IMEX Policy Forum to close gap between political world and meetings industry

IMEX Policy Forum to close gap between political world and meetings industry

The ‘Legacy of Positive Policy Making’ will be debated when this year’s IMEX Policy Forum brings together up to 40 policy makers from national and regional governments with around 80 leading meetings industry professionals. The Forum takes place at the InterContinental Hotel Frankfurt on Tuesday 15 May, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt 2018.

The IMEX Policy Forum follows on from its previous incarnation as the annual IMEX Politicians Forum as the place where the meetings world and public policy makers connect. This year’s agenda has been specifically designed to explore how to bridge the ‘partnership gap’ that exists between governments, national and local, and the meetings industry.

After a visit to the IMEX exhibition in the morning, delegates will start the afternoon with a national government discussion in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) chaired by Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) as well as a workshop led by Professor Greg Clark CBE, the world-renowned advisor on cities. Exploring ‘The evolution of cities in the meetings industry’, the workshop has been specifically designed for local, municipal and regional policy makers and destination representatives.

To launch the open forum, the centrepiece of the day, Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) will deliver the opening address, followed by a panel discussion and open debate amongst delegates. Topical issues including over-tourism, the creation of innovation and knowledge hubs, security and climate change will all be open to debate. The Forum will conclude with a summary of key insights from the discussion brought together by Professor Greg Clark.

Creating a political legacy

The theme ‘Legacy of Positive Policy Making’ is closely allied to the IMEX Talking Point for 2018 which is ‘legacy’, and political legacy is one of the five ‘lenses’ through which the Talking Point is being explored.

Taking part in the Forum often proves extremely valuable to the political representatives. Augustine Kungu Olal from the Prime Minister’s Office in Tanzania who was a delegate in 2017 said: “It was good to share experiences and ideas in the national discussion and in the open forum as it showed that there are many common issues and I’m taking away some good advice. I was also very encouraged by my visit to the exhibition in the morning. It was eye-opening.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group commented; “Since the first Politicians Forum in 2003, IMEX has helped to initiate engagement between the political world and the meetings industry. The aim is to foster genuine understanding and appreciation of how our two worlds can work together to drive economic growth and to educate policy makers on the potential that exists by engaging with their local meetings industry. That is our own political legacy and one which we are determined to grow further through the Policy Forum.”

The IMEX Policy Forum’s advocacy partners are Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC), European Cities Marketing (ECM), ICCA, the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), The Iceberg and UNWTO. The Forum is sponsored by Business Events Australia, Business Events Sydney, German Convention Bureau, Geneva Convention Bureau, Saudi Exhibition & Convention Bureau, Messe Frankfurt and the Meetings Mean Business Coalition.