The doors opened on Halls 8 and 9 of Messe Frankfurt on May 23 for the 2023 edition of IMEX Frankfurt, the global meetings and events industry tradeshow.
A brand refresh, timed to launch at the show, meant that visitors were greeted by a new look IMEX, featuring pastel colours derived from its legacy branding, set-off by navy and white and introducing a new motif – a symbolic handshake.
Latin America and Asia comeback strong
With Asian exhibitors making a welcome return to the show floor, together with strong representation from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, North America and, in particular, Latin America, this week’s IMEX is a living representation of an industry responsible for 27.5 million jobs and a total global economic impact of $2.8 trillion in 2019.
Award-winning properties such as Ireland’s Adare Manor feature in the exhibitor line-up, together with new hotel launches such as Smiling Hotels’ new elaya brand. Many hotel initiatives focus on new farm to table or heritage food offerings while others are promoting their sustainability credentials. Strategic partnership announcements include a new agreement between Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) and Hosts Global.
Responding to rising demand for people to connect more with the great outdoors through events or incentives, companies such as HL Adventure has launched a three-week Artic Horizon experience, while Sarawak’s sponsorship of the entry ways into Hall 8 features soothing birdsong and floor to ceiling jungle graphics.
Accessibility and inclusivity
In both halls the IMEX team has focused on improved accessibility and inclusivity for all participants. Colour choices, food options, the app, signage, cloakrooms, wayfinding and quiet spaces have all been designed with a new understanding of how people’s needs differ and what a high impact, visceral experience a trade show can be.
The IMEX Frankfurt education programme, which spans four days, once again showcases world-class speakers, leading-edge organisations, important trends and industry research. DRPG, Maritz, Encore, Google XI and Valuegraphics all feature while the ever-changing event tech landscape can be explored via a dedicated track.
Technology and Innovation is one of six curated tracks that also include People and Planet; Business Practices; Experience Design, Event Marketing and Trends and Research. Separately, specialist programmes include AVoice4All, She Means Business, Association Focus, Exclusively Corporate, Agency Directors Forum and a new German language Impact Academy.
Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, says “As a company IMEX has changed enormously in the past decade. We’re more certain than ever about the power of the IMEX shows to facilitate strong business between global exhibitors and buyers. In a post-pandemic world, there are still many pressures facing every industry sector. Nevertheless, all signs point to this week generating healthy business levels and a timely confidence-boost for many.
Our Human Nature Talking Point has also been important. It’s allowed us, and encouraged others, to remember – and design for - what’s good, positive and even extraordinary about being human. If our industry can truly appreciate and leverage its power to create positive change for humanity, then we can change the world for the better,” says Bauer.