May 22, 2024
By Mike Fletcher

The 2024 edition of IMEX Frankfurt welcomed 12,000 event and hospitality professionals through the doors of Messe Frankfurt from 14-16 May. More than 4,000 buyers had pre-booked a staggering 60,000 meetings with exhibitors over the two days. 

Between meetings, attendees could choose from over 200 education sessions, which balanced strategic and practical advice with important workplace issues such as burnout, mental health, diversity and gender equality. 

First-timers at IMEX Frankfurt were welcomed with a dedicated icebreaker session to help them make friends and ease themselves into a busy show.

Meanwhile, in one of several new carbon-conscious initiatives, all visitors could make a positive climate contribution by offsetting their travel to and from the show. 

IMEX worked with the climate action platform, Cloverly, to allow visitors to buy carbon credits from several sustainability projects to offset individual carbon travel footprints.

Read on for five more takeaways from a hugely successful IMEX Frankfurt 2024. 

1. Sustainability impact

In addition to offering carbon offsetting, IMEX partnered with Better Stands, a program aimed at helping the exhibitions industry reduce waste and emissions by replacing single-use stands with reusable stands. 

In a new series of ‘Wonder Walks’, creative Robert Dunsmore gave guided tours of the show floor, pointing out examples of nature-inspired activations and stand design such as living walls, recyclable materials and other inspiration that hospitality professionals could take back to their businesses. 

Additional efforts to reduce the show’s carbon footprint included listing vegan and vegetarian items first in food outlets and encouraging IMEX Gala Dinner attendees to select a vegan or vegetarian menu option.

On Cvent’s stand, Mövenpick Hotel Frankfurt City sponsored our sustainable cafe (pictured), serving local culinary delights and using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. 

2. Cvent lists of Top Hotels and Destinations revealed

On the first morning of IMEX Frankfurt 2024, Cvent revealed its esteemed lists of top meeting destinations and hotels based on the sourcing activity on the Cvent Supplier Network, one of the world’s largest venue-sourcing platforms. 

Meliá Castilla, part of the Melia Hotels International group, is the number one property on the 2024 list of Top Meeting Hotels in Europe. Hilton Prague came second and NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding came third. 

In our Top Meeting Destination rankings, London was crowned as the number one destination for meetings and events for a second consecutive year. Barcelona remained second while Madrid moved up one place to replace Paris in third. 

💡To discover where your hotel ranked, type its name into our Top Lists search page here.

3. Encouraging the next generation of talent 

Encouraging the next generation of hospitality professionals and event planners was the focus of many conversations at IMEX Frankfurt 2024. 

During the show, ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association) announced a new partnership with universities to provide students with scholarships, mentorships and networking opportunities. In addition, the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum marked its 22nd year. 

“We’ve been pleased with the number of young people attending our Rising Talent program for those with up to three years of experience. It was also great to see the launch of a complementary program - Young Stars – part of our broadest-ever range of German language education and an integral part of the hugely successful MICE Impact Academy.” 

IMEX CEO Carina Bauer

4. On-stand activity 

Visitors flocked to Cvent’s stand in an area dedicated to technology. It was lucky we had more space this year for pre-booked meetings with Cvent product experts, platform tours, and a two-day schedule of on-stand talks. 

For hospitality professionals, we had on-stand sessions on mastering the art of responding to RFPs. Attendees were shown how to develop strategies for addressing evaluation criteria, responding quickly and increasing success.

Other on-stand Cvent talks included:

  • Simple Sourcing with Cvent Supplier Network and Venue Directory
  • AI in Events: 10 Things You Should be Doing TODAY! 
  • Power client events & maximise ROI with Cvent solutions

5. Experience design 

Designing inclusive and impactful environments was discussed across multiple stages during the two days. Hospitality professionals could get great insight into how to partner with planners to drive legacy, accessibility and sensory engagement. 

The role of hotels and venues in aiding the creation of welcoming environments was analysed during ‘Building Bridges, Not Walls: Inclusive Event Design for a Divided World’. 

Purpose-driven design that contributes meaningfully to societal impact was unpacked during ‘Deeping Purpose: Enhancing Impact In Events and Experiences.’ 

“I wanted to create experiences, something that people talk about, something that people want to share, they want to tell their friends, they want to be touched. They want to be emotionally engaged with what I'm doing. I wanted to touch their senses.”

- Julia Eisenloeffel, Dream Lab

Last word to the organiser

The 2024 edition of IMEX Frankfurt marked a notable surge of confidence and business certainty in the global hospitality and events industry. 

“The business momentum we’ve seen has been remarkable and is a reflection of the resilience of our global industry. From Africa to Asia, the Americas to Europe, our community continues to thrive and grow. At the same time, we must be ready to play our part in a world that is changing rapidly and ensure that business events remain at the heart of creating transformational outcomes and positive impact. As well as the immediate business opportunities that are at the heart of IMEX, we also focused hard on creating IMPACT for all.”

 - IMEX CEO Carina Bauer

Next year’s IMEX Frankfurt will take place from 20-22 May 2025. IMEX America, meanwhile, will be held from 8-10 October 2024 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

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