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IMEX reaches first goal of meetings advocacy efforts

Following the signing of the IMEX Declaration of Support for the meetings and events industry by the president of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, the IMEX Group reached its first phase target of 100 signatories for the advocacy document.

Shortly after Ibrahim Çağlar signed the declaration during the MPI European Meetings & Events Conference at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Dr. Gerhard Rusch, city councilor for tourism, Graz, also put his name to the declaration, bringing the current total to 101 names.

“Achieving full-scale global understanding of the true benefits of the meetings sector is clearly a long-term task. However, when we see visible advancements, such as the politicians and dignitaries who have signed the declaration to date, together with the participation of the Azerbaijani delegation at this year’s show, our joint progress becomes real. It also provides further encouragement and focus for the work that lies ahead,” said Ray Bloom, chairman, IMEX Group.

Other positive outcomes from IMEX’s political advocacy efforts include Azerbaijan exhibiting at the show for the first time. This follows the attendance of Azerbaijani Director of the Department of Foreign Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Tourism Fikret Mammadov at last year’s Politicians Forum.

This year, an Azerbaijani delegation will be led by Deputy Minister of Tourism Dr. Nazim Samadov, who will attend the Politicians Forum, and Florian Sengstshmid, managing director of the newly formed Azerbaijan Convention Bureau.

“The Azerbaijan Convention Bureau is the lead agency for promotion of MICE activities and has the mandate from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to implement the strategy for MICE development in Azerbaijan,” added Samadov.

On May 20, IMEX Politicians Forum takes place at the Villa Kennedy in Germany. The day’s program will include a ‘Global Exchange of Best Practice’ session with a case study by Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners.

Destinations are encouraged to invite their local political representatives to attend by contacting Debbie.woodbridge@imexexhibitions.com.

For an alphabetical list of Declaration signatories to date, visit http://www.imex-frankfurt.com/declaration.

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