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Countdown to IMEX inspires rush of new exhibitors

( One month out from the fifth IMEX in Frankfurt, organisers, Regent Exhibitions, have announced several updates to the leading trade show’s line-up of benefits and innovations.
In the last month, several organisations have announced their participation as first-time exhibitors at IMEX. They include Passeport Chine, Hyundai Motor Deutschland, Hogg Robinson, Starcite, Maui Jim and Virgin Limited Edition. New hotel groups announced today include Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valentin Hotels, Premier Hotels, Hotel Esperanto Kongress und Kulturzentrum Fulda and Suncani Hvar Hotels. A number of exhibitors have also made further increases in their stand sizes, with South Africa now 45% bigger, Taipei 25% and Barbados 28% larger than last year. Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Sea Cloud Cruises and Macau have also made sizeable increases over the past 4 weeks. This is in addition to the 40 plus exhibitors who had already increased their stands since last year’s IMEX.

The final line-up of exhibitors for the IMEX Tech Tap Pavilion now totals 11 specialist suppliers of technology products and services – the largest number of technology exhibitors so far. The Pavilion is designed to provide visitors with a one-stop shop for complementary gadgets and meetings support ideas. Exhibiting companies include COVR bvba, specialists in congress and events software support, and onsite IT services for medical associations. Mission Event Software will demonstrate their web based software, wireless communication, RFID and PC based event management tools, whilst Spotme will showcase its networking and relationship building “people radar” and electronic business card. Leading audience response systems provider, OptionFinder, and online meeting presentations delivery experts, WorldPresenter, will also be exhibiting.

Another exhibitor, Belgium-based Meeting Support Institute, has chosen to host its first annual Meeting Content Conference in Frankfurt the day after IMEX to maximise interest in the subject of meetings technologies. The new conference is designed to educate meeting professionals about state-of-the-art strategies, tools, and techniques for improving learning, networking, and motivation at meetings. The one day conference is expected to draw more than 100 people to more than 20 educational sessions and all meeting planners are welcome to attend.

Commitment to new technology
IMEX continues to demonstrate its own commitment to new technologies by once again offering visitors its Mobile Exhibition Assistant service. Positively received at its launch last year, this innovative service allows users to view their online diaries, search exhibitors, view events listings and other exhibition information from their mobile phone or hand-held device. New features added this year include latest news updates from the IMEX Daily paper and pictures from the show’s photo gallery.

IMEX will also be sending badge codes via mobile phone to those visitors who register for the mobile service. Such visitors will simply have to type their code into a self-badging kiosk for instant receipt of their visitor badge once inside Hall 8.
Other IMEX developments include a last minute addition to the Wild Card Winners for 2007. Western Siberia will now join Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Transylvania and the Cape Verde Islands in the dedicated Wild Card Pavilion which showcases promising new MICE market destinations.

In addition, IMEX has also welcomed two new sponsors to its recently announced UK Corporate Buyers Programme, which is being run in partnership with ‘the voice of the UK events industry’ Eventia. French Caribbean body care brand, Ligne St Barth, already works closely with Leading Hotels of the World as a supplier of exotic spa products and treatments. Both companies will now provide each UK buyer with a dedicated luxury gift pack. The buyers group will also be treated to a Swiss breakfast feast, courtesy of the Switzerland Convention Bureau.

Success for second Polish Future Leaders Forum
Taking place just one month before doors open on IMEX on April 17th was the second ever Polish Future Leaders Forum. Organised jointly with MPI and the University of Economics and Computer Science in Warsaw, the Forum played host to more than 60 students from five Polish cities, thanks to the support of the Polish Tourist Organisation, the Convention Bureau of Poland and Warsaw Convention Bureau.

The hand-picked student group enjoyed a day’s worth of presentations from Rob Davidson, Senior Lecturer in Business Travel and Tourism, University of Westminster UK; Joyce Dogniez, European Director of Operations for MPI; Dale Hudson, IMEX and Katarzyna Sobierajska, Director of the Tourism Department of the Polish Tourist Organisation. Both she and Edyta Musielak of the Warsaw Destination Alliance made a point of promoting the benefits of working within the fast-developing Polish business tourism industry and also in local conference management.

Says Carina Bauer, IMEX Marketing and Operations Director, “Poland is a growing market and it’s terrific that industry leaders there see the potential for educating young people and showing them how to get involved in the events, conference and incentive travel market. This Forum was a great chance to teach them what is really important for the country’s future and to help to open their minds to a burgeoning new industry.”

One young participant, Marta Reinhercs, said, “Beside the obvious benefits, like getting the chance to meet people like Rob Davidson who is absolutely an authority in this industry, I learned a new way to see this industry – that it demands passion and enthusiasm if I want to succeed. That alone has helped me decide that this is exactly what I would like to do in life.”
Michael Seipelt
Telefon: 0211 / 295111

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