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IMEX PREVIEW T he eighth IMEX will open on 25 May at Messe Frankfurt with its largest-ever hosted buyer programme in place. Exhibitor and trade visitor targets are also on course for year- on- year growth. We have spent the last 12 months concentrating on developing new partnerships with intermediaries who can deliver more high quality buyers from the most important and resilient long- haul markets. What is more, we have ensured that a large proportion of these buyers will be staying for three full days and also spending longer on the show floor, meeting and doing business with exhibitors. Forty- five new hosted buyer groups have been confirmed for IMEX 2010, with many of these new buyers coming through global hotel groups who have expanded the regions from which they are delivering clients. These include Marriott International, Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski, Hilton, Starwood, the Ritz, Rocco Forte, Concorde, Sol Melia and Leading Hotels of the World. Fifty exhibitors have increased their stand space compared to 2009, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Czech Tourism Authority, Romania, Serbia, Iceland and Sicily. Continued strength among Asian exhibitors is also demonstrated by increased space for Seoul, Korea, Malaysia, Macau, Indonesia and Japan. From the Middle East, Qatar and Discovery Jordan will be taking bigger stands, while further growth in the Latin IMEX presents its Messe menu 2010 IMEX group chairman Ray Bloomsays the 2010 show at Frankfurt Messe signals global growth and a strong business outlook. American market has prompted Argentina and Uruguay to increase their stand space. Colombia exhibits for the first time. Other larger exhibitors include St Petersburg Express, China, DMC South Africa and the Canadian Tourism Commission. Among the hotel groups, Rezidor, Ritz Carlton, Steigenberger, Mövenpick, Fairmont/ Swissotel Raffles, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Rixos Hotels have also increased the size of their stands. Hotels also account for a number of new exhibitors to IMEX. These include Scandic Hotels and Albert Management. Spain's increased presence now makes it second only to the GCB Germany stand in terms of size. There will be separate stands for Valencia and Madrid for the first time. Three suppliers new to the meetings industry will take their free places on the Wild Card Pavilion: Uganda; Morzine in France and the Hof Conference Center in Iceland. The US Pavilion promises to be a diverse and business- centred section of the show. Anchorage, Arizona, Chicago, Texas, the Eastern Seaboard and New York City will attend. Las Vegas also plans to bring 16 partner exhibitors to Frankfurt. Association Day This year's IMEX Association Day will allow buyers and planners to participate in a tailor- made education and networking programme. Concurrent sessions for 2010 include: Strategic Global Planning for Associations; How to Decide where to Hold International Congresses and Leveraging Conference Content Online. The programme also includes ' Convention 2020 Research - A Snapshot of The Future of Association Meetings.' Association partners will be invited to network with Association Day guests at an evening drinks reception for 700 people. It has become the unofficial start of the show, taking place as it does the night before the official opening. Ray Bloom May 2010 Conference+ Meetings World www. c- mw. net17  ' Fifty exhibitors have increased their stand space compared to 2009.'

IMEX PREVIEW Challenge competition and a global mentoring network. German language seminars IMEX 2010 will present 17 German language seminars and sessions on topics including: ' Change management in associations', ' Association Sponsorships' and ' Trends in the German media'. Other seminars will look at technology, logistical and liability issues, as part of the programme devised by the German Convention Bureau. Simple new green measures IMEX's new green education and awareness programme offers drop- in workshops every hour on the Corporate Responsibility Stand ( powered by the Green Meeting Industry Council). These will present live case studies from previous IMEX Green Award winners, plus insight into the many green meeting industry standards that now exist, including the Green Globe Certification, ISO and APEX. Exhibitors will also be able to apply for a new Green Ribbon scheme. If their stands meet a number of criteria relating to reduced waste output, energy usage and the use of sustainable materials, staff will be able to wear an IMEX 2010 ' Green Team' ribbon. They are intended to be a good talking point and we know that buyers want simple ways to see that those companies they are doing business with are environmentally aware. Education with a new edge Other seminars and presentations at IMEX will include Women's Forum sessions ' How Politicians Forum and Future Leaders Forum 2010 Industry leaders and politicians attending this year's IMEX Politicians forum will hear panellists, including president of SportAccord and Honorary Member of the International Olympic Committee, Hein Verbruggen, and the Honorary Bruce Baird, MP, Australia. Both have extensive experience of the impact a major sporting event can have on a destination and its long- term legacy and will share insights. With each passing year the influence of this forum becomes more direct. We have a host of examples of destinations acquiring more funding for new infrastructure and marketing efforts as a direct result of their political representatives attending the forum. There they meet like-minded politicians and understand the wider benefits of hosting large- scale meetings and conventions in their home regions. I am delighted to announce the Politicians Forum is already expanding into other countries through a variety of new IMEX alliances and I will announce further details after the 2010 show. This year will also see 13 separate IMEX-MPI Future Leaders forums taking place at various events and destinations around the world including Serbia, Iceland, South America, the Middle East, Italy, Thailand, Poland and Shanghai, together with Frankfurt and the US. The forum's mission is to help inform and unite the next generation of industry leaders to give them valuable insight into the industry and position them to lead it in the future. The global programme now includes internships, an International University 18May 2010 Conference+ Meetings World www. c- mw. net to develop your personal branding', plus a cross- cultural seminar on ' Getting a competitive edge from culture' by Richard Lewis Communications. A team from the COP15 taskforce will also look at ' How to implement extremely sustainable events that transform a destination' and share the lessons learned from the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. Teachings from New York Times Bestseller Influencerwill also be presented. A number of industry associations will deliver seminars including the Convention Industry Council ( CIC)' s ' In alphabet soup' and DMAI's ' How to establish and build a CVB'. The Professional Development and Innovation Pavilion, sponsored by CIC, will host IMEX's new ' Meetings Under The Microscope' programme. Launched last year, this scheme aims to help meeting planners keep up to date with the latest ideas and advice on how to improve meeting content delivery and information retention. One of this year's speakers will be graphic facilitator, Andrew Parks of Cognitive Media, who will demonstrate the power and purpose of live illustration as an ' edutainment' tool for meetings. Global research Earlier this year IMEX joined forces with ICCA and Fast Future to fund an important new piece of global research. The ' Convention 2020' Strategic Foresight study will look in detail at the conventions industry in 10 years' time. Fast Future CEO, Rohit Talwar, will present six different seminars, each detailing the study's first phase findings, plus an interactive workshop looking at the potential long- term impact of the study's results on the design of venues and their services. Also new this year is a partnership with i- Meet, the industry's largest online social network. This will enable hosted buyers to network with each other and share ideas in a private online environment both before and after the exhibition. IMEX will create a ' community within the community' at i- Meet, and offer various ways for attendees to join. IMEX continues to advance, invest and innovate. With industry sentiment both realistic and robust, we must continue to deliver on all fronts. Never has IMEX been more comprehensive, or more necessary for business. IMEX takes place 25- 27 May 2010 at Messe Frankfurt.