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IMEX Frankfurt 2024 Showcases Industry Growing in Confidence

Participants taking a selfie at the entrance of the IMEX Frankfurt 2024 trade show

Skift Take

The 2024 edition of IMEX Frankfurt illustrated the global recovery and growth of the events industry, while not neglecting learning and sustainability.

The twenty-second edition of IMEX Frankfurt closed today with organizers reporting more than 12,000 total attendees, including over 4,000 buyers and more than 60,000 meetings taking place on the show floor. The numbers are line with pre-pandemic editions of the show, and far above 2022 numbers.

At the closing press conference, IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom commented that the could not recall a busier last day of the show. Bloom added that full show reflects a confirmed recovery of the inustry globally. IMEX America 2023, which broke all records, had already confirmed the recovery of the U.S. industry.

IMEX Frankfurt continues to attract a global mix of industry professionals looking to do business with one another. Showcasing a trully global mix of exhibitors, the show features newcomers just starting their journey in attacting international business events. This year these included Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Senegal and Zambia.

Learning Evolves

While the core focus is business exchange, learning also plays an important role at IMEX Frankfurt. ICCA hosted its Association Expert Seminar on May 11-13. Several more pre-show events took place on Monday 13, including Association Focus and Exclusively Corporate, events created for association and corporate planners, respectively.

During the show hours, the business exchange was in full swing in Messe Frankfurt’s Hall 8, while over in Hall 9 more than 200 learning sessions gave attendees plenty of opportunities for acquiring new knowledge. IMEX CEO Carina Bauer revealed that technology and particularly AI was the most popular topics. She also highlighted that learning was offered at all levels, from strategic discussions featuring senior leaders to sessions specific to students and young professionals.

Also in Hall 9, the Google Xi CoLaboratory returned to IMEX Frankfurt giving attendees the opportunity to experience design-thinking sprints and explore concepts of belonging and meaning. AV company Encore also showcased it’s expertise in event design and production while hosting several learning sessions in an impressive stand. Also in Hall 9, the Event Design Collective guided attendees through its event design methology and introduced the Event Design Trusted Advisor certification.

Sustainability and Impact

IMEX continues its efforts on sustainability, with partner Meet Green once again present on site to aid in managing and reporting on its sustainability efforts. IMEX has also partnered with Better Stands, a program aimed at helping the exhibitions industry reduce waste and carbon emissions by replacing single-use booths with reusable booths. All booth constructors were asked to self-assess using a Better Stands questionnaire with pilot learnings and future plans to be shared before IMEX Frankfurt 2025.

Efforts to reduce the show’s carbon footprint included listing vegan and vegetarian items first in food outlets across the show as well as encouraging IMEX Gala Dinner attendees to select a vegan/vegetarian menu option.

IMEX’s “impact” talking point remains the focus for 2024 and 2025, with more initatives coming at IMEX America in October.

Photo credit: IMEX / IMEX