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What can we expect from IMEX Frankfurt?

This year’s IMEX Policy Forum is putting the issue of city development to the fore on 21 May, the first day of the Frankfurt exhibition.

The expert speaker line-up for 2019 includes cities advisor, Professor Greg Clark CBE; partnership and place management expert, Dr Julie Grail and business journalist and media advisor Ursula Errington. Policy makers from national and regional governments worldwide will also be at the Forum to explore 'The Business of Placemaking' with leading business events industry professionals.

According to the Global Economic Significance of Business Events, the first ever worldwide study from the Events Industry Council (EIC) and conducted by Oxford Economics, the direct spend of the meeting and event industry worldwide in 2017 was more than US$1.03 trillion, matching the consumer electronics sector in size.

Invited ministers and senior political representatives will take part in a national government discussion at the Forum in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) chaired by Martin Sirk, former CEO of ICCA.



Urban placemaking

The Business of Placemaking will be put into the spotlight when the keynote speech is presented by Dr Julie Grail, expert and commentator on partnership and place management and a special adviser on Business Improvement Districts at the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

New for IMEX this year, the interactive Leadership Discussion will feature an invited panel who will present case studies from the perspective of political, urban planning and destinations stakeholders who have all played influential roles in placemaking success stories. The discussion will be moderated by business journalist and media advisor Ursula Errington.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, commented; “Placemaking is a concept that’s long been understood and embraced by some city planners and developers alike but now the meetings and events industry understands the power and importance of being part of these conversations. This year’s agenda reflects what feels like a tipping point: a recognition that the business events industry can - and should - speak up to influence any city planning or placemaking decisions.”

The Policy Forum is organised under the auspices of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC).

And the speaker line up for the main exhibition also includes a former monk, a game developer and a self-confessed ‘tech geek’.

The importance of mindfulness in talent management will be explored in a session by Jan Esswein, one-time monk and now popular author on the subject of mindfulness.


Executive coach Melissa Lamson will pass on the best practice and communication models she has shared with global heavyweights including 3M, LinkedIn, SAP, and Siemens in her session Industry best practices on how to be an inclusive leader.

Emotional engagement in event design will also be explored by experts including James Morgan, Founder of Event Tech Lab. Morgan will discuss the role and importance of activating emotions through good event design in his session Emotional triggers, attendee participation and positive memories.

Separately, research by Cvent will help planners to get Inside the mind of the event attendee, with data detailing not only the differences each region faces, but also the differences in generational needs and some unexpected networking traits. 

Also new for this year is the Red Lab, where experts from outside the events sector will deliver fresh perspectives.

There will also be a session from Laure Berment from Too Good To Go, an app for fighting food waste. 

There are over 250 complimentary learning sessions in both English and German taking place throughout the three days of IMEX Frankfurt.

For full programme details, visit the website

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