Kit Watts interviews IMEX CEO, Carina Bauer about the IMEX 2023 Talking Point.
Carina, the IMEX Talking Point for 2023 is HUMAN NATURE. Tell us more…
Well, we had a robust debate last year about potential Talking Points but, in the end, we all agreed on the importance - and need - to feel uplifted and positive about the future of the planet and the human race.
We see daily in our news feeds so much hardship and adversity, but these stories don’t represent the totality of the human experience. They’re just one, often highly filtered part. So, our 2023 Talking Point is HUMAN NATURE.
Our focus on HUMAN NATURE will be about what’s good, constructive and loving about being human; about our positive potential and ability to change, adapt and thrive. In short, I guess you could say it’s a reminder for us all to choose hope, not fear.
We also like the continuity and connection with our previous Talking Point, NATURE. All humans are dependent on the natural world for health and life (the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat), so this felt like a natural progression (pun intended)!
Why Human Nature, and why now?
We live in an age that’s faster, more furious (literally!) and supposedly more connected than at any time before. And yet, often those connections are either rooted in, or foster, hatred, fear and ignorance.
However, our industry is predicated on creating and maintaining human-to-human relationships that drive growth and so we have an amazing opportunity and responsibility to foster positive human connections. These relationships feed into networks that stretch all over the world. This is a tremendously powerful tool – a sphere of positive influence if you like – that we need to lean into with more purpose and belief right now.
How will you and your partners be expressing HUMAN NATURE at your shows? And how can others join in?
Our education programming will be rich in sessions designed to show us how to design meetings and events that bring out the very best in human nature, whether that’s creativity, honesty, psychological safety, inclusivity, constructive behavioural change or more. We’ll examine topics such as how to break unhelpful habits; the (profitable) power of compassion and purpose in business today and how to manage your own and your staff’s mental health while still achieving optimal performance.
Our new AVoice4All programme, which recently debuted at IMEX America, will further evolve this year, creating space for meaningful discussions and education around EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion). We’ll also be exploring our relationship with technology and showcasing the latest tools and programmes we need to run great events.
We’re already talking to partners about some fascinating behavioural activations for IMEX Frankfurt. And because the five senses are so vital to the way humanity engages with the world and each other, we’ll be exploring this aspect of our biology too. ENCORE will also be coming to IMEX Frankfurt with a version of their extraordinary BREAK FREE activation which blew people away with its immersive sustainability storytelling at IMEX America.
As for our exhibitors, expect to learn about their local communities, their heritage and traditions as well as their food, drink, arts and culture.
Human beings thrive and survive in community with each other, and meetings and events are a natural extension of that need to be together, not isolated from each other.
By choosing HUMAN NATURE as our Talking Point for 2023, we’re sending out a timely and important call to our global industry, and we’re excited to see how our community will choose to contribute.
IMEX Frankfurt takes place 23-25 May 2023.