When we sat down to summarise our IMEX 2018 trip and realised it could quickly turn into a bulky 20-pager! The sheer size of IMEX cannot be conveyed online (although we were a huge fan of their drone video!) and to report on every meeting and exhibitor visited would take some time. So what were the highlights?
Our Corporate Account Manager, Allan, was enjoying his first IMEX and was extremely impressed with how inclusive and open the event was. Some shows can turn in to a bit of a ‘club’ where everyone knows everyone so it was thoroughly enjoyable to meet a variety of new and welcoming people.
With roughly 1.3 million stands to visit, we were thoroughly impressed by some of the stand designs. In such a busy market, some stands really stood out from the crowd with their eye-catching design. Some personal favourites were NH Hotels, Flanders CVB and Meet in Ireland.
One of the things we enjoy most about shows like IMEX is meeting suppliers and venues that we typically tend only to engage with via email. We’ve got events coming up in Nice, Dublin and Vienna so it was great to meet some of the venue and hotel teams from these cities. It is so enjoyable to work with someone after having met them and we find it takes the partnership to the next level.
Would we go again? Absolutely. We were kindly hosted by NH Hotels who could not have looked after us any better. We remain to be convinced of the appointment based system – yes exhibitors need to have assured ROI, but how many accidental discoveries were missed through not having a slot to speak to walk-ups? We found ourselves unable to speak to some exhibitors (through no fault of their own) simply due to not having an appointment. Some of our regular suppliers have come from being discovered randomly so we are always keen to be able to explore at will.