IMEX Wild Card winners 2010 showcase continuing diversity of international industry


Three destinations that have never before exhibited at an international trade show are celebrating a significant win in the IMEX 2010 Wild Card program this week.

As a result, Uganda, the new Hof Conference and Cultural Centre in Iceland, and the traditional alpine village of Morzine, France, will each line up, free of charge, on the IMEX Wild Card Pavilion at Messe Frankfurt when the eighth IMEX gets underway on May 25.

The Wild Card Program is part of IMEX’s commitment to fostering growth and development in the global meetings industry. The program recognizes how difficult it can be for newer destinations to break into the international meetings market, even though they may be already well-established as leisure tourism destinations.

As IMEX group chairman, Ray Bloom, explained: “Many newer destinations often have good travel and hospitality infrastructures in place and have already proven their success in the leisure market. The Wild Card program, however, offers them the ideal platform for focusing their marketing efforts on the meetings and conventions industry. It’s a low-risk, extremely high-value opportunity, and one that puts them in front of thousands of high-quality international buyers whilst lending unparalleled credibility and a global profile.”

Each of this year’s winners will receive a package including free exhibition space, access to discounted flights, and free accommodation in Frankfurt. The winners also receive ongoing marketing guidance and support from the IMEX project team all year round.

One of the winners, Morzine in France (nominated by ski company Chillypowder), has dedicated conference and meetings facilities opening at the Hotel au Coin du Feu in May, which will open in time to take full advantage of IMEX 2010. Morzine offers fine dining, shopping, and a wide range of outdoor pursuits. The town is 1.5 hours from Geneva Airport and within driving distance of Switzerland and Italy. The hotel offers 19 luxury bedrooms, underground car-parking, and a large outdoor terrace. Chillypowder operates a number of luxury catered ski chalets.

By contrast, Great Lakes Safaris of Uganda in East Africa, feel confident about their entry into the meetings market as a result of recent improvements to flight schedules and roads in the region. Business and communication facilities are also being expanded in Uganda, which include a number of new hotels both in city areas and in national parks. The company provides tailor-made safaris including gorilla-tracking, primate walks, and a variety of other wildlife-watching experiences.

The final winner, the new Hof Conference and Cultural Centre in Northern Iceland, is set to open in August. The center will provide conference facilities for up to 500 people, with other rooms available for a further 200 delegates. Ten restaurants seating up to 1,500 guests will also be within a five-minute walk of the center. A second conference center is due to open in the university area, five minutes from the center of the town (Akureyri).

For more information on the 2010 Wild Card Winners, see: .