When more than 100 ministers, senior regional politicians and meetings industry leaders gather in Frankfurt on May 19 for the 13th annual IMEX Politicians Forum, there will be strong recognition that the wide-ranging benefits that meetings and events create are broadly integral to the economic development of a country, region or city as well as bringing valuable tourism revenue.
A unique event in the industry, this year, the Politicians Forum theme will be “How Do I Attract More Meetings and Events to My Destination?” By exchanging knowledge and best practice on strategies, it will give politicians essential insight and appreciation of what is needed to develop a destination brand for meetings.
It will address how to break down barriers to growth and secure far-reaching community impact. It will also highlight the importance of the cohesion of government departments, local authorities and agencies to secure events and of reaching out to the societies of science, medicine, technology, education and business.
As leaders from across the meetings and events industry in the U.S., Canada and Mexico come together on April 16 to support the first annual North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group revealed that senior North American industry professionals will be closely involved with the IMEX Politicians Forum.
“North American Meetings Industry Day is a valuable new initiative that we welcome and support wholeheartedly.
“Six senior members from the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, which is playing a leading role in North American Meetings Industry Day, will be among the delegates taking part in this year’s Politicians Forum, which brings together national and regional politicians from five continents.
“What is more, as part of the program of the day, all the politicians and industry leaders will be invited to the Opening Ceremony for IMEX in Frankfurt where one of the world’s foremost business leaders, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company, will deliver the keynote speech. Bill believes passionately in the value and effectiveness of meetings as a means to drive business growth and profit.
“The high profile and importance of the senior politicians taking part are strong testimony to the status of the IMEX Politicians Forum and the evolving role of meetings in economies, with many representing their Ministries of Economic Development. This signifies that national and regional governments increasingly recognize that the benefits of meetings can reach beyond tourism and often, through integration, into science, education and regional commerce. They are an important generator of income, employment and inward investment, they increase global trade, boost knowledge, foster scientific advancement and reduce the ebb and flow of seasonality.”
The full day program will begin with a VIP Guided Tour of the exhibition prior to the opening ceremony and will be followed by a further chance for politicians to visit IMEX and their national pavilions. In the afternoon, at the Villa Kennedy Hotel, there will be a Ministers Summit for national politicians and a Global Exchange of Best Practice for local and regional politicians before the Politicians Forum commences, where the politicians and industry leaders will come together to share knowledge and perspectives for the benefit of all.
Carina Bauer added, “With many senior politicians already attending from countries and major cities across the globe together with an outstanding program, the IMEX Politicians Forum is once again set to add to the understanding and appreciation of the already powerful role of meetings in national and regional economies in securing economic, social and reputational dividends. This includes how political support for the meetings industry is critical to the advancement of science, medicine, technology and education. Most importantly, it will reveal the vast potential for the benefits to be greater still if government and industry co-operate fully, co-ordinate efforts and invest in further development.”