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IMEX

IMEX Frankfurt kicks off, and She Means Business

Rising Talent, She Means Business and the Agency Directors Forum were just some of the wide range of new events and educational sessions that brought hundreds of meetings professionals to EduMonday at IMEX in Frankfurt.

A full conference programme of sessions that were free and open to all ran throughout the day. Expert-led sessions on key topics including proposal writing, gamification, creative problem-solving, building a legacy and how to moderate meetings delivered a vast variety of valuable lessons. There was also a series of Meetology® Masterclasses giving fascinating insights into behavioural science to teach communications skills in an engaging and immersive way. Delegates joined Jan-Jaap In der Maur from Masters in Moderation on stage to hold a live simulation, gaining practical experience in what was a fun and lively session.

The PCMA Business School once again delivered a very interactive afternoon of MBA level professional development education. Adam Kingl of the London Business School led an energetic session, providing recent business examples to show planners how to look at their company’s strategy in a new light and overcome assumptions. ‘Why is it that organisations tend to be less adaptable to change than the people in them?’ was the challenge he introduced at the start of the session.

Taking away lessons and certificates

Participants in the Event Design Certificate Programme, from the Event Design Collective, left with both useful practical skills and a Level 1 Certificate of Participation, as did those who completed the CIS Certified Incentive Specialist course delivered by SITE. The Event Design Certificate Programme was, like several of the sessions and courses, presented in German as well as English.

New events had been created to meet the needs of particular sectors. Rachael Albee from the UK was one of a capacity crowd of professionals under 35 who took part in the Rising Talent programme. They learnt about career development, creating connections and how to look after yourself (and avoid stress) both from experts as well as from peers. Rachael said: “I wanted to come as soon as I heard that it was an event tailored just for me. It’s a great programme. It’s good to be encouraged to think ahead and I’m enjoying challenging myself."  

Association Day, which was hosted by the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel, and Exclusively Corporate once again drew large audiences of industry specialists to their highly researched carefully tailored new programmes. There were also ample opportunities to network with peers. 

At Exclusively Corporate Amy Brown, head of creative strategy at Google and Rena Lindell, head of sponsorships at LinkedIn discussed their approach to innovation and adding the ‘wow’ factor. Both are firm believers in the power of events both now and in the future. "People want to connect in the same space and share the same experience", Amy explained. The session addressed a real need among buyers as Daniela Oliveira, event co-ordinator from Laboratories Servier do Brasil explained: "There’s a real appetite among our delegates for each event to be different. Exclusively Corporate has shown me ways that I can work with my team to deliver new approaches time and time again."

At Association Day, Evans Okinyi from the East Africa Philanthropy Network said; “I couldn’t wait to get here after reading all the exciting reports from my colleagues who have been here before. The chance to develop my professional network and my knowledge about technology is exciting.” Bianca La Placa from the World Environmental Education Congress Network from Italy commented: “I like to have time occasionally to think about how to do my job better and how we can run the organisation better. The exhibition is amazing – going from country to country, hotel to hotel, all in the same space.”  
Bita Seow, Executive Director of SACES from Singapore said, “I’m here for the first time because everyone tells me this is the show of the year.” 

First Agency Directors Forum

This year these high-level events were joined by the Agency Directors Forum, a new initiative to allow senior leaders in small and mid-size agencies the chance to exchange strategic thinking with their peers. Among them was Thomas Wüst, managing director of live communications agency Wüst + Friends who said “This is an international exchange of ideas and solutions with people in a similar business to me discussing problems that we face all the time. It’s perfect for me.”

With #metoo and women’s leadership top of the global agenda, She Means Business – in partnership with tw magazine - brought together over 300 women (and a few men) to hear several successful women including Major Nicola Baumann, one of Germany’s only three female Eurofighter pilots, and Laura Winterling, former astronaut instructor and CEO of Space Time Concepts, European Astronaut Centre share their inspiring success stories and to celebrate the contribution of women in the meetings industry. 

“The quality of today’s speaker line-up was what drew me to She Means Business and I wasn’t disappointed. The issue of women’s leadership in our industry is more important than ever and I’m pleased to be here today, both to learn and to show my support,” said Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh. 

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, commented; “So much research, thought and hard-work has been invested in developing such a huge range of sessions and events. We’re tried even harder to deliver more value than ever for all sectors of the industry at IMEX so it’s very pleasing to receive so many positive comments about the day. In just two years EduMonday at IMEX in Frankfurt has become an important day in the industry calendar.”