IMEX Frankfurt 2024: business impact, market growth and young talent

IMEX CEO Carina Bauer & Chairman Ray Bloom

IMEX Frankfurt, which took place May 14 – 16, welcomed 12,000 event professionals through the doors of Messe Frankfurt, of which over 4,000 were buyers. More than 60,000 meetings were pre-booked with thousands more taking place on the show floor.

Chairman Ray Bloom 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.” He 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.



Encouraging the next generation of event planners entering the sector was the focus of many conversations at the show, explained IMEX CEO Carina Bauer. During the show, ICCA announced a new partnership with universities to provide scholarships, mentorships and networking opportunities for students and young event planners. Carina added: “We’ve been really pleased with the number of young people attending our Rising Talent program for those with up to three years’ experience. It was also great to see the launch of a complementary program - Young Stars – part of our broadest ever range of German language education and an integral part of the hugely successful MICE Impact Academy.” In addition, the IMEX-MPI-MCI Future Leaders Forum marked its 22nd year.

Carina also explained that many senior leaders had remarked on the variety of content on offer this year, with several appreciating having the time and space to go deeper into important workplace topics such as burnout and mental health. Equally, at the planner level, there was a positive response to sessions covering topics in a highly practical way, such as sustainability and especially AI (Artificial Intelligence). “It’s clear that this blend of strategic leadership sessions and practicality is giving everyone the choice they want and the personalization they need,” she said.

She also explained that Monday’s specialist education programs received widespread credit, with many participants valuing the new program design that offered more time for breakout conversations and for networking.



Impact, IMEX’s Talking Point for the next two years, was embraced by partners and exhibitors with Sarawak’s vibrant, multi-sensory activations at the show entrances striking a friendly, welcoming note and others such as Singapore, Houston and Glasgow all launching different impact projects during the week.

New this year and a notable success was the dedicated Impact Zone in Hall 9, led by MICE Impact, a co-creative area that united planners, suppliers, and partners with a range of workshops, panels, and stakeholder discussions.

The Google Xi CoLaboratory made a popular return to IMEX while others offering both tailored education and a variety of activations included Maritz, Encore and industry associations.

Finally, as part of its drive towards net zero, for the first time all IMEX attendees had the chance to make a personal and positive climate contribution by ‘balancing’ their travel to and from Frankfurt thanks to a new partnership with Cloverly.

Next year’s IMEX Frankfurt will take place May 20 – 22, 2025.