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T he eighth IMEX will open on 25 May at Messe Frankfurt with its largest ever hosted buyer programme in place and buyer, exhibitor and trade visitor targets all 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," explains IMEX group chairman, Ray Bloom. " What is more, we have made sure 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 key global hotel groups, who have expanded the regions from which they are delivering clients. A strong run- up in the past two months alone has seen a marked rise in the number of new exhibitors plus an upturn in stand increases. Sixty- two exhibitors have now increased the size of their stands compared to 2009 and a total of 29 new stands with hundreds of new exhibiting companies will be present. Europe, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Czech Tourism Authority, Romania, Serbia, Iceland, Meet Sicily and Figur Tourism will all have a larger presence at the show. Continued strength among Asian exhibitors is also demonstrated by increased space for Seoul, Korea, Malaysia, Macau and Indonesia. From the Middle East, Qatar and Discovery Jordan will be taking bigger stands, while further growth in the Latin American market has prompted Argentina and Uruguay to increase their stand space. In addition Spain has again increased exhibition space, which makes it second only to the German Convention Bureau ( GCB) stand in terms of size. Three suppliers brand new to the meetings industry will also be celebrating winning a free place on the Wild Card Pavilion. This year's winners are: Uganda; Morzine in France and the Hof Conference Center in Iceland. Among the exhibitors to have increased in the past two months are Finland Convention Bureau, Moscow, Serbia, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Trinidad and Tobago, Ecuador, Panama, Japan, India, Lebanon and Taiwan. From the private sector, Kuoni, Sales and Promotion, GL Events and TUI will also be increasing their stand sizes. New exhibitors in the same period include several cruise companies, namely Transocean and Business on Cruise. Returning after a short break are Norwegian Cruise Line and Sea Dream Yacht Club. Other companies returning to the show are the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Transcielos representing Bolivian and Peruvian exhibitors and 2003 Wild Card Winner, Poznan ( Poland), which will now exhibit at IMEX for the first time in their own rights; a result of their growth and success in the global meetings industry since winning the IMEX Wild Card Scheme seven years ago. The US Pavilion will once again be an extremely diverse and business- centred section of the show with a range of exhibitors from across the country. Anchorage, Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Texas, the Eastern Seaboard, San Francisco, Florida, Washington and New York City will all be present. Las Vegas has also doubled the size of its stand compared to 2009. Preview| Exhibition World 26| May 2010| THE MAGAZINE FOR THE GLOBAL EXHIBITION COMMUNITY WWW. EXHIBITION- WORLD. NET IMEX 2010 preview With the launch of its US counterpart next year, EWexplores IMEX 2010 and finds education and sustainability take top billing. IMEX group chairman Ray Bloom

For more information call BIRMINGHAM CONVENTION BUREAU on + 44 ( 0) 121 202 5151 visit meetbirmingham. com/ imex the world's meeting place world class The ICC, Symphony Hall, Hyatt Regency and The NIA Your chance to meet birmingham and The ICC at IMEX Make an appointment to see us at IMEX, 25- 27 May for your chance to win a VIP weekend in Birmingham. Visit meetbirmingham. com/ imex for more details.