Innovative learning experiences will be a key feature at future IMEX shows, with the emphasis on catering to diverse needs and preferred learning styles.
Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, said that creating memory and learning-rich events and experiences are central to future business gatherings.
One example of this, according to Bauer, is to offer a broad range of education in a variety of formats, such as campfires, one to ones, seminars/workshops, keynotes and panels. This allows attendees to ‘pick and mix’ sessions to suit their own learning preferences and their schedules, recognising that learning is done in different ways.
“While delivering content around the ‘next big thing’ is always going to excite people, it’s essential to ensure content remains grounded, relevant and helpful for people.
“It has to deliver practical takeaways first and foremost as well as meet their current needs both professionally and personally,” she said.
She added that the Google Experience Institute (Xi) CoLabs, which delivered a series of mini ‘design-thinking sprints’ in Frankfurt exploring the current curiosities of the global Xi community, will once again be on show at IMEX America, taking place in October.
“These were 20-minute fast-paced ideation and brainstorming sessions centred around six ideas and themes from Google’s research,” said Bauer. “Looking ahead to IMEX America this October, we’re set to expand our relationship with the Google Experience Institute (XI) and we will reveal more details soon.”
Event design is also expected to play an important role in future shows - Hall 9 at Messe Frankfurt was intentionally designed to enhance education, the learning environment and the overall delegate experience.
“Hall 9 was designed to look like a park, complete with grass, swing seats and even bird song, recorded by one of the team while out walking,” she says. “We know these small touches bring moments of joy and calm during a busy show and really help to embed learning as well as build the personality of our event.”
A willingness to change is another element that IMEX will be adopting for future shows. Post pandemic, and in the current climate of shrinking budgets and expanding workloads, flexibility is required across the whole of the event planning process and supply chain.
“We need to recognise and respond to the fact that our audiences’ needs have changed and will continue to do so,” said Bauer. “Attendees are more discerning than ever about the events they leave home to attend. They need to have an experience that fits their individual needs and which is the best use of their limited time and resources.”