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Industry achievements celebrated at IMEX Gala Dinner

The importance of legacy and the ways this can be achieved was centre stage at the IMEX Gala Dinner Awards, held at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel 16 May.

The Awards are a traditional part of the trade show which closes 17 May at the Frankfurt Messe.

The Paul Flackett IMEX Academy Awards, newly named in tribute to the former IMEX managing director, recognised the outstanding contribution and professional legacy of three individuals to the global meetings and incentive travel industry. This year’s roll-call celebrated:

  • Alan Pini, chief operating officer at Friends Interactive srl
  • Anja Loetscher, director at Geneva Convention Bureau 
  • Patrick Chen, deputy director International Tourism Promotion Department at Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration.

The IAPCO Innovation Award, meanwhile, was presented to Amber Chen, assistant vice-president at GIS, Taiwan, for her work in transforming a local neighbourhood into an ecomobile community and educating children on the benefits of ecomobility. 

The Destinations International Global Ambassador Award, was presented to Turisme de Barcelona.
The IAEE International Excellence Award went to EXPO PACK Guadelajara, produced by PMMI (the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies). The award was won for growing a regional show in Western Mexico into a truly international event that welcomed nearly 16,000 attendees last year.

Karen Bolinger, CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau, picked up the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Unity Award, for her work in building a powerful social legacy and for initiatives within her own country and mentoring the development of young professionals. Rising star Praeploy Petretti from Chiang Mai University in Thailand was presented with the MPI Foundation / Maritz Global Events Student Scholarship Award and Ben Goedegebuure, global general manager Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Maritz Global Events, was named PCMA Global Meetings Executive of the Year.

Miek Egberts, founder and MD of InspireME Monte Carlo, was honoured by the Jane E. Schuldt SITE Master Motivator Award. This award is traditionally presented to an individual who holds the highest standard of excellence in creating or executing motivational events.

Environmental legacy is at the forefront of the IMEX EIC Innovation in Sustainability Award. It was won by SMG Salt Lake: Salt Palace Convention Center & Mountain America Exposition Center for their work on the APEX/ASTM certification.

This certification has led to the reduction of the venue’s local carbon footprint, funding for a brand new sustainability department, and partnerships between SMG, Visit Salt Lake, Utah Food Services, and PSAV to deliver sustainable event planning.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said: “Legacy is currently at the forefront of our activities as our Talking Point for this year. The IMEX Gala Dinner Awards celebrates legacy, be it social, environmental, personal or professional. We have re-named the Academy Awards the Paul Flackett IMEX Academy Awards in honour of our great friend and colleague – a man who left a powerful legacy of his own.”