Ray Bloom, Chairman, IMEX Group
Updated November 2017
Ray Bloom is the chairman and founder of the IMEX Group, which organises worldwide exhibitions for the incentive travel, meetings and events industry in Europe and the USA. IMEX in Frankfurt takes place at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, every spring; while IMEX America takes place at the Las Vegas Sands Expo each autumn.
Ray Bloom has been a successful entrepreneur for many years. He started his career in the motor industry where his family’s Volkswagen Audi dealership won the Diamond Pin Award (the highest Volkswagen Award given to dealerships worldwide).
He subsequently entered the hotel industry and then the exhibition industry where he built up EIBTM (European and Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition), which was sold to Reed Exhibitions in 1997. In addition, Bloom built up the leading sales and promotion exhibition, Incentive World (London), which was also sold to Reed Exhibitions in 2000.
Whilst founding and developing what have become the leading trade shows in the global meetings and incentive travel sector, Bloom also became heavily involved in numerous industry associations and has been recognised in a variety of ways. His recognitions include being inducted into the CIC (Convention Industry Council) Hall of Leaders (1991); being awarded UK Personality of the Year by Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine (1993); recipient of the ICCA (International Congress and Conventions Association) Presidents Award (1997) and being inducted into the WATA (World Association of Travel Agencies) Hall of Fame in 2000. In addition in 2017 alone, he received the JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) Unity Award, the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Industry Leader Award and the ICCA Moises Shuster Award.
Bloom served on the Board of Trustees for the MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Foundation from 1996 – 2002 and MPI’s Global Strategy Taskforce Committee from 2006 – 2008. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) Foundation 1993 - 1999 and, until recently, was Treasurer for the SITE Foundation. He currently serves on the MPI European Council.
Ray Bloom’s views and opinions on the meetings and incentive travel industry are widely sought after and he is a regular speaker at industry events around the world.
The IMEX Group’s offices are in Brighton, East Sussex, UK. Located on the south coast of the UK, Brighton is called 'London by the Sea' for its cosmopolitan nature and youth culture. Bloom was born and bred in Brighton and is enormously proud of his and his family’s links to the city.
He also has a long-standing family association with the city's football club. As a director of Brighton and Hove Albion, he has seen the team go from strength to strength, returning to the top flight of English football in 2017, the Premier League, for the first time since 1983.
He is also vice president of the Sussex Young Cricketers, a local junior cricket team.
INDUSTRY/MEDIA AWARD HIGHLIGHTS
- Inducted into the CIC (Convention Industry Council) Hall of Leaders – 1991
- Inducted into WATA (World Association of Travel Agencies) Hall of Fame - 2000
- Awarded Corporate Order of Skal Merit – October 2010
- First person to receive the ICTP (International Council of Tourism Partners) Industry Visionary Award – October 2011
- Winner of the MPI Rise Award for Meetings Industry Leadership – April 2012
- Successful Meetings’ 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry – June 2012
- BizBash Top 50 Most Innovative Events Professionals – June 2013
- Inducted into the DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) Hall of Fame – August 2016
- JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council) Unity Award – May 2017
- MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Industry Leader Award – June 2017
- ICCA (International Congress & Conventions Association) Moises Shuster Award – November 2017
Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group
Updated January 2018
Having graduated from Oxford University, UK, in Politics, Philosophy and Economics in 1998, Carina began her career in retail and catering – setting up and running GoodBean Coffee – a family owned chain of coffee shops located throughout the South of England. As Managing Director, Carina was in charge of the expansion of the business which grew to 13 stores in 3 years and was sold to a publicly listed company in December 2001.
An avid skier, Carina enjoyed a short break working in a ski resort in Italy, before entering the meetings industry in 2002 as the Marketing and Operations Director for IMEX in Frankfurt as part of the original launch team for the exhibition.
Following the expansion of the IMEX brand into America in 2009, Carina was appointed CEO of the IMEX Group. In this role, Carina is responsible for all aspects of the business.
Throughout her career, Carina has been an active member of the meetings industry. She was Chair of the Marketing Committee for MPI’s European Meetings & Events Conference, London (2008), has served on the Board of the MPI UK Chapter, the MPI International Multicultural Committee and on PCMA’s Global and Advocacy Taskforces. She is currently President Elect for the SITE International Foundation and a Director of the Meetings Industry Fund.
Carina lives on the south coast of the UK, near to the IMEX Group office in Brighton, called "London-by-the-Sea" for its cosmopolitan nature and youth culture.
She enjoys spending time with her family (she's a mother to two boys), and is a keen climber and skier, hitting the slopes with friends and family when she can.
INDUSTRY/MEDIA AWARD HIGHLIGHTS
- One of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry – Successful Meetings Magazine, 2015-2017
- One of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry – M&C Magazine, 2015-2016
- Supplier of the Year: Industry Leader – Smart Meetings Magazine, 2017