IMEX, The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings, and Events, is planned for Frankfurt, Germany, April 8 to 10. Chairman Ray Bloom is launching the event, which competes with EIBTM, held in May in Geneva. Bloom founded and then sold EIBTM to Reed Exhibitions. He said at press time in mid-February that “it's business as usual, and the hall is pretty much full” in reference to any effects the world's political turmoil and the hesitancy of Americans to travel overseas might have on IMEX. Some 2,000 exhibitors representing 100 countries are expected, including many major U.S. cities and destinations. The attendance projection is around 5,500, including 2,500 hosted buyers and 3,000 German buyers.
IMEX will incorporate Meetings Made in Germany, a trade fair that has been produced for the past seven years by the Frankfurt-based German Convention Bureau, a partner in the event.
Industry associations — including Meeting Professionals International, which is co-marketing the MPI 2003 Professional Education Conference-Europe (PEC-E), slated for April 4 to 6 in Berlin — are supporting IMEX. Under the agreement, all MPI members pre-registered for the PEC-E will travel by chartered train from Berlin to Frankfurt, and IMEX is hosting a dinner at the newly renovated Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel and Towers. Additionally, the Sheraton Frankfurt will provide all pre-registered MPI planners with a complimentary two-night (April 7 to 8) stay, while all other MPI members attending both events will receive one night (April 7) complimentary. MPI spokeswoman Kelly Schulz says that “registration is pacing ahead of where it was last year” for the PEC-E.