IMEX IS SET TO GROW in nearly every way at this year's show, April 19-21 at Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

IMEX, a worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events, is moving to Frankfurt's largest single-floor trade hall. And with 15,000 square feet of floor space, it's 15 percent larger than last year's inaugural show. In addition, two-thirds of exhibitors that have already contracted for the show have increased their booth size by an average of 34 percent.

IMEX's hosted-buyer program is growing as well. Last year more than 2,800 international hosted buyers from 56 countries attended. This year the program is forecast to bring in 3,000 buyers, with the increase expected to come from long-haul markets such as the United States, South America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Eastern Europe. Another 3,000 German buyers are expected to attend as well.

This year an elite group of 16 high-level corporate planners from some of the world's largest companies is attending IMEX at the invitation of Meeting Professionals International. The Global Corporate Circle of Excellence, established in 1999, helps to guide MPI and the meeting industry on policy development, education, alliance building, and education. Currently, procurement issues are at the top of its agenda.

“MPI's strategic plan is all about elevating the role of meeting professionals and demonstrating the power of meetings,” said Hugh Lee, 2004-2005 chairman of the board for MPI. “Procurement officers are just one of many senior stakeholders who must be educated about the value of meetings. Our partnership with IMEX will continue to raise awareness of these important trends throughout Europe, as we provide meeting professionals with tools to influence procurement and all executives about the return on investment of meetings.”

While the award deadlines have passed for the IMEX Wild Card and IMEX Environmentally Responsible Meetings Award, the Programmes of Purpose Award has not yet closed. Open to any company running a corporate social responsibility program or a meeting or travel incentive program that includes an element of social responsibility, the deadline is January 31.

Information about IMEX 2005 can be found on its Web site at www.Imex-Frankfurt.com.