After a three-year wait, it was back, and words can’t describe the feeling I and many others felt by attending IMEX this year; it was almost tangible; it wasn’t just a feeling, experience or what will be a wonderful memory. It was everything.
I walked into the Messe Frankfurt (one of the oldest active trade fairgrounds in the world) with my friend and my host Nikki Buse (Destinations Unlimited), and there was such a rush of adrenaline. You were initially overcome with awe just seeing all those exhibitors in one place again. The exhibition stands were grand, the visuals overwhelming, and as soon as you took that first step, you ran into someone you hadn’t seen for years. That networking, those relationships we hold so close to us, were once again back in full swing and “I’ll add you to LinkedIn” conversations were once again right back where they should be. So many of us had come to the show to capture those in-person connections, something that doesn’t work virtually.
I spent three full days at the show, and whilst I was there, I saw over 31 individual stands. I attended a fantastic dinner with Business Events in Dubai as a guest of the fabulous Destinations Unlimited. I also took the time to participate in a few of the educational sessions and took so much away from them.
The first was a session led by Robert Kenward of You Search & Select and TheHub Jobs, and in this session, we talked a lot about talent retention. Robert facilitated breakout groups where we discussed what tools and ideas we had for better retention, and it was such an impactful, collaborative session.
Ryan Phillips of DPRG led another session I attended on the metaverse, and this was one of those sessions that has given me so much food for thought that it’s only two days post-IMEX. I have already delved so far into what opportunities I have as an event professional (with all my hats on) to succeed in this space. I have been talking about it non-stop since I returned (I think my hubs is a bit bored of it now!).
Other highlights for me were spending a great deal of time in the event tech section of the show, where I am going back to work so inspired to share everything I learned with my team, and, of course, spending an hour with the goisrael.com where I wanted to know (and try) all of their unique wines was up there as a highlight.
I loved attending IMEX this year and can’t wait to return next year.