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IMEX 2012 Wild Card Winners Announced

Sendai in Japan and El Salvador in Central America have both been selected as winners of the IMEX in Frankfurt Wild Card competition for 2012 - the show’s 10th anniversary year.

The IMEX Wild Card programme offers aspiring entrants into the international meetings market the chance to exhibit free of charge alongside established destinations and other participants. In a change from the usual, this year’s winners will also benefit from a new support package, provided by specialist business events consultancy, GainingEdge. The company has committed to providing each winner with advice on prescheduled appointments, detailed sales training, press release training and a review of marketing collateral as well as advice on how to maximise trade show participation plus other business-critical tips. (GainingEdge will also be supporting the winners of IMEX America’s Wild Card Americas programme in October).

To be eligible for a free place, Wild Card entrants are required to justify their potential as a meetings and incentive travel destination or a new convention and conference centre. They are also expected to demonstrate sufficient infrastructure and skill to support their ambition to flourish within the global meetings or incentive travel market.

In addition to their free exhibition place on the tailor-made IMEX Wild Card Pavilion, winners receive free accommodation, as well as a complimentary ticket to the show’s Gala Dinner.

Previous Wild Card winners over the years have included Armenia, Western Siberia, the Hof Cultural Center in Iceland, The Cook Islands and Senegal.

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group, commented: “Being awarded a Wild Card space this year is extra special due to the added attention brought by this being IMEX in Frankfurt’s 10th anniversary plus GainingEdge’s involvement. We are delighted to be supporting these destinations in 2012. In the case of Sendai, the city is starting as if from scratch because of the repercussions of last year’s earthquake. Equally, despite El Salvador’s long history, it has remained largely hidden as a viable destination for the meetings industry and is now well placed to emerge from the ‘shadows’. We are pleased to help support both destinations and to communicate what they have to offer to the market.”

The 10th IMEX in Frankfurt will take place 22 -24 May at Messe Frankfurt.

Photo: Sendai at sunrise.