“I believe that when each of us grows then our teams and organisations grow. Organisations change person by person.” Dawn Wray from the Listening Collective introduces the new Listening Lab at IMEX in Frankfurt. The Lab, delivering one-to-one coaching, is part of the show’s 150+ strong education programme.
Free of charge and open to all, the IMEX learning programme hones in on the new skills and approaches needed for a changed business climate with topics including Professional Development and Upskilling; Creativity in Communication; Diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; Innovation and Tech; and Purposeful Recovery – the majority accredited by EIC (Events Industry Council) with CMP points and some also CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) approved.
Community, communication & connection
The importance of community, communication and connection shine through in IMEX in Frankfurt’s education programme, with many sessions exploring how to apply them in order to supercharge business recovery and professional growth.
“Relationships underpin the success of our businesses and the events we’re involved with. Yet it has become harder to nurture those relationships, let alone meet new people, during the pandemic,” explains professional relationships strategist and author Andy Lopata. He brings more than 20 years’ experience in building and nurturing professional relationships across global locations and will moderate a panel session unpacking the strategy behind ‘Building back together’. Event professionals from Farnborough International, DRPG and Enited Business Events join Andy to discuss the vital role strong relationships played in supporting them during the pandemic, and in their business recovery.
Traci Ruble, psychotherapist and founder of a global human connection movement, is an advocate of ‘good listening and connected speaking’. She discusses the toolkit she’ll share in her learning session, ‘Becoming a connected listener and speaker’: “Good listeners first and foremost know how to hear someone’s story while remaining calm and objective. I’ll share tactics on how to truly tune into others and master tactics for more effective and energising results at work.”
Addressing future challenges
Developing a diverse, community-first approach is key to meeting today’s business needs. That’s the resounding message of the panel discussion: Future of work: Diversity’s role in creating the work culture of tomorrow. Christian Woronka, Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau & Market Management, Vienna Convention Bureau / Vienna Tourist Board, is among the experts sharing strategies on how to smash stereotypes and enable a balance of genders, cultures and ages as part of a series of diversity debates – She Means Business.
Data show that the pandemic disproportionately impacted women and minority professionals, reversing years of gains in the areas of employment, salary and job security—yet 60% of meeting professionals say they’re having difficulties filling jobs within the event sector. Christian explains: “Diversity is more important than ever to create new approaches and solutions and to meet the challenges of the future authentically.”
Most business sectors have emerged from the pandemic with a renewed focus on risk management. Michael Dominguez, CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International, teams up with Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council to share resources and help organisations develop plans in Risk management and duty of care in a post-pandemic world. Michael explains: “We face a world, country, economy and industry travelling a road much less travelled as we restart our global commerce engine.” He unpacks how the sector has significantly shifted in The need to be decisively indecisive: understanding behavioural changes for the meetings and events industry.
Bepsoke education for associations, corporates & agencies
IMEX is supporting specialist event planners with dedicated learning for association, agency and corporate executives taking place the day before the show, on Monday 30 May.
Exclusively Corporate is the forum for corporate planners to share first-hand struggles and experiences along with learnings from experts at SAP, LinkedIn, Siemens Healthineers plus a former Premier League footballer and mindset performance coach.
C-suite agency planners are invited to shape the focus of IMEX’s co-created Agency Directors Forum, choosing what best fits their needs from subjects including: growth opportunities; lessons learned from the pandemic; adapting to a changed event landscape; trends and technology impacting business strategy and reconsidering staffing options. Separately, Association Focus will deliver learning and networking exclusively for association professionals of all levels. Sessions explore the economic impact of the pandemic for associations and share advice on how to evolve business models.
“In the current business climate, it’s more important than ever to remain focused yet flexible as well as not to make assumptions. Our learning programme has been designed to deliver a broad range of perspectives, enabling event profs at all levels to share challenges and benefit from each other’s lived experiences.” Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, shares the strategy behind the 150+ educational events throughout the show.
“We know resources are tight, that’s why we’ve carefully curated the free programme to provide practical training and the latest insights businesses and individuals need to step into a new future. We encourage planners, suppliers and speakers alike to squeeze every free minute out of our programme – that’s what it’s there for.’
The education at IMEX in Frankfurt is free of charge and open to all. More details can be found here. The show takes place 31 May – 2 June 2022 – the business events community can register here. Registration is free.