Our World | On 07, Jun 2010
I don’t know if it was just the people I spoke to, but buyers from emerging markets were particularly evident at this year’s IMEX exhibition. Companies from Brazil, Russia, India and China attended in larger numbers, with hosted buyer groups from Asia and the US also noticeably bigger than last year. I was also delighted to see a large number of hotel groups and cruise companies exhibiting. This is encouraging for the industry as it is proof of how many survived the downturn and are positive about business in 2010.
A clear message that came out of the event this year was how everyone I spoke to echoed a cohesive message. One that encouraged everyone in the meetings sector to move forward over the coming months, and continue to present a consistent message with one voice. That voice must articulate the economic strengths and long-term benefits the sector provides in helping our clients take advantage of the promised economic recovery.
Finally, can I congratulate IMEX on the IMEX Challenge. It is truly refreshing to see the industry start to take a structured approach to CSR projects and giving back. It’s something that everyone at P&MM believes in passionately and it is just good to see at least one thing within the industry isn’t driven by money for once.
Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman stated “The past couple of years have challenged our industry on many fronts, not least economically, but I am delighted that both buyers and exhibitors have voted with their feet and turned up in greater numbers than ever to do business at IMEX this year”.
The numbers coming out from this year’s event make for interesting reading; a record number of well over 3800 hosted buyers from more than 60 markets attended this year’s show, among a visitor total of nearly 9000. The mood amongst buyers and exhibitors seemed positive and optimistic, with many reporting increases in levels of business and appointment numbers. A typical example was Nik Racic, Director of the Croatian Convention and Incentive Bureau who said on day two of IMEX: “We have 25 exhibitors on the Croatian stand and they are so far reporting 10 – 12 % more business than last year”.