The MICE segment exceeds its limits and consolidates the growth of global tourism

The IMEX Frankfurt event had a successful opening yesterday with over 50,000 meetings booked, and will run until May 16

(Source: IMEX)

This week almost 4,000 buyers are expected to pass through the doors of IMEX Frankfurt. In the six weeks leading up to opening, buyer, exhibitor and meeting numbers have suggested a confident return to growth for a market that is still experiencing some post-pandemic challenges.

Event demand from all sectors reflects another year of growing dynamism and business momentum among event professionals.

Suppliers have responded with strong representation from Europe, which makes up the largest area at this year's show, closely followed by Asian exhibitors, whose show floor participation is now higher than pre-pandemic levels. Many Asian suppliers have increased their participation at the fair: Japan, for example, will have its largest presence at IMEX.

The show also has Africa's largest representation yet this year: this includes Rwanda, which is celebrating 10 years since it launched its convention bureau and was first introduced to the industry at IMEX Frankfurt 2014. Since then, Rwanda's business events sector has achieved remarkable growth, generating more than US$91 million in revenue last year, up from US$64 million the previous year.

The North American presence has also increased in 2024. The Canadian booth is larger than last year, while the number of US destinations has doubled (more than 20 compared to 10 in 2023), also with the largest footprint since the pandemic. Along with first-time exhibitors (Savannah, Bloomington, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills), all US destinations can be found in the new Brand USA pavilion.

All the major hotel groups will be showcasing their portfolios, including Sonder and Langham, both new to the show. They are joined by Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Marriott, Radisson and IHG, which is doubling its presence in Germany with more than 200 hotels in almost 100 cities.

With 40% of organizers expecting more attendees to their events than last year (according to Northstar's latest PULSE survey of the meetings industry), IMEX Frankfurt buyers bring with them a huge appetite for meeting. Before the doors opened, more than 50,000 individual meetings had already been booked. Most buyers join the show from across Europe, North America and Asia, with almost two-thirds from the agency sector.

Elsewhere, sustainability continues to feature prominently at IMEX and now all attendees can make a positive climate contribution by “balancing” their trips to and from Frankfurt through a new partnership with Cloverly. As part of a Better Stands Initiative pilot, all stand builders were invited to self-assess the initiative with the goal of replacing single-use stands with reusable constructions.

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, says: “Through our work with Cloverly, we enable show attendees to play an active role in the fight against climate change. It is now clear that in addition to reducing emissions, which IMEX is already working on, the world also urgently needs to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it permanently. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon removals are now inevitable to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and we can all contribute to achieving a collective positive impact. 

Our partnership with Cloverly represents an important milestone for IMEX on our path to achieving net zero emissions ahead of the 2050 timeline set out in the Paris Agreement. “We are also demonstrating our commitment by investing in these portfolios to mitigate emissions from our own team’s travel to shows.”

Source: IMEX.


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