Emerging destinations in the international meetings and incentives market can now submit applications to become a Wild Card entrant at IMEX 2010. Several previous winners have gone on to become exhibitors in their own right and owe much to their start in the global meetings and events market to their first exposure at IMEX. Winners will receive free exhibition space within the Wild Card Pavilion at the world-leading trade show, which takes place at Messe Frankfurt on May 25-27, 2010. Winners also benefit from access to discounted airfares, two complimentary hotel rooms for three nights in Frankfurt, plus free tickets to the IMEX Gala Dinner. Additionally, IMEX will provide marketing support to assist winners in presenting their destination to the audience of international buyers both at the show and as part of the online exhibition on the IMEX website throughout the year.
Carina Bauer, IMEX marketing and operations director, commented: “The Wild Card scheme offers the chance for new destinations to launch into the international meetings and incentives market with a bang! Exhibiting at IMEX provides one of the best opportunities to showcase all that a destination has to offer and meet with the key decision makers in events planning from all around the globe. For new destinations, this presents an unrivaled chance to begin countless new business relationships that could well lead to a packed events diary for the rest of the year.”
To qualify for a winning place, Wild Card entrants need to justify their potential as a brand-new meetings and incentive travel destination. Places are also open to new convention and conference centers, either currently in development or which have been open for less than three years. None of the entrants are permitted to have exhibited at a major meetings or incentive travel trade fair before. They also have to demonstrate that they have the commitment and capacity to handle new business and that their destination has the infrastructure to support the unique demands of the meetings and incentive travel market.
Carina Bauer added: “IMEX will provide winners of the Wild Card with the support and guidance needed to catch the eye and buying power of some of the thousands of visitors who attend the show. By supporting emerging destinations, IMEX continues to invest in the future success of the industry and proof of its value comes from the fact that many past winners have elected to keep coming back to IMEX year after year.” Winners of the 2009 IMEX Wild Card included the Cook Islands, Novi Sad – Vojvodina located on the Danube in Serbia, Tianjin Economic – Technological Development Area (TEDA) in China, and the Masurian Conference Centre, Zamek Ryn, Poland. For more information visit: www.imex-frankfurt.com.