The increasingly valuable contribution that meetings can make towards national and regional economic development, employment and education and how this will progress over the next 15 years will be the central subject of discussions at the 14th annual IMEX Politicians Forum when it takes place at Hotel Villa Kennedy Frankfurt on Tuesday 19 April.
This unique high-level event will once again bring together up to 40 politicians, including national and regional government ministers, and political influencers with around 80 industry leaders. They will exchange knowledge and best practice on how governments, regions and cities can make the most of the wide-ranging benefits that investment in conferences and meetings can bring, from income and employment to inward investment, education and scientific advancement.
This year the keynote speaker will be Hon Minister Stuart Ayres, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events for New South Wales, Australia. In a speech entitled: ‘How Meetings and Events Can Fulfil Political Optimism’, he will focus on several key areas including the importance of matching business events with trade, investment and export policies.
Minister Ayres said: “I’m excited to address the Politician’s Forum at IMEX in Frankfurt on the major issues affecting our industry. Business events are key drivers for our State – stimulating the knowledge economy; supporting trade and investment; talent acquisition and retention; and fostering sustainable future growth.”
The event is a full day programme with an exclusive VIP guided tour of the IMEX trade show and visits to delegates’ own national or regional stands before and after attending the Opening Ceremony.
The afternoon Forum will open with a Global Exchange of Best Practice at national and regional levels. The Hon Minister Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Iceland will chair the national level meeting while John Greenway, former Member of Parliament in the UK will lead the regional discussions.
All the delegates will then join together for the main Forum, a Global Exchange of Future Practice, moderated by Michael Hirst OBE, in which all the politicians, government officials and industry leaders will discuss how destinations are preparing for the challenges over the next 15 years and sharing new ideas and thinking.
The IMEX Politicians Forum has over the years proved to be a major catalyst in advancing the understanding of the critical role that the meetings industry plays in many aspects of national and regional development.
As Hon Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir, Minister of Industry and Commerce for Iceland commented after taking part in the IMEX Politicians Forum 2015. “There is tremendous economic value and intellectual capital gain associated with a strong meetings and conference industry. Therefore it is crucial for governments to respond with a focused strategy to make the most of these business opportunities to benefit their destination. The IMEX Politicians Forum provides a unique platform for governments wishing to improve their competitiveness.”
Carina Bauer, CEO of The IMEX Group said: “The many senior politicians and government officials from across the globe attending the Politicians Forum this year are testament to the increasing recognition of the important role that the meetings and incentive travel industry plays in driving economic development particularly in knowledge economies. We are pleased with the strong programme that is set to develop further understanding and relationships between the industry and governments around the world.”
The IMEX Politicians Forum is organised in collaboration with European Cities Marketing (ECM), The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and The International Association of Conventions Centres (AIPC), under the auspices of The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC).