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Environmental, legacy, impact: How the MICE industry turns towards a strong growth at IMEX Frankfurt

The global MICE industry is estimated to see annual growth of 7.2 per cent (compare this to other industries!) from 2023 to 2032 and it was reflected in a buoyant mood at IMEX Frankfurt 2024. Most exhibitors and buyers we spoke to made the pandemic look lightyears away. Welcome to the MICE industry’s strong and optimistic comeback!

 

by Urs Seiler || 22 May 2024



This was a vibrant IMEX Frankfurt from 14 to 16 May 2024. Legacy and impact were the flavour of the month with IMEX Frankfurt's 2024 exhibitors. IMEX goes «green» and exhibitors were full of praise. What a remarkable post-Covid IMEX show.

 

MICE Destinations from Atlanta to Zimbabwe are in a furious global competition and this is what makes IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX Las Vegas the vibrant show case for the mood of the industry.

 

12’000 event professionals came to IMEX Frankfurt from 14 to 16 May, 4,000 of which were MICE buyers. Accoring to the organisers more than 60,000 meetings (!) were pre-booked with thousands more taking place.

 

And how the mood among the many famous destinations has changed as opposed to the post covid IMEXs 2022 or 2023! MICE marketing found its lifeline in Frankfurt.

 


Upbeat mood

The global Mice industry is estimated to see annual growth of 7.2 per cent from 2023 to 2032, to surpass US$1.7 trillion (S$2.3 trillion) by 2032, according to Precedence Research in a report released in 2023. The upbeat mood at IMEX Frankfurt at most exhibition booths was unmissable. Here’s the verdicts of the exhibitors smartville.digital spoke to.

 

Yap Chin Siang, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board: «IMEX is an Important show for the Singapore Tourism Board, to connect and maintain presence for Singapore as a top MICE destination. At this year’s IMEX Frankfurt we want to highlight Singapore Tourism Board’s key sustainability efforts: to reduce the MICE industry’s large carbon emission foot prints and to create a lasting impact across the industry, society and environment. The goal is to have a net zero carbon output by 2050 for Singapore’s MICE Industry. Our ambition is to become the world’s best mice destination, but in a responsible manner.»


from left to right: Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director von Los Cabos Tourism with press officer Sandra De la Garza: «We exhibit at IMEX Frankfurt to communicate our three USPs: nature, infrastructure and gastronomy, all in a very save environment. IMEX Frankfurt 2024 was very successful for Los Cabos, we made many more appointments then last year.»

 

Farah Annesa Jasmi, Assistant Manager Strategic Communications, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau: «We are exited about the many leads we made at IMEX Frankfurt for Malaysia.»

 

Alex Batista, Vice President Greater Miami Area: «It’s all about connecting to a location! Miami hosted a lot of clients from Europe, Latin America and even Australia. It’s been a good show. This year feels a bit bigger then before with more traffic at our booth.»

 

Ian Renton, Director Sales Atlantis Resort Dubai: «In the MICE business you want to be at the forefront of the clients minds. We made our resort popular not least on an environmental level with The Atlantis’ own water production on the premises.»

 

Meike Kern (picture), Managing Director Messe Husum & Congress GmbH, Husum, Germany: Despite being 650 kilometres away from the MICE event in the lively port city on the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, the trade fair appearance in Frankfurt was a home game for Meike Kern. She was previously responsible for Messe Frankfurt's leading international trade fair Heimtextil. She says: «We had an outstanding show with exciting contacts and new opportunities for cooperation and achieved our goal of raising the profile of Messe Husum, the northernmost trade fair company in Germany and its congress centre. We experienced IMEX Frankfurt as a cosmopolitan and valuable platform for the MICE industry. With many new encounters, great conversations and inspiriations, IMEX Frankfurt impressed the Messe Husum & Congress team.»

 

Exhibitor campaigns at IMEX Frankfurt 2024

Not surprisingly carbon neutral MICE events were highly on the agenda of many exhibitors.

 

Exhibition World Bahrain is a project that compliments the Kingdom of Bahrain’s great appeal as a destination and capitalises on its potential to become a regional hub for the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. It is the Middle East’s newest and largest exhibition and convention centre. The venue features rich Arabic art and culture within its design. Exhibition World Bahrain is working towards becoming a sustainable company, with every department playing a crucial role in the day-to-day operations to achieve this objective, by working closely with the organisers, employees, partners and guests to implement sustainability in every aspect of the organisation.


Destination Canada presented its venues in the major cities and ground breakingly a recent scientific convention that helped develop a new food range, based on insects! Legacy and impact promotion were on the forefront of Canada’s IMEX Frankfurt 2024 campaign.


With world-class infrastructure, facilities and services, Qatar continued at IMEX Frankfurt to build a reputation as a leading centre of excellence in the global MICE sector.


The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Centre in Vietnam aimed to elevate the City's status as a leading tourist destination. Operating under the auspices of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, HTPC is at the forefront of driving tourism growth and showcasing the city’s rich cultural tapestry, bustling metropolises and lush landscapes to the world. Ho Chi Minh City prides itself on its commitment to presenting the city's unique attractions, from its vibrant street life and historical sites to its luxurious accommodations and state-of-the-art MICE facilities to a worldwide audience. The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Promotion Center also promoted its own travel fair, the 18th International Travel Expo Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) from 5 to 7 September 2024, endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The ITE is the only expo in Vietnam offering an onsite business matching program with hundreds international buyers. More than 3500 buyers including 250 hosted buyers are invited to attend.


Jerusalem provides an exciting destination for conferences and events with its unique mix of modernity and history. The Jerusalem Convention Bureau positioned itself as a gateway to extraordinary events.

 

The tourism location Los Cabos, Mexico, announced the launch of a direct flight from Frankfurt as from 3 November 2024. Surrounded by barren desert landscapes, metre-high cacti and high mountain ranges inland, Los Cabos offers a unique combination of natural beauty and culture. Los Cabos, located at the southern tip of the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, is one of the most diverse holiday destinations in the world. Los Cabos is home to award-winning resorts, luxurious spa facilities and some of the best cuisine in the world.


Los Cabos and its lover's beach.


The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) facilitates trade, economic exchanges, and cooperation between Macao and various regions around the world, providing various support services such as business matching for enterprises, organizations, and individuals interested in expanding into the mainland China and Portuguese-speaking markets. To foster appropriately diversified economic development, the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) continues to enhance the professionalism and marketisation of Macao’s MICE industry.

 

The Malaysian Convention and Exhibiton Bureau (MyCEB) serves to assist meeting and event planners to bid and stage international business events in Malaysia and act as a conduit for national product development. MyCEB’s goal is to improve its rankings as an international meetings destination within International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and to grow business tourism arrivals to Malaysia. The bureau was exuberant to connect at IMEX Frankfurt 2024 in person with planners, decision makers and influencers of business events. MyCEB pushed its MyTripleE campaign with the scheduled appointments that prioritise the Automobile, Environment, Pharmaceutical and Science Industry.

 

The award-winning Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) welcomes meeting and event planners, exhibitors and attendees to Miami Beach and Miami. Following a $640-million-dollar renovation, the MBCC provides a world-class, state-of-the-art event venue for exceptional conferences, conventions, tradeshows, and meetings. A LEED Silver certified green building, the venue includes a magnificent Grand Ballroom, 500,000 square feet of flexible exhibition halls, 4 junior ballrooms, outdoor terraces & parks, and 84 breakout rooms.

 

Sustainability, promotion of entrepreneurship, creativity are pillars on which Monaco Convention's MICE programme «Like Nowhere Else» is based on. Monaco has just been voted number two among Europe’s top destinations for 2024 in a poll of more than one million travellers by the tourism website European Best Destinations behind Marbella. Monaco Convention and the Grimaldi Forum celebrated the MICE comeback with its signature «rooftop event» on the first night of IMEX Frankurt 2024 and hosted many buyers at their booth, eager to hear the latest on Monaco Convention’s leading environmental campaigns.






Where East meets West: Located the same flight distance from London as Beijing, Ras Al Khaimah has easy access to most of the world’s population. Ras Al Khaimah (meaning Top of the Tent) is steeped in rich Arabian culture and fascinating heritage. It boasts an extensive world-class portfolio of state-of-the-art event spaces, accommodation and well-attended annual events. Leading the way with its meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, events and tourism offerings across the region, Ras Al Khaimah has hosted familiarization trips, exhibitions and roadshows and workshops in key tourism markets such as the UK, Germany, Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Nordics and Central and Eastern Europe. Ras Al Khaimah promotes itself as «The Nature Emirate and Adventure Travel Capital of the UAE».


Singapore Tourism Board announced at IMEX Frankfurt 2024 its initiatives that champion a more sustainable and impactful MICE industry. Prior to IMEX it had launched several initiatives to raise sustainability standards across the MICE industry and to reinforce its campaign to become the «World’s Best MICE City». Singapore is committed to supporting the impact ambitions of events by inviting event organisers and planners to co-create business events that yield meaningful outcomes. Singapore Tourism Board is committed to understanding and reducing carbon and waste emissions in the MICE industry.

 

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) updated its new direction, performance in sustainability and potential of innovation of the Thai MICE industry, including new product development for the European market. One particular focus was decarbonisation of events. Thai MICE industry has been able to avoid carbon emission and undertake carbon offset with measurable results. Sustainability and innovation are two key pillars in TCEB’s action plan to drive Thai MICE industry towards more international competitiveness. To prove their value for events, quantifiable impacts of sustainability and concrete potential in innovation must be made and these are the areas where TCEB has been working in collaboration with key stakeholders, according to TCEB President. Driving Sustainability Outcomes is Vital for Thailand Exhibition.


IMEX itself is working with Cloverly, the leading platform for climate action, to give attendees the opportunity to buy carbon credits from a choice of impactful sustainability projects. «Cloverly is proud to help IMEX take climate action by empowering its event attendees to purchase highly vetted carbon credits», says Jason Rubottom (picture), CEO of Cloverly. «Each credit has undergone thorough quality and risk evaluation by our climate science team, allowing IMEX attendees to feel confident that their offset contribution is making a positive - and critical - climate impact».With the widest selection of high-quality carbon credit projects in the world, Cloverly is trusted by more than 300 leading businesses across many industries, including financial services, logistics, travel and ecommerce.  

 

IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom, here with IMEX CEO Carina Bauer, said: «I’m delighted to see the return of the Asian market. I’ve heard that one of our exhibitors, Japan, which had its largest ever representation, has used the show to communicate the business readiness of those areas affected by the recent earthquake.»


Ray Bloom also observed that Africa is experiencing growth and maturity within the sector with Uganda stating that tourism, of which business events is included, has now officially overtaken coffee as its dominant market.

 

Will the mood at IMEX Frankfurt 2024 now reflect at IMEX Las Vegas from 8 to 10 October 2024? IMEX Frankfurt has very likely created a welcome momentum for the MICE industry. It has for us!

 

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