Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bauer

Carina Bauer

CEO, IMEX Group

Creating value-add exhibitions and winning business, educational and networking opportunities for the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry is Carina Bauer and her team's mantra. As CEO of IMEX Group - organizers of the established, award winning IMEX in Frankfurt trade show and new IMEX America show debuting in Las Vegas in October 2011- Ms. Bauer is responsible for operations, strategic partnership management, PR and select marketing initiatives for both shows. Ms. Bauer has served as CEO of IMEX since the expansion of the brand to the U.S. in 2009, and brings a strategic and hands-on knowledge of the events industry having joined IMEX in 2002 as Marketing and Operations Director. In this role, she was a key part of the original launch team of the first Frankfurt exhibition in 2003 and continued to help vigorously grow the popular show year-to-year by successfully managing promotional campaigns and materials, education programs, strategic partnerships and sponsorships, plus website and online development. Helping to grow a business was nothing new for Ms. Bauer, having been the Managing Director of GoodBean coffee-- a family owned chain of coffee shops located throughout the South of England -- which she grew to 13 stores in just three years before it was sold to a publicly listed company in December of 2001. IMEX also appears to be her “cup of tea,” as IMEX in Frankfurt 2011 welcomed 3,500 exhibitors and almost 3,900 hosted buyers and IMEX America promises over 2,000 hosted buyers, up to 100 destinations and around 1,500 exhibitors from the U.S. and around the world in its first year. A large part of Ms. Bauer and IMEX's success has been the company's unique Hosted Buyer Model and Online Appointment System which brings pre-qualified buyers to the show already scheduled and ready to talk business with exhibitors. IMEX also offers free entry to their show floors and into all IMEX and MPI sponsored education sessions (Meeting Professionals International - MPI - being IMEX America's Strategic Partner and Premier Educational Provider). In addition to helping spur the industry's deal pipeline, Ms. Bauer is also deeply committed to bringing other key issues and opportunities for the global meetings and events market to the fore at IMEX shows. These include combining the power of face-to-face meetings with the benefits of technology, driving green meetings initiatives and standards (each show has its own detailed environmental targets, with outcomes or benchmarks for waste, energy and water saving in particular alongside consistent use of recycled or recyclable materials); and giving back to local communities through CSR programs. Many of these initiatives have become hallmark IMEX events under Ms. Bauer's leadership and are branded as “New Vision” programs designed to encourage grass roots change across the industry. They also encompass politician, executive and Future Leaders Forums as well as cross-industry and multi-partner survey/research data programs. Another hallmark and industry favorite is the IMEX Association Day & Evening which brings association meeting professionals together from around the globe to discuss topics most pressing to association management, their members and directors. However, Ms. Bauer knows it's people and one-on-one hospitality that makes the global events, meetings and incentives market tick so she charters herself and her team with personal, responsive and fair relationship management with destinations, hoteliers, associations, events and meetings planning executives & professionals around the globe. She has also, through the timing of two European volcanoes and the SARs outbreak, learned about the importance of planning for the unexpected when you are hosting a major, global event and helping to facilitate the safe travel and peace of mind of your guests. Risk management and crisis communications are now two of her very strong suits. With the addition of IMEX America to the company's portfolio and IMEX in Frankfurt celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, Ms. Bauer is enthusiastic about the future of the global meetings, events and incentive travel market and thrives on the energy that comes from bringing this dynamic industry together to learn, mingle and - most importantly - to do business.

Ms. Bauer can be contacted at +44 1273 224921 or carina.bauer@imexexhibitions.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.