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IMEX PREVIEWMay 2012 . . 43 he 10th anniversary edition of IMEX in Frankfurt opens for three days on 22 May at Messe Frankfurt. This year's education programme breaks through the 100-session mark for the fi rst time, with 120 workshops, seminars and other learning opportunities on offer for both visitors and exhibitors. A number of changes to the IMEX website and diary functions, plus improvements to hosted buyer refund processes have also been introduced. Three thousand, fi ve hundred exhibitors representing 157 countries are set to exhibit and the US section will be 15 per cent larger and will include Detroit for the fi rst time. San Francisco also returns to the show. The technology area of the show will be 10 per cent larger than in previous years, with a sold out Tech Tap, plus the IMEX technology pavilion showcasing products and services from Amiando, ATIV Software, EventMobi, Evenium, Konnect and Video Tattoo. A new iPad Bar, sponsored by QuickMobile together with PSAV, anniversary for IMEXThe 10th IMEX show in Frankfurt aims to combine strong business opportunities with an air of celebration, according to Show Director Carina BloomTwill provide hands-on education on Apps for events. In addition, the IMEX App will be available for iPads for the fi rst time.This year's winners of the IMEX in Frankfurt Wild Card competition are Sendai in Japan and the El Salvador Convention Centre in Central America. Both win free stand space on the Wild Card Pavilion plus, new for this year, a package of trade show and marketing support from business events consultancy, GainingEdge. Hosted buyer growthThe show's hallmark hosted buyer programme is set to bring up to 4,000 hosted buyers to the show. Twenty new hosted buyer groups are set to attend, half of them represent the European market, with the others focussing on long-haul buyers. Around 15 per cent of hosted buyers are expected from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries. The number of buyers from Latin America and Mexico will also be higher this year and, as a direct result of success at IMEX America last October, more US groups will be present. Free Wi-FiThere will be free Wi-Fi for the fi rst time throughout the show fl oor. Exhibitors will be able to open their group appointments to more buyers and to invite individuals to join a group presentation through online schedules.EducationThis year's IMEX Education programme will be the largest in the trade show's history. Over 100 different learning opportunities will be on offer, all of them free of charge. The IMEX App will also allow visitors to save education sessions into their personal schedules for the fi rst time. Seminar attendees will also be able to use the app to download session collateral, make notes they can then email back to themselves, and complete seminar surveys.A number of the education stands have also been rebranded to refl ect subtle th

IMEX PREVIEW44 . . May 2012May charities, a homeless shelter and an employment programme for African women living in Frankfurt, will benefit from the IMEX Badgeback programme. All visitors leaving the show can deposit their recyclable badges. Each badge will represent a donation of one Euro.Reworked Association Day The Association Day's content and formats have been aligned more closely to the evolving roles of association executives. All of the day's seminars and workshops now fi t into one of three new tracks: Operations, Executive and Meetings. Sessions will vary from three-hour 'Deep Dives', panel discussions, workshops and a new 30-minute 'Ask the Expert' clinic. Speakers include Directors from leading associations such as PCMA, ICCA, the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) and the Optical Society. Association Day takes place on Monday 21 May at the Messe Frankfurt Congress Center, with the evening network reception, which is open to exhibitors, suppliers and partner association members, taking place at The Westin Hotel.The 10th Politicians Forum will bring 30 politicians and 70 industry leaders to meet at the Villa Kennedy (a Rocco Forte Hotel). Sir Rocco Forte will be the day's keynote speaker. WHATS NEW:A 'Celebration Hour' from 17.00 on Wednesday 23 May is an invitation for exhibitors to provide entertain-ment, food and drink to help create a party atmosphere on the show fl oor. The IMEX Gala Dinner takes place the same night at Frankfurt's Alte Oper and will feature several 'birthday surprises' plus entertainment from Björn Again, IMEX's single, most-requested repeat performers over the last decade. Results of the Power of 10 research study, commissioned to mark the anniversary, will be presented at the show. Conducted by Fast Future Research, the research will divulge interviews from 10 senior industry professionals in each of 10 meetings and events sectors to give an extensive picture of the state of the industry. The study also looks back to some of the most memorable and defi ning moments of the past 10 years, as well as looking ahead to the next 10. There will also be student essay competition and a comprehensive email survey (with a $1 donation being made to Save The Children for every complete survey submitted). shifts taking place in the global industry. For example, The IMEX-CIC Inspiration Centre (formerly the Professional Development and Innovation Pavilion) will now provide a wider range of both professional and personal development information and advice. This year it is sponsored by Poland. Planning which sessions to attend throughout the show has also been enhanced by the introduction of eight 'tracks': Marketing and Communication; Personal Development; Human Resources; Professional Development; Social Media; Sustainability; Technology; and General Education. A 'Visionary Events Series' at the Inspiration Centre will also give visitors the chance to understand the dynamics behind individual meetings and events which have either pushed back boundaries or set new standards in innovation, design or impact. Education will be delivered by leading industry names including Meetology, tmf dialogmarketing, the German Convention Bureau (once again running an extensive German language seminar programme across all three days) and a host of industry associations. Among the individuals sharing their expertise in various sessions will be: Avinash Chandarana, Group Learning and Development Director, MCI; Aoife Delaney, Director of Global Sales, Ovation; Eric de Groot, Meeting Designer, Mind Meeting, and Andy Sharpe, Founder, Song Division. Sessions will be delivered in a variety of formats. These include Lightening Labs designed specifi cally as short, sharp 'how-tos' specifi cally for exhibitors and Campfi res, which are informal, small group discussions facilitated by an expert. Sustainability Hub - green getting greenerThe corporate responsibility centre now becomes the Sustainability Hub - powered by the Green Meeting Industry Council. The Hub will be a focus for community and environmental project information and will host drop-in workshops and live case studies from previous IMEX Green Award winners. 'How to go green' power-sessions with advice about how to start, as well as information on more advanced green policies and current practices also return. Badgeback programme For the first time, two local Frankfurt Frankfurt is again the host destination for IMEX