Posted tagged ‘Face-to-face meetings’

IMEX identifies four key trends for 2015

December 16, 2014

IMEX identifies four key trends for 2015
16 December 2014 The IMEX Group, organizers of the annual IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America trade shows for the global meetings, incentive travel and events industry, presents a round-up of industry predictions for the year ahead.

1. ‘Play’ gives new meaning to profit
2014 was the year that ‘play’ as a tool for unlocking creativity and new sources of competitive advantage returned to business. In truth it had never left but the current manifestation of ‘play’ has a distinctly 21st century flavor. According to IMEX guest speaker, Creativity Guru, Rhea Blanken, Einstein reputedly said: “Play is the highest form of research.” Gartner has been predicting for the last few years that in 2015 up to 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as their primary mechanism for transforming business operations, citing Nike, Quirky and My Fitness Pal as leaders in this space. IMEX America Keynote Steve Gross also advocated that “When people get together through meetings and events it is critical to deliver playfulness which helps them engage, connect and explore, to enjoy being there … in the now.”

The rise of “double bottom line” companies and entrepreneurs appears to support this trend. In the new business matrix where “profits meet purpose” it’s often the case that playfulness, creativity and fewer corporate do’s and don’ts are fundamental values in the mix.

2. 50 Shades of Apps
Apps continue to be ‘sexy’ (in advertising parlance) and their strength and novelty will be unbounded in 2015. But this is not apps for app’s sake, as paper swaps or standalones. Rather meeting and event apps will be seamlessly linking across other media platforms, and especially websites, in line with customer/community market needs and pain points, deeply connected to real-time analytics and incorporating interactions such as live messaging, polling and other instant engagement and feedback mechanics. The IMEX/QuickMobile global survey reported that 60 – 63% of all respondents had used a mobile app for at least one of their events in the past two years – and 92% of corporate event marketers had done so. Additionally seven of the 10 finalists in IMEX America’s Tech Start-up competition were apps, clearly demonstrating that this is fertile ground for fast innovation and added value.

3. Let’s Take it “Outside”
In 2015 expect to see meeting spaces and formats going through even more of a revolution as the principles of meeting design become more firmly embedded throughout the supply chain. Where wifi allows set meetings free to ‘roam’ it also creates a subtle pressure to be ‘always on’.

Witness David Silverman of the Harvard Business Review suggesting 50-minute meetings so people have the chance to take a breath in between and actually be on time for today’s inexorable back-to-back work commitments. Contrast that with Arianna Huffington (of Huffington Post fame) who likes to hold walking meetings — supporting research from Washington University that workers are more engaged, less territorial and more collaborative when they’re working on a project while standing upright.

Finally take note of the ‘slow meetings’ trend that’s come back round again. A return to the first principles of face-to-face meetings, no devices, no distractions and a focus on less, rather than more, could be one of the defining developments of the coming year. Add a five-minute guided meditation at the front of your meeting (no need to hold hands, just breathe) and your gathering is now bang on trend.

4. Wellness is Fit as a Fiddle
Beyond drinking water, eating protein-laden nuts and taking a quick, rejuvenating massage there is a higher level of spiritual awareness starting to make its way into meeting keynotes, sessions and formats. When both Time Magazine and Forbes give space to a topic then it has surely ‘arrived’. In this case it’s mindfulness that’s earning the “ink.” Also, with leading proponents such as Deepak Chopra (MPI’s WEC keynote this summer) reaching global rock star status, and CEOs such as Oprah Winfrey, Russell Simmons (Def Jam), Marc Benioff of and Rick Goings of Tupperware endorsing the business and spiritual benefits of meditation, the meetings industry and meeting planners have a great opportunity – and importantly, the permission – to shift this new slant on wellness out of the spa and into the spotlight. Lee Papa, wellness advocate, transformation advisor and IMEX America speaker summed it up: “I believe this is the new paradigm of business….it’s a time of moving into working from the heart and using our internal navigation to be more powerful and more authentic.”

Many of the themes above will be reflected in the education programs and initiatives on offer at both IMEX in Frankfurt May 19 – 21st at Messe Frankfurt and IMEX America, Oct 13 – 15 (Smart Monday, Oct 14) in Las Vegas, 2015.

Futurist J. Walker Smith Headlines AIBTM 2013 in Chicago

March 5, 2013

Futurist J. Walker Smith Headlines AIBTM 2013 in Chicago
Substantiates Value of “Face to Face” Meetings in “Kinship Economy”

Keynoting this year’s theme “Defining the Future of Meetings…Together,” J. Walker Smith, principal of The Futures Company, has been chosen to kick off AIBTM’s 2013 exhibition on June 11th. He will present information and insights that demonstrate the continued value of face-to-face relationships in the current “kinship economy”…even in a digital age.

“Face-to-face meetings are the catalyst for business growth and shortened sale cycles – despite what technologists and the digital marketplace would have you believe,” said Michael Lyons, Exhibition Director of AIBTM 2013. “Business is more than ever about building relationships that will never change despite social media, online meetings software and streaming media.”

Carrying the momentum of Smith’s keynote throughout the show, AIBTM 2013 will offer a highly interactive education format to crowdsource attendees’ views on best practices, innovation and new ideas to make business meetings more effective in a challenging global landscape.

“AIBTM is the coming together of the world,” said AIBTM Advisory Board Member Roger Rickard, Partner, Chief Advocate of Revent LLC. “It is the leading showcase for one-on-one, face-to-face appointments between meeting professionals and suppliers that facilitates education and commerce. It is a must-attend event if you have a desire to be educated and to engage in direct commerce.”

AIBTM 2013 will provide many valuable and interactive sessions for attendees, including:

Interactive “fast track” education sessions and speaker showcases in the Lecture Theater on the show floor

Two Market Focus Spotlight events focused on Europe and Asia

The “Innovation Spotlight”, a place where attendees can find out about the latest cutting-edge innovations for the industry

“The Zone”, a place for attendees to network and recharge during the day

Local student “ambassadors” who will serve as guides for attendees

“I have always enjoyed the AIBTM experience and gained invaluable knowledge and new contacts by participating in this show,” said Todd Steinberg, global account director at Sonesta Collection. “Sonesta Hotels will be in attendance this year and we look forward to seeing our existing clients as well as meeting new ones.”

AIBTM 2013 will take place from 11th – 13th June, 2013. To participate as an exhibitor, apply as a Hosted Buyer or register as a Trade Visitor, visit Join AIBTM on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.


August 31, 2012


Post show research following last year’s EIBTM ( confirmed that 57% of international Hosted Buyers who attended, indicated that they organise Business Travel. As a direct result, EIBTM 25 will extend the show profile beyond the meetings and events industry this year to incorporate business travel with a specialist exhibitor pavilion on the show floor and a stream of dedicated education sessions provided by the Association for Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

The new Business Travel Pavilion at EIBTM will provide a dedicated meeting area for exhibitors to showcase their products to visitors and Hosted Buyers with a responsibility and proven budgets for corporate and business travel, plus there will be bite-size education sessions within the same area that will be free to attend.

Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions, EIBTM Event Director comments, “The incorporation of Business Travel to EIBTM is a logical extension to the current show profile and we are very excited about the new possibilities and increased return on investment that it will deliver for our exhibitors already operating in this field, as well as introducing new specialist buyers and suppliers to the event”.

EIBTM has also formed a strategic partnership with ACTE, the leading non-profit organisation who serves over 60,000 travel executives from across the globe. ACTE will deliver cutting edge education content at EIBTM with a dedicated seminar stream focused on professional corporate travel management for all of those involved in the Business Travel industry.

Ron DiLeo, ACTE Executive Director comments, “This collaboration is extremely timely, as business travel and meetings continue to converge. Face-to-face meetings are vital to business success and a healthy economy. Executives must travel to network and push forward initiatives. Through this partnership, ACTE is pleased to bring its unique level of knowledge, insight and expertise to Reed Travel Exhibitions, increasing educational deliverables to the meetings industry”.

EIBTM 2012 takes place 27th – 29th November, Barcelona. Companies interested in exhibiting at EIBTM 2012 ( should contact or on +44 (0) 20 8910 7711.

Hosted Buyer applications are now being taken for corporate travel buyers who have international business to place at

Join EIBTM on Linked In, Xing, Twitter and Facebook.

%d bloggers like this: