Imex debut exceeds show visitors target

Last month’s inaugural Imex show exceeded its pre-show visitor targets. It pulled in 5,624 visitors from 39 countries – 2,750 were hosted buyers. Imex chairman Ray Bloom said the figures give grounds for expansion in 2004. He aims to increase visitor attendance by 10-15%. Industry response to the debut show has been mixed. Most European exhibitors reported a good show, while many US and Asian exhibitors were disappointed with visitor turnout. Le Méridien Brussels sales executive Nicholai Freiherr von Dellingshausen said he had lots of good enquiries from the show. “I much prefer it to EIBTM and Confex,” he added. IBR account manager Ian Jones said: “I think the overall organisation of Imex was good, although my main concern is still that with the rival event EIBTM, there is a danger we could end up with two diluted exhibitions.” Hotel chains such as Le Méridien and Marriott will not be exhibiting at EIBTM this year. EIBTM show director Debbie Jackson declined to comment on competitor show Imex but described feedback in the run up to EIBTM as positive. “We are currently on target for 2,500 hosted buyers, 2,000 trade visitors and 2,000 exhibitors,” she stated.

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