Don’t tell the international meetings and incentives industry there’s an economic slowdown in the U.S.: IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events, enjoyed a series of record highs, according to IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom, who spoke at the close of the show, which took place April 22-24, in Frankfurt, Germany.

"An indication of the robust and healthy nature of the international meetings industry is that IMEX welcomed well over 8,500 buyers to Messe Frankfurt, of which more than 3,600 were hosted buyers--a far larger proportion of these being from long-haul markets than ever before,” said Bloom. In addition, buyers signed up for more than 40,000 pre-organized appointments, Bloom said, “30,000 of which were made through the online appointment system."

Each year, IMEX recognizes a number of companies and organizations with awards for important achievements. Here are the 2008 recipients:

  • The Norgine Centenary Conference in Sun City, South Africa, organized for Norgine Pharmaceuticals by World Events BV, won the IMEX Commitment to the Community Award 2008.
  • Scandic Hotels won the 2008 IMEX Green Meetings Gold Award, which has become a distinguished prize and important public acknowledgement for those meeting planners and suppliers committed to delivering environmentally friendly meetings and demonstrating tangible outcomes. It is one in a series of green awards given by IMEX and the Green Meeting Industry Council. The first-time Silver Award was given to the Unitarian Universalists Association for a 2007 conference held at the Oregon Convention Center. Two "highly commended" nominations were also made to the U.S. Green Building Council and the British Standards Institute for the meeting held to launch their new British Standards on Sustainable Event Management.
  • The Malta Tourism Authority won this year’s Green Exhibitor Award, which is given to the exhibitor who spends considerable time and resources to make its booth environmentally friendly.
  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts won the inaugural Green Supplier Award, developed after last year’s show by IMEX and GMIC to recognize environmental excellence and innovation within the meetings industry.