate, and association event professionals
The specific educational sessions and log-in details have not been announced, but IMEX Group says that the business events community will have unlimited free access to the virtual platform.
“We decided early on that we wanted to gift something back to the industry we love while continuing our commitment to providing high quality education, business, and networking value,” says Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO. “Rather than switch to a one-off online event, in true IMEX fashion we opted for innovation through transformation! … We’ve combined education, community, and business introductions with wellbeing, including some old favorites such as #imexstillrunning. All of this takes place in a new ‘magical place and space,’ which we hope the industry will appreciate and value. That said, like many others in our industry, this has been—and remains—a learning curve. We’ve jumped right in to try something new and we’re excited to learn, refine, and enrich it over time.”