IMEX Frankfurt 2023

IMEX Frankfurt 2023

Article published 30/08/2023

By Neil Brownlee, Head of VisitScotland Business Events

The second quarter of 2023 has been an incredibly busy time with the team attending and participating in several tradeshows, speaking opportunities and events across the world, in addition to some exciting new developments for us as an organisation. So where have we been?


Tradeshows are a core aspect of our annual activity and they allow us to reach buyers and event planners in our key markets and beyond. So far this year, we have attended some of the biggest tradeshows for the business events sector including CHS Leeds, IMEX Frankfurt and The Meetings Show alongside some of our Scottish partners.

Tradeshows provide a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with a highly targeted audience and discuss and showcase Scotland's business events offering through pre-arranged appointments, presentations and speaking opportunities. Across our tradeshows so far, and combined with our partners in attendance, we attended more than 500 appointments over six show days, which we are converting into lucrative future business for Scotland.

As part of our 2023 tradeshow activity, we been showcasing CSR-led initiatives from charities and non-profit organisations from across Scotland, including The Green Team and the Cyrenians. The aim of doing this is to encourage and support planners to incorporate activities into their event itineraries that support local communities and leave a positive imprint in communities within Scotland.

At CHS Leeds, we hosted a Destination Brunch Session for more than 40 key buyers, where we discussed how to create events that leave a positive social impact. Speaking alongside us was Laura van der Hoeven, Senior Relationships Manager at local charity Cyrenians. Laura spoke about the incredible work undertaken by the charity and inspired buyers to incorporate volunteering-led activities into their event programme.

We continued our efforts at IMEX Frankfurt with Edinburgh-based charity, The Green Team. During our Destination Presentations we played a personalised video to attendees which detailed how organisers can work with them to provide CSR-led incentives when in Scotland.

Association events

In addition to tradeshows, our business events team is regularly invited to attend and speak at events organised by some of the sectors leading associations.

This year, the team has attended PCMA Educon in Montréal, Association World Congress in Florence and most recently the Destinations International Annual Convention in Texas.

These events are an excellent opportunity for the business events team to gain insights and share and build knowledge with industry leaders and innovators when it comes to tackling some of the biggest challenges and topics affecting our sector. In recent months there has been a significant focus on how the business events sector on sustainability, which has been a big conversation for several years, and diversity, equity and inclusion within the sector.

Our colleague Enya was named as one of the Destinations International 2023 30 Under 30 recipients earlier this year and was invited to meet with this year's cohort at Destinations International's Annual Convention in Dallas, Texas in July. Our Senior Business Events Manager, Rory Archibald was also in attendance and joined Enya and others in key education sessions, which tied into the theme "The Year of RE: Reimagine".

The event included stand-out sessions from Cynt Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and the first Black female CEO in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Charles Blow, Journalist and Op-Ed Columnist at the New York Times, who both discussed the importance of belonging and diversity, an important topic for our sector.

Whilst it is important to have these discussions it is even more important that as an industry, we start to action this activity.

Updates from VisitScotland Business Events

The team has been working hard behind the scenes on content to highlight the incredible work and events taking place here in Scotland.

In collaboration with both the World Energy Council and World Endometriosis Society we have created some video case studies based on their recent events, which took place at P&J Live in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. You can watch the videos over on our YouTube channel here.

We have also continued to curate content, which focuses on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the organisations and charities across Scotland, which are helping to tackle some of the world's biggest issues including climate change, social sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion. The content, which complements our Journey to Change initiative, can be found here.

Looking ahead

As we head into Autumn, we have some exciting events in the diary including PCMA Convening EMEA 2023, IMEX America and ICCA World Congress.

These events provide an excellent opportunity to learn from our industry peers and to gain insights from the global markets, including any upcoming trends that Scotland can potentially benefit from.

We are always keen to meet new people and discuss ideas. To find out the events and tradeshows the VisitScotland Business Events team will be heading to next visit our events and tradeshows page or follow us on social media.