Published on : Wednesday, January 22, 2020
The IMEX Group today announced that the theme of its fourth Talking Point will address the power and importance of ‘NATURE’ and will include IMEX’s largest ever research study. The Talking Point will also last for two years instead of one to underscore the topic’s urgency and importance for the global business events industry.
In 2020 and 2021, IMEX will be working with its community and partners worldwide to bring the topic of ‘NATURE’ to life in ways that drive its mission of uniting and advancing the global business events industry. The Talking Point will be framed Nature: What we can do for nature and what nature can do for us in recognition that our relationship with nature shouldn’t be taken for granted.
IMEX’s largest ever research project
IMEX also announced that Marriott International will be the exclusive supporter of IMEX’s NATURE research. The global hotel company will provide full backing of a series of industry research studies over the next two years. Through Marriott’s support, IMEX plans to offer the research findings free of charge to industry professionals and supplement the content at IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America with education, activations and a range of curated experiences.
Leading the research effort will be Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Bigwood’s team will produce three extensive and detailed pieces of research aimed at providing tangible insights to planners, providing both inspiration and the hands-on resources they need to be more sustainable, as well as strategic direction to directors and the C-suite.
At the same time, IMEX will also be promoting a strong, positive message about the value and importance of urban and built environments as well as natural landscapes and habitats, under the banner ‘Magical Places & Spaces.’ In addition, IMEX exhibitors and speakers will be sharing stories and case studies that exemplify biophilia (our innate human connection to nature) and biomimicry (design based on biological principles).
The first report, due out at IMEX in Frankfurt in May, will introduce and examine the principles of the circular economy. In phase two well-known academic and industry research partner, Janet Sperstad, CMP at Madison College, will present practical insights based on “Nature – An ecosystem for event success”.
A rallying cry to save the planet
As Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “In choosing ‘Nature’ as our Talking Point we’ve taken a big, bold step. It’s a rallying cry for us all to do more to save the planet, to protect, conserve and help regenerate natural resources and species.
“At IMEX, we have strong sustainability values, both within the business and across both of our shows. Environmentally-friendly principles have underpinned our shows since the launch of the first IMEX in Frankfurt 17 years ago.
“It’s easy to overlook or not even realise the wisdom of nature and how much she has to teach us. Nature can also help us to design events, unlocking creativity and boost our abilities to solve complex challenges and increase event results.”
Marriott International’s move to support IMEX’s important project comes as the global hotel company has been working to make its hotel operations worldwide more sustainable. In July 2018, for example, the company phased out the automatic offering of plastic straws in all of its hotels across its brands including The Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Moxy and Courtyard by Marriott. And last August, the company launched a worldwide initiative across all brands aimed at phasing out the use of tiny, single-use toiletry bottles in guestroom showers and replacing them with larger-sized bottles that can distribute more product and be easily recycled – a move that, once completed, would eliminate 30 percent of plastic sent to landfills annually.
“Given the growing importance of sustainability for our industry, customers and the communities we all engage with, we are thrilled to be supporting IMEX’s important research for the global business events industry,” said Tammy Routh, SVP of Global Sales, Marriott International. “It comes as our company deepens its commitment to our sustainability goals, such as reducing landfill waste by 45 percent by 2025. We look forward to continuing this conversation in the next two years.”
Events industry professionals at all skill levels and the world over are encouraged to share their views in an industry benchmarking survey which opens today and closes on Friday 14 February 2020.