Carina Bauer of IMEX, spoke to the MICEBOOK group about the recently cancelled IMEX America and what will come next on Planet Imex:
The MICE market is starting to look up in the UK, partly thanks to the planned implementation of a reduced 1-meter distancing restriction from July which is having a huge psychological effect on buyers.
To restart effectively, the industry needs a roadmap and some dedicated support from the UK government. As of yet, MICE events have not been addressed specifically and are still treated like any other mass events. This needs to be rectified and governing bodies need to acknowledge the importance of the MICE industry in the economy’s recovery process.
IMEX Frankfurt’s virtual alternative - Planet IMEX - received some very good feedback from both buyers and sellers, especially considering the very short notice to build the platform (less than 2 months). Throughout the event, a total of 20,000 buyers logged onto the platform.
The organisation process was a steep learning curve and getting the right balance of buyer/supplier engagement proved to be the most challenging part of the event. This shows that human interaction cannot always be replaced with virtual solutions.
Going forward the user journey should be simpler and take place on a more integrated platform. Because people’s attention span during online events is shorter, the format needs to be simpler/shorter/snappier and the choice of speakers needs to be larger.
IMEX America was cancelled 2 weeks ago and a virtual version will replace it in the middle of October. The event will benefit from the Frankfurt Planet IMEX trial as the organisers will be able to build on what they have learned so far.
The event will keep a lot of the elements present during Planet IMEX Frankfurt in terms of educational content and fun activities but the networking element will be more integrated.
IMEX America will return live in Mandalay bay in November 2021. Whilst it is not yet possible to predict its attendance, a pent-up demand for togetherness is expected but there will also be a certain level of anxiety, and MICE buyer corporate policies will be a key deciding factor.
To listen to the full podcast click here
Please give us your feedback and thoughts on future safety protocols in the comments box.