Global Updates

Meetings must keep local appetite strong: IMEX

Open dialogue between government representatives and industry leaders emphasises role of meetings and events in policy advancement.

Discussions held among 30 policymakers and 80 industry representatives at IMEX Frankfurt 2018 have been made public in the IMEX Policy Forum Report. Here are the key observations:

Meetings impact on the evolution of cities

The connection between cities and the meetings industry continues to evolve through the hosting of major events. Cities develop a DNA based on their history and characteristics. What shapes cities in the next 30 years will have far-reaching implications on their future performance and prospects.

The sharing, circular, experience and innovation economies drive urban restructuring, which are supported and influenced by knowledge exchange facilitated by the meetings industry.

Industry influence

The meetings industry is commonly seen as part of the tourism industry. The industry needs to tell a better story to be recognised as an independent sector beyond tourism.

As a broad enabler to the economy and community, the meetings industry is akin to the financial services and academia sectors, and stakeholders need to clearly define event legacies to governments and policymakers through case studies.

Industry sustainability and city resilience

Genuine engagement with local cultures is crucial to balancing globalisation with local concerns. To achieve industry sustainability and support city resilience, policies, crisis response and measuring event outcomes must be better integrated with local communities.

The priorities for government policy change include looking to the future wellbeing of residents when making decisions about the roles the industry plays; ensuring that more local “colour” is incorporated into the destination product and its promotion; and recognising the long-term importance of a welcoming attitude towards visitors regardless of other government policies.

Each year, IMEX makes the report available to the global meetings industry to allow CVBs, city governors, destination partners and industry executives to make strategic plans.

The IMEX Policy Forum’s advocacy partners are Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC), European Cities Marketing (ECM), ICCA, the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), The Iceberg and UNWTO. The annual Forum is sponsored by Business Events Australia, Business Events Sydney, German Convention Bureau, Geneva Convention Bureau, Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition.