Business News

What Attendees Are Talking About at the Return of IMEX Frankfurt

Skift Take

Renewed energy from attendees and exhibitors fills the halls of Messe Frankfurt at IMEX Frankfurt. The annual worldwide exhibition for the global business events community gathers this week after a two-year Covid hiatus.

IMEX Frankfurt, the annual meeting and incentive travel exhibition event, is back after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.

On hand at IMEX Frankfurt, gathered at Messe Frankfurt, are exhibitors representing over 100 countries and over 2,800 registered buyers who have thousands of appointments.

The show, celebrating its 20th anniversary, reflects a new business reality, and it’s one of steady and sustained confidence. Over 40 new stands and many returning suppliers have expanded their presence at the show, all with compelling stories about recent and significant investments. 

“This week’s IMEX in Frankfurt represents a microcosm of the global marketplace and is at the heart of the industry’s restart. We’re in the early stages of rebuilding our sector but have every reason to be confident,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

There is clearly a sense of relief with this being the first major show industry show for many, particularly in Europe. Human connection is on display at every corner with emotional reactions to seeing fellow event professionals in-person for the first time in over two years.

On the exhibitor side, the conversations on site range from ecstatic enthusiasm to cautious concern. Some exhibitors report a full agenda, while others are seeing a 50 percent reduction in appointments booked with buyers.

Overall, there is certainly confidence in the recovery of the sector, but it’s the quality of meetings at the show, and ultimately the business results that will determine the return on investment for the exhibitors.

IMEX is an opportunity for tourism boards and convention and visitors bureaus to unveil new products and launch new venues. This year is no different. 

Among the announcements are ExCeL London’s expansion and new Elizabeth Line connection, Ethiopia’s new convention bureau, the launch of Transcend Cruises and St Louis’s new direct flight to Frankfurt.

Destinations launching new venues include Uzbekistan, New Zealand, Austria, Heidelberg, Bahrain, and Bangkok.

Skift Meetings has a team at IMEX Frankfurt and will be reporting more from the show.