IMEX Frankfurt Canceled

Attendees at the Prevue-IRF rollout of new research at 2019 IMEX

Once again, IMEX Group has been forced to cancel, citing its global footprint, with exhibitors coming from 150 countries.

The meetings industry suffered an early 2021 blow with the news from IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom and CEO Carina Bauer that they would not move forward with IMEX Frankfurt at Messe Frankfurt in May.

“We know the timing of our announcement comes as a blow so early in 2021,” said the father-daughter team in a written statement. “More than anything, and like you, we’re eager to deliver some good news and mark a fresh start.

“When we were compelled to cancel Frankfurt and IMEX America last year we hoped 2021 would see the early recovery of the industry and the IMEX shows. We still believe wholeheartedly that a resurgence will come, but sadly we do not believe it will happen in time for us to deliver a strong and successful event in May.

“Frankfurt is a hugely global event—our exhibitors and buyers represent 150+ countries—and we are, therefore, reliant on international travel routes being open in the coming weeks to allow our buyers and exhibitors from across the world to confirm their participation.”

All eyes are on IMEX America, scheduled for November 9 to 11 in its new home at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Bloom and Bauer expressed that they were “very confident” that show would move forward, thanks to the vaccine roll-out and improvements in rapid testing program.

Other major industry shows have moved into the virtual realm, including the Incentive Research Foundations “Unvitational” in December, this week’s PCMA Convening Leaders and SITE’s annual conference in early February. Meeting Professionals International is actively promoting that its WEC will be held live at the new Caesars Forum in Las Vegas this June.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.