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Bloom hails industry's resilience at largest ever IMEX

IMEX chair Ray Bloom makes positive remarks in opening ceremony of 2017 show, the largest to date

Pictured: IMEX chair Ray Bloom

IMEX chair Ray Bloom has hailed the industry’s “resilience and forward-looking attitude” at the largest ever edition of the trade show in Frankfurt.

Speaking at the show’s opening ceremony, Bloom said: “At IMEX our aim is to help the industry make valuable connections and build powerful working relationships. With 3,500 companies exhibiting from over 150 countries, and a packed schedule of education and social events, there are plenty of opportunities to make fresh connections and to do a lot of business over the next three days.

“IMEX always provides revealing insights into the industry’s prevailing mood - and that resilience and forward-looking attitude is clearly evident here this week, with growth from both new and existing exhibitors adding up to the largest ever IMEX.”

New exhibitors at the show include Moldova Tourism, Meet Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kyoto Convention Bureau, Jeju Province, and many new technology suppliers.

This year’s IMEX also has more education sessions than ever before, with more than 250.

This year’s major innovation was EduMonday, a full day of learning opportunities in both English and German providing insights into event design, future trends and new technologies. The education continues throughout the show at the Inspiration Hub on the show floor, with experts exploring ten different tracks.

The keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony was Professor Greg Clark, CBE, a global advisor on cities and business who has been increasingly appreciating the value of the meetings industry as he advises more than 100 cities around the world about planning for the future.

In his speech he described the meetings from his observations as “growing, sophisticated and substantial, offering broad and deep benefits, a big new globalising industry of our time that should be closely aligned to cities.” He later said that the industry should be a “critical partner to any city” and that “not taking the industry seriously has a substantial cost for cities.”

The audience included 27 government representatives from around the world who were about to attend the annual IMEX Politicians Forum. Each year the forum brings together politicians and policy makers with global meetings industry leaders to share ideas about the contribution that the industry makes to national and regional economic development.

Bloom said: “Over the last 15 years we have seen the debate move forward from showing that the industry can contribute to debating how to maximise its contribution.”

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