IMEX in Frankfurt, May 19–22, has plenty of new educational opportunities for hosted meeting buyers and other visitors this year. Monday, May 19, offers a full day of education, while Tuesday through Thursday are expo days, with some creative education sessions sprinkled throughout the tradeshow floor.
IMEX week kicks off with Exclusively Corporate @IMEX, a new dedicated corporate planner track that features high-level speakers focused on innovation and creativity. Michelle Mone, one of the top three female entrepreneurs in the U.K., co-owner of Ultimo Brands International, is the keynote, sponsored by London & Partners.
Association Day, which also takes place on Monday, is expected to have a record turnout, according to the organizers. More than 300 delegates are expected to attend the program, which offers three tracks: executive, operations, and meetings staff. Topics range from member engagement and entering new markets to designing events for strategic impact.
Association Evening and Site Nite Europe, two networking events, take place Monday evening.
Tables and Pods at the Inspiration Centre
The focus for learning during show days will be the new IMEX–Convention Industry Council Inspiration Centre on the show floor. This year it will include Hot Topic Tables for moderated peer-to-peer discussions, a Meet the Experts Clinic for one-to-one sessions with speakers, a Research Pod, and a Creative Pod.
The new Meeting Design Hub will showcase the latest thinking and best practice in event design and is brought to the show floor by Meeting Support Institute. Drop-in sessions will run throughout the show covering new delivery concepts, technology, and creative tools.
Off the show floor, a World Cafe session will address and debate issues caused by multigenerational workplaces. Small group discussions will be held on the topic of working with the millennial generation, which will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.
Sustainaiblity At Its Core
At IMEX’s core is sustainability, and the organizers are including a number of initiatives to help participants reduce the environmental impact of their attendance this year.
Supported by the Sheraton Frankfurt Congress Hotel and Starwood, volunteers are invited to take part in Charity Cooking @Lichtblick, a rewarding and fun event cooking lunch for residents at Sister Siegfried’s homeless charity Lichtblick, an IMEX legacy project. IMEX participants are also being invited to help Lichtblick by dropping off their badges into one of the recycling bins when leaving the show as part of the Badge Back program sponsored by the German Convention Bureau. For every badge dropped off, IMEX will donate funds to either Lichtblick or to IMEX’s other legacy project, Maisha’s Sewing Project, which supports African women in Germany.
The Green Meeting Industry Council’s representatives staff the Sustainability Hub on the show floor, offering short sessions on environmental and social responsibility in meetings, providing delegates with practical tips on how and why they should be greening their meetings, as well as how to incorporate CSR events into events.
Delegates will be able to join the IMEX Green Team at the Sustainability Hub by agreeing to undertake a number of green tasks at the show, including dropping off USBs for recycling through IMEX’s schools distribution partner in India; and joining “story telling tours” of the greenest exhibitors on the show floor, led by IMEX’s Knowledge & Events Director, Dale Hudson.
Looking ahead to IMEX America in October, the IMEX Challenge 2014, sponsored by Sands Cares, GES, and Hosts Global Alliance, will bring together meetings industry volunteers the weekend before IMEX America to plant a new healing garden at The Shade Tree in Las Vegas. Led by The Venetian l The Palazzo Horticultural Department, the planting party will be transform a bare backyard into a restful, plant-filled sanctuary.
For more information, visit www.imex-frankfurt.com.