“Three electric days,” the event theme of this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt, was more than well reflected throughout the three show days from May 20-22. IMEX 2014 united 9,000 visitors and 3,500 exhibitors from the worldwide meetings and events industry representing the largest edition of the show in its 12 year history.
Visiting IMEX for the 5th time in a row, I noticed how well this year’s education program was received by both visitors and exhibitors. It’s great to see how our industry thrives with self-educative and tech-savvy event professionals!
Apps & event data
The Technology Zone at IMEX was bursting with great ideas; it seemed like there were more app providers than ever. The IMEX Group and QuickMobile presented the findings of the first annual mobile event technology research study at the show. While the survey revealed that 60 percent of the event planners surveyed used a mobile app for at least one of their events in the last two years, many industry professionals believe the actual adoption rate is much lower in the events and meetings industry. Event technology expert Corbin Ball, however, expects this rate to increase over time, especially with regards to smaller meetings.
In an interview with InternationalMeetingsReview on the last day of IMEX, Cindy D’Aoust, chief operating officer of Meetings Professionals International, emphasized the importance of engagement, not just during events, but throughout the year. While website and word of mouth are still highly important to attendees, apps help them make the most of an event, offering them interactive floor plans and appointment systems. In addition, app providers and exhibition organizers can use the collected data to learn more about attendees’ motives and needs, and ideally support their exhibitors by analyzing attendee interest and gauging booth traffic.
Environmental & social responsibility
With the growing awareness of the need for green technologies, event professionals continue showing high interest in sustainability. Some of the best attended sessions of the IMEX education program were about sustainable practices in the events and meetings industry.
The “Sustainability Hub” - all built from environmentally-responsible materials - offered presentations, drop-in seminars and case studies on environmental and social responsibility. Whether we speak about lighting, recycling or biodegradable dishes, venue managers in particular know about the importance of green events and the enormous impact they have on the community. More and more venues try to implement certain standards within their conference or convention center and commit themselves to a sustainable strategy.