Avant-garde skyscrapers rub shoulders with beautiful old buildings in the energetic city of Frankfurt. With its futuristic skyline and traditional underbelly, Frankfurt is the post-Brexit business heart of Europe.
It’s also the location of the biggest industry trade fair in Europe. So, in May, I made the pilgrimage to the must-attend IMEX Expo! With more than 3,400 suppliers clustered under one roof, IMEX offers an invaluable opportunity to create and develop business relationships, and also catch up with contacts and friends from around the world. Exhibitors include not only hotel and event venues but also suppliers from every sector of the worldwide meetings industry; tourist offices, destination management companies, cruise lines, technology providers, and many more.
I particularly like it when whole destinations sell themselves; Convention bureau hosts are an awesome resource to not only teach us the ins and outs of a region, but also refresh our knowledge of the ones we know.
Whilst I was at the show floor, CCD HQ received a request for an “off the beaten track” venue, in rural Thailand. I was in the perfect place to seek out the Thai Convention Bureau, who introduced me to a local expert. I am now working to deliver a very special one-off incentive trip!
I also had the chance to tackle some ongoing business obstacles with hotels and venues. I find being able to do this face to face makes a real difference.
IMEX also presents educational seminars to share fresh ideas and boost personal development. This could be something I’m in need of! One evening, my host hotel displayed a sign for an “IMEX drinks reception”. I seized the opportunity to network, only to discover later that I had somehow managed to crash a VIP reception for European Commissioners hosted by the head of IMEX!