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Industry ‘too bound up in tourism’, says IMEX report

The meeting industry is ‘too bound up in tourism’ and has an absence of influence.

This is one of the conclusions contained within the summary report of this year’s IMEX Policy Forum, which is now available to download.

The forum at this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt brought together more than 30 politicians and policy makers from around the world to meet with 80 industry leaders and debate issues under the overall theme of ‘The legacy of positive policy making’. Among the issues discussed were the challenges facing the industry, how events can leave a positive legacy and how the industry can balance concerns around globalisation with local concerns.

Now the opinions and conclusions on these issues and other major topics are available to read in the form of a summary report by Rod Cameron, executive director of the Joint Meetings Industry Council.

Each year IMEX makes the report freely available to the global meetings industry to allow CVBs, city governors, destination partners and others to use it to inform their own plans, developments and negotiations.

The report captures the many key points raised and advice shared during all the wide-ranging discussions, and highlights many insights that will prove valuable to politicians, policy makers and industry executives working for national and regional organisations worldwide.

Each topic was initiated by contributions from the panel: Rod Cameron, Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC); Nina Freysen-Pretorius, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA): Don Welsh, Destinations International (DI):  Nan Marchand Beauvois, United States Travel Association (USTA): Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, European Cities Marketing (ECM) and Professor Greg Clark.

Among his many observations on the day’s discussions, Greg Clark thought the meeting industry was more akin to financial services or academia than tourism in that it functions as a broad enabler of business. He said it is seen as too bound up in tourism and instead needs to better define its own story and tell it clearly, highlighting its benefits, leveraging events such as Davos and showing positive impacts through good case studies.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX said: “As a result of the many outstanding contributions and the new format of the day, the quality of content and debate were first class.

“The IMEX Policy Forum continues to drive the industry forward, building its reputation in government as a powerful catalyst for economic development.”