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Buyers confirmed they placed orders worth $508 million during the show

IMEX in Frankfurt 2011 results – business placed at show rises by 12%

Close to 1000 hosted buyers responded to the IMEX in Frankfurt 2011 post-show survey and results once again confirm IMEX’s commitment to outstanding business, networking and education opportunities. Lending further credence to a continued upswing in overall market activity and optimism, buyers confirmed they placed orders worth $508 million during the show, a rise of nearly 12.8% (2010: $450 million). The 1000 buyers also expect to place orders valued at around $2.2 billion in the nine months following the exhibition.

Other findings show that 14 hours was the average amount of time hosted buyers spent on the show floor meeting with exhibitors; another increase of 12% compared to last year.  This statistic underpins the importance that IMEX attaches to not allowing education or exhibitor events to be held away from the show floor during business hours.

It is also further evidence of the growing number of long-haul hosted buyers attending the show for three full days and their desire to maximise time spent doing business and having meetings with exhibitors on their stands during that time. In addition this year more European buyers than ever attended for two full nights, which also appears to have had a positive impact on this figure.

97% of all respondents view IMEX in Frankfurt either as “very” or “quite important for their business” with over three quarters stating their reason for attending as “to keep abreast of the industry and discover what’s new”.  68% sought out new suppliers, whilst “seeking inspiration away from the workplace” was a key factor for over half of all buyers who responded. In addition, 53% took the opportunity to meet with existing suppliers and 55% also chose to network with other visitors and industry colleagues.

In terms of hosted buyer satisfaction, survey results showed that 89% were “very or completely satisfied” with their attendance and results at the show, whilst 91% were likely to recommend IMEX to a colleague. Most of the respondents (85%) are “extremely likely or likely” to visit IMEX in Frankfurt 2012, with a further 13% confirming they are “somewhat likely to attend.”

The importance of relationship building
Feedback from the 2011 post-show survey also reveals that despite the rise in digital and virtual communication, many hosted buyers still favour face-to-face meetings and events over the alternatives such as teleconferencing, for example. The importance of strong relationships within the industry was a recurring theme as to why face-to-face meetings are so essential, with one respondent stating that “human touch and personal contact are very important for all of us”.

Asked whether enough is being done to convince board directors and chief executives of the value, productivity and performance-boosting effects of meetings and incentives, 84% felt that, yes, it was. Of the hosted buyers who disagreed, one reason given was that “too many boards of directors do not understand the value of industry knowledge and networking at ground level”. The importance of investing in innovative social media and technology featured among hosted buyers’ suggestions for ways in which organisers could adapt their events to suit the values and preferences of the ‘next generation’ and up-and-coming industry participants.

BRICs popularity continues to rise
The surveyed buyers were also asked whether they would consider placing business in one of the BRICs countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) in the coming year.  33% replied that they either already have or will consider proposals for placing business in one or more of these countries, whilst 11% have already done so.

Commenting on the 2011 exit poll results, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, said: “Once again we are delighted to see a measurable uplift in the levels of business that IMEX in Frankfurt has produced. We will continue to innovate, to develop new partnerships and to launch new business tools – such as this year’s App – to ensure that buyers and exhibitors can mine every last inch of business value from their time at the show. With the launch of IMEX America a matter of just two months away we have an additional opportunity to prove that the IMEX model really does deliver well for all of its participants.”