IMEX, the largest specialized exhibition for congress and business trips, was held on May 15-17 in Frankfurt. The organizers of the exhibition reported a record-high participation of nearly 3 500 exhibitors from more than 150 countries, who presented new business opportunities, trends and innovations in the congress industry.
At the exhibition, all participating destinations were also presented by their national and local convention bureaus. The introduction of the convention bureaus as a single point of contact was a main and compulsory element of the overall presentation of each congress destination.
This year for the first time Bulgaria was also presented at IMEX by the Bulgarian Convention Bureau (BCB). The co-founders and members of the BCB who took part in this year’s IMEX had the chance to meet buyers and organizers of large international events with a very wide profile, as well as to build a network of contacts in order to present the BCB and Bulgaria as a sustainable congress destination. Many of the meetings were with stakeholders and entrepreneurs from different countries, such as Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, India and many others, and appeared to be a long-awaited opportunity to cooperate with Bulgaria as a MICE destination, namely due to the fact that most organizers of international events only trust convention bureaus as a reliable local partner.
The exhibition was also a great opportunity to lay the foundation for cooperation with convention bureaus of world-renowned and well-established destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, London, Vienna and Prague, willing to share their experiences and good practices with the BCB, as well as to examine the possible membership of the BCB in specialized international organizations, such as the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).