From May 19-21, the “biggest IMEX they had so far” (congratulations, IMEX!) took place in Frankfurt, Germany. With a rich and diverse educational program, the show managed to cover a variety of interesting topics and incorporated some of the latest educational trends as identified by MPI into the programming.
1. Free information
Pre, during and post – you’d have heard plenty of these three magical words at IMEX. So how do you master the art of keeping an event alive throughout the year? Free information and content that has been generated at an event should always be made available to event participants – for free. Whether they are looking for any specific product information or whether they want to self-educate themselves on certain topics: At the end of the day, they want to walk off the show floor packed with information and new insights. If you are able to feed their hunger for knowledge, you certainly have the key to making them happy and keeping them coming back for more. Consider re-using “old,” revamped contentand most importantly: Try to cover interesting topics 365 days a year and keep an eye on what your attendees want to learn about.
Meeting people and networking is a high priority for most event participants. If you hand out information on presentation topics beforehand, you can use the actual time slot of an educational session to drive discussions and enable participants to exchange experiences or ask questions. This might be part of a “flipped classroom” or a “meet the expert” experience, facilitating both the educational and the interactive character of a session.
At IMEX, attendees could choose between a variety of different session formats. For example, informal campfire sessions or small discussions about interesting findings of studies. In Abraham Silhan’s campfire session on “How To Create A Great Event Website,” participants could learn about important elements of event websites and see some best practice examples as designed by Ungerboeck’s Digital Services Team.
3. Personalized experience
”Millennials,” in particular, consider personalized educational offerings to be extremely important. Having grown up with technology, they are familiar with new devices and eager to use them at events. So how can you add to their positive event experience? Sometimes it’s one key conversation or presentation that delivers exactly the information they’re after. Intelligent apps are another selling point to this demographic that can help them find the right people or sessions to match their interests. This enables organizers to personalize and improve the attendee experience.
4. Changing meeting space
Increasing international competition forces convention and exhibition centers to keep up with state-of-the-art technology and innovation. Whether you choose iBeacons to be your competitive advantage or whether you specialize in Hybrid Meetings – stay ahead of your competitors and let the world know what is special about your meeting spaces. Many clients look at destinations as a whole rather than focusing on one specific venue. They often want regional specialties to be reflected in the meeting, for example through local food or case studies.
5. “On-The-Go” for everyone
The app-hype is still highly visible in the industry. When walking on the trade show floor of IMEX, you hardly see any event professional without a tablet or a smartphone. And it makes sense: Data has to be available anytime and anywhere in order to guarantee no business gets lost. Organizers may use apps to conduct surveys and provide show information to attendees in a quick and easy way.