Technology is the sector set to deliver the next major innovation in the meetings industry, according to research of more than 800 buyers and suppliers at this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt. Of the 840 people who answered the question, “What sphere do you think the next big innovation in meetings will come from?,” over 50 percent of hosted buyers and exhibitors and over 40 percent of visitors identified technology ahead of education, health and wellbeing and meetings design.
Companies offering technology innovations are invited to take part in the IMEXpitch, the new name for the IMEX Tech Startup Competition, which returns to IMEX America for the second year. IMEXpitch enables companies to showcase exciting new technology products that address challenges faced by meeting and events professionals. The competition is currently inviting submissions from companies who have been operating for less than two years and the shortlist will be announced at the start of September. The shortlisted ‘Startuppers’ then have the opportunity to pitch to an expert panel at IMEX America which takes place Oct. 13-15 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, with the winner receiving a free stand space at the Tech Pavilion at IMEX America 2016.
“With technology evolving at a rapid rate, it’s no surprise that our event attendees are in overwhelming agreement that this sector will deliver the most innovation,” explained Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group. “We’re already seeing this with many start-ups making waves in the market, and we launched IMEXpitch at IMEX America last year to support budding tech companies who develop innovative solutions and services for the meetings industry.
“Following its premiere at IMEX America, the competition took place for the first time at IMEX in Frankfurt this year with Init Live, a cloud-based service and mobile app for managing staff and volunteers at events, crowned the winner. We’ve noticed that many companies shortlisted for the competition focus on apps as their main product offering, demonstrating that this is fertile ground for fast innovation and added value. “
This is demonstrated by the growing usage of the IMEX App, which launches for IMEX America 2015 in September and helps both buyers and exhibitors stay organized and up to date. Buyers can access their diary to make and check appointments as well as view travel and accommodation information; and exhibitors can view and manage stand staff schedules on the show floor.