60 seconds with... Carina Bauer, IMEX CEO

C&IT caught up with IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer to get her take on how the 2015 show is going at the halfway point.

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group
Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group

How is the show going so far?

So far it seems to be going really well. For us it’s all about the buyers' and exhibitors' experience, and the feedback we’ve been receiving has been very positive thus far. We got particularly good feedback about the Association Day, which was slightly revamped this year. The exhibition is also the biggest one we’ve had to date.

What are the numbers looking like and how is the buyer mix?

We won’t know the full numbers until the exhibition has ended, but we have around 3,500 exhibitors this year. In terms of our hosted buyers, its 20-25% corporate, 10% associations and the rest are from agencies. There’s a lot of diversity among them too, it’s really very global. The most are from Germany but not by much, closely followed by the UK and US, but we’ve had a lot of demand from all over the world.

What are your highlights this year?

Bill McDermott attending the show and doing the keynote speech was a definite highlight. It’s significant for the industry as a whole that he took time out to come, he wouldn’t have done that if he didn’t approve of the industry. We also had a very interesting Politicians Forum yesterday, and the Imex Run this morning was another highlight for me, that was a sold out event. Tomorrow we have Creative Thursday and I’m looking forward to seeing what creative educational formats the team have put together, I think it will be well received. But the general positivity about the show from buyers and exhibitors alike is the biggest highlight for me.

Are there any learnings you’ve taken away from this year’s show to use next year?

We’re always looking at how to improve, and we’ll discuss how the show has gone when it’s finished. We do have feedback forms and the team will talk to people on the floor and get a general feel for how everything is going. We implement change too, for example this year we added a few new things to Association Day, and got the Association of Facilitators involved to help us with the program.  

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