IMEX likely to enjoy greater representation from the US

IMEX is likely to see a greater presence of US exhibitors following the show’s endorsement by the International Association of Convention Visitor Bureaus (IACVB). Made up predominantly of US bureaus, IACVB has earmarked IMEX as its international exhibition outside the US and is likely to combine the show in 2006 with its international conference. IMEX chairman Ray Bloom said this would lead to greater representation of exhibitors from the US: "It gives us access to even more US suppliers. While we have a sufficient representation at the show, there is room for improvement and this will help us tap into that potential. "It is important that the US is involved as much as possible in our industry," he continued. "The US is the largest market and the pioneer of incentive travel." Approximately 120 US exhibitors have already signed up for show, taking place in Frankfurt from19-21 April. However, the impact of the IACVB and IMEX partnership is likely to show itself as of 2006. "It’s an ongoing relationship," said Bloom. The move contributes to the continued expansion of the show, which this year is predicted to be 15% larger, with 3,000 hosted buyers expected to attend – an increase of almost 200 on the previous year. New exhibitors include Sandals & Beaches Resorts, which only entered this market recently, and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, which is trying to increase brand awareness of its C&I offering across Europe. Quality and quantity of attendees has risen, said Bloom. MPI’s Global Corporate Circle of Excellence, whose members include Europe’s top C&I buyers, will be holding its first Global Forum at IMEX 2005. "My aim has always been to get quality visitors on the floor and attracting buyers of such a high calibre underpins our strategy to deliver the best marketing opportunities to our exhibitors," said Bloom.

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