Harvesting the Fruits Strengthens International Ties at Imex 2012
27 June 2012
Having drawn much global attention, the 10th Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX) came to a successful conclusion at Messe Frankfurt on May 24, 2012. The 3-day event attracted participants from a total of 157 nations around the world, occupying 3,500 stands (40 new additions) that drew more than 9,000 visitors. More than 4,000 hosted buyers from 60 countries were also presented at the exhibition to create as many as 64,000 opportunities for business negotiations. Jointly set up by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) and the Tourism Bureau MOTC, the Taiwan Pavilion touted the “MEET TAIWAN” brand at the exhibition and in conjunction with the unveiling of the latest tourism theme, “Taiwan, the heart of Asia,” during its Happy Hour event to portray a comprehensive look at Taiwan’s environment for exhibition and tourism.
With the success of the International Congress & Conference Association (ICCA), MEET TAIWAN Project Leader Sin Chen was invited to lead group discussions during the morning seminar to present the MICE mobile platform developed by BOFT. Chen also interacted with representatives from Taiwan’s main competing nations in Asia to better understand their development strategies. The MEET TAIWAN team left Germany for France soon after the close of IMEX for another conference to develop potential markets and maximize the benefits of its visit to Europe.
Substantial increase of Taiwan’s exposure through management of international ties in exhibition sectors
During the event, MEET TAIWAN Project Leader Sin Chen had the opportunity to engage in extended interactions with representatives of key international exhibition organizations such as ICCA CEO Martin Sirk and IMEX Group Managing Director Paul Flackett to gain a better understanding of the trends of international exhibition sector developments. In interviews with many international media outlets, Mr. Chen also acted as a spokesperson in support of the Taiwan government’s ambition to bring prosperity to the exhibition industry. All of the co-exhibitors (see appendix for the list of co-exhibitors) were pleased with the fact that IMEX offers a comprehensive selection of hosted buyers, and that the benefits of participating in the event are significant. The fact that ICCA CEO Martin Sirk invited Mr. Sin Chen to head the group discussion in the ICCA morning seminar reflects the success of the BOFT in the long-term promotion of Taiwan’s international ties through its MEET TAIWAN endeavor. Mr. Chen took the opportunity to share the MICE mobile platform developed by the BOFT with other participants, eliciting enthusiastic inquiries on the development details from other representatives during the discussion.
Successful conclusion of the destination seminar in Paris
MEET TAIWAN planned a destination seminar to be held in Paris after the closing of IMEX with the intention of reaching directly out to potential target groups from local academic bodies, associations and the financial sector. A total of 30 international buyers and representatives received invitations to the seminar, and in order to strengthen their impressions of Taiwan, the organizer chose to kick off the seminar with a special “Taiwanese Cuisine Cooking” activity – an opportunity for the organizers to introduce the participants to features of Taiwanese culture through the making of Lumpia. The pineapple cakes that were served to the participants as refreshments were also immensely popular, and the organizers successfully fostered a friendly and positive relationship with the participants during these interactions. After the seminar, representatives who took part in the event expressed an interest in considering Taiwan as the destination for exhibitions in Asia in the near future, and would assess the feasibility of hosting international conventions in Taiwan should their budgets permit.
IMEX to deliver comprehensive list of hosted buyers with expertise in exhibition planning
The organizers of IMEX demonstrated the efforts and lengths they have gone to in order to make the event a success. In contrast with other, similar international exhibitions, the Pre-Scheduled Appointment (PSA) system that IMEX has implemented offers bilateral appointment functionalities and provides an independent account for every co-exhibitor, thereby enabling them to proactively reach out to potential buyers. Most of the co-exhibitors that accompanied the MEET TAIWAN project this time round said that IMEX offered a comprehensive pool of hosted buyers due to the fact that most of the key academic associations/organizations operate their headquarters in Frankfurt and that therefore their representatives carried decisive powers. This fact alone sets IMEX apart from other, similar exhibitions. IMEX served as an opportunity for buyers to learn for the very first time about the MICE mobile platform developed by the BOFT, and the service has emerged as a mainstream solution in light of the ongoing trends for green exhibitions. MEET TAIWAN perceives it as one of the main incentives that will draw foreign academic/business associations to host conferences and exhibitions in Taiwan.
Members of MEET TAIWAN from the BOFT are scheduled to depart for the U.S, and China to attend IMEX America and CIBTM 2012 respectively in the second half of 2012 in order to set up Taiwan Pavilion for the joint marketing and display Taiwan’s exceptional hardware and software capabilities in exhibitions.