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IMEX in Frankfurt Reworks its Hallmark Association Day

After nine years of year-on-year increases in the number of association meeting planners attending the IMEX Association Day, the IMEX team, its association partners and advisors have completely revamped the day’s education programme for 2012.

The result is that the 2012 Association Day, which takes place in the show’s 10th anniversary year, now offers double the number of education sessions arranged in specialist tracks; plus contributions from 25 speakers, including CEOs and Executive Directors from some of Europe and America’s largest associations including the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), the International Association of Public Transport and the Optical Society.

Brand new learning formats, such as ‘Deep Dives’, will allow delegates to explore a number of single issue topics over a 3-hour period, and a new ‘Ask the Expert’ clinic will provide complimentary, one-to-one consultancy on VAT issues. Three new education tracks have also been introduced – meetings, operations and executive – to allow for further content refinement based on attendees’ roles and responsibilities. The day will conclude with a choice of over 20 peer-to-peer round-table discussions with topics chosen by delegates in advance of the day.

IMEX Association Day targets and typically attracts around 300 association executives from over 30 countries, 85% of whom are full-time senior association professionals with many at Executive Director or Secretary General level. Most of the buyers attend as part of the show’s hosted buyer programme, which means they also attend the trade show and meet exhbitors over the three days that follow.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Our feedback shows that association executives want to be stretched and to step back from their day-to-day tasks to explore some big picture topics and long-term business challenges. Alongside new content with a harder strategic focus, we have introduced some highly specialised topics such as “Managing Your Room Blocks.” This ensures that there is excellent choice in the programme – ranging from niche topics to broader strategic topics such as “Generating New Revenues” or highly topical sessions like “Online Learning and Sustainability.”

The IMEX Association Day will be hosted by the Congress Center, Messe Frankfurt on Monday 21st May. The programme kicks off with a networking lunch followed by a choice of two seminars in each of the three new tracks. These will include a ‘Deep Dive’ led by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership on “Managing Through Change” (executive track). Moderated by Brian Riggs, Vice President of Association Headquarters, Inc., it will also feature Robin Lokerman, CEO Institutional Division, MCI Group; Peter O’Neil, CAE, Executive Director, American Industrial Hygiene Association; Robert Waller, CAE, President, Association Headquarters, Inc and Patrizia Lucca, AIM International.

‘Virtual speakers’ to participate from Chicago

In the meetings track, PCMA will explore the ins and outs of Hybrid Meetings in “A Practical Look at Harnessing the Power of Technology to Drive Event Success.” It will be moderated by Sherrif Karamat, CAE, Chief Operating Officer, PCMA in Frankfurt with ‘virtual’ speakers, Deborah Sexton, FASAE, President & CEO, PCMA and Michael Doyle, Executive Director of the Virtual Edge Institute joining in live from Chicago.

“Collaborative Curation” will be an operations track session led by Benita Lipps, Head of Conferences Unit for the European Science Foundation and Helga Severyns, Senior Director of the UITP. They will discuss the challenge of finding the time and skill to monitor, evaluate and combine the proliferation of information and data now facing associations.

A further topical session set to address a rapidly changing global marketplace will be “Entering New Markets – The Keys to Success in China” with Jennifer Salsbury, Senior Director Sales and Marketing, China National Convention Center and Kristin K. Mirabal, CMP, Director Global Programs, The Optical Society.

Bauer: “I am delighted and really excited by the changes we’ve put in place for Association Day this year. This part of our show’s educational programme is exceptionally strong and we take the need to get it right, and to justify attendees’ time investment very seriously. More than ever, this year’s Association Day will be a power-packed, high value event.”

As usual this day of intense education will end in an evening networking reception that is open to all IMEX exhibitors who are members of one of the organising associations (ICCA, AIPC, IAPCO, PCMA, ESAE, ASAE, IAEE, DMAI). The evening traditionally attracts up to 900 guests and has become the unofficial opening event of the show and, as such, it sets the business and networking tone for the following three days of the show. This year’s reception will be held at The Westin Hotel, Frankfurt. Delegates can attend the Association Day either as a part of the IMEX hosted buyer programme, or as association visitors.

Registration is available online here.

Association Day programme available here.

Photo: IMEX Association Day 2011