Architect, writer and philosopher R Buckminster Fuller describes the need to proactively embrace change, which is fast becoming a core skill in today’s business climate: “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” This years’ education programme is centred around helping planners respond to and navigate through change, professionally and personally.

The Imex 2023 Talking Point, Human Nature, provides a steer for education and activity at the event. The Talking Point, running as a thread throughout the show, celebrates the innate human need to meet face-to-face and its ensuing benefits, from driving business growth to creating lifelong, global connections. The result is a new set of education tracks reflecting the way people now live and work, and attendees can “pick and mix” across these tracks to suit their skill requirements.

Event Marketing is a brand-new addition, while Technology and Innovation, Trends and Research and Experience Design are tried and tested tracks that are always in demand.

A new Business Practices track will include the ever-popular Event Planner Toolkit. In contrast, a People and Planet track addresses Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Professional and Personal Development, Leadership, Culture and Engagement, Wellbeing and Sustainability.

The education programming has been crafted in various formats, from solo presenters to duos and panels, workshops, co-labs and ideation sessions, all designed to recognise and serve diverse learning approaches.

Tangible, practical takeaways are front and centre to encourage attendees to apply what they’ve learned in their business meetings the same day.

The full range of speakers and sessions is now live online, and attendees can dive into the listing to plan their learning time at the show.

The day before the show, on Monday, 22 May, is dedicated to specific buyer audiences from the global events community.

  • As we return to live events, the time has come for the industry to stop talking about making events more sustainable and take immediate, practical action. This is the driving principle behind the opening plenary session at Association Focus, sponsored by Messe Frankfurt. Delivered in association with ICCA, AC Forum, AMC Institute, ASAE and ESAE, Association Focus will bring together industry sustainability experts and associations to share practical ways of reducing the carbon footprint of events.
  • Senior speakers from Meta, EY, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce are among the influential global brands spearheading a carefully tailored, interactive programme for corporate event planners and senior leaders. At Exclusively Corporate, the future of corporate events, digital vs live, and the metaverse all top the agenda. Microsoft’s Bob Bejan and Salesforce’s Charlotte Pedersen will go head-to-head in The Tale of two titans – the Evolution of event strategy and experience design. “Very rarely do we have an opportunity to learn from two massive tech brands taking radically different approaches to their events,” says moderator Nicola Kastner.
  • Year on year, Imex’s Agency Directors Forum is redesigned to meet the prevailing business needs of senior agency professionals. 2023’s facilitated discussion will focus on business management issues. Topics include people and talent management, succession planning, business drivers, trends, technology, new business strategies, and new revenue generation models.
  • New colocated events for 2023 include MICE Impact Academy, an exclusive invite-only education event for German planners, and ELX (Event Leaders Exchange). ELX’s two-year-old community of senior event corporate event leaders from 3,000+ headcount organisations with $3+ billion annual revenue will meet at the show for the first time.

New headline sessions feature diverse speakers worldwide who’ll peel back the curtain to share what they’ve learnt from various experiences; expect insight, joy and tales of courage. The one thing these speakers all have in common? They all have incredible stories to share.

Rock Your Business Founder Brian Allan adapted his Choral Singing Workshops to help Ukrainian refugee children all over Poland. To date, he has conducted workshops for over 10,000 children to raise funds to open weekend centres around Poland where these children can receive musical therapy through choirs and music workshops.

Eszter Mattiassich-Aszody, Head of Global Events at Siemens Healthineers, joins international crisis leader Thomas Lahnthaler to explore leadership and life lessons from children.

Tapping into the wisdom of Walt Disney, who said Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children, Eszter Mattiassich-Aszody explains: “It’s interesting to observe the sheer flexibility of their minds … there are no barriers.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group: “In the current climate, we’re all dealing with an increased pace of change. The choice is how we frame the changes that face us at any time. Our learning programme has been designed with great detail and care to guide people and help them embrace change to benefit their lives, teams and events.”