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IMEX Group leadership team biographies

Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer

Ray Bloom, Chairman, IMEX Group

Updated January 2023

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 US. IMEX Frankfurt takes place at Messe Frankfurt, Germany, every spring; while IMEX America takes place at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas 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.

While 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 EIC (Events 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, and the Destinations International Hall of Fame (2016). 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. His most recent honours include the PCMA Lifetime Achievement Honoree (2023), Smart Meeting’s Catalyst Award (2021), MPI Industry Champion (2020), the EN Pioneer Award (2019) and being inducted into the ICJ Hall of Fame (2019).

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 for over 30 years, 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.

Industry/media award highlights

  • Inducted into the EIC (Events 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 Destinations 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
  • EN Pioneer Award – 2019
  • ICJ Hall of Fame – 2019
  • MPI Industry Champion - 2020
  • Smart Meetings Catalyst Award - 2021
  • PCMA Lifetime Achievement Honoree - 2023

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group

Updated September 2023

Carina is passionate about the business events sector and its impact on the world, taking a particular interest in issues around sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and mentoring the leaders of tomorrow. Carina also takes a keen interest in leadership development, and organisational best practice and culture.

Throughout her career, Carina has been an active member of the meetings industry. She’s Past Chair of the AEO Council (2021-2023) and the EIA (2021-2022), and Past President of the SITE Foundation (2020). She has previously served on the Board of the MPI UK Chapter and on global committees for MPI and PCMA.

Carina is the proud recipient of a number of industry awards including the SITE Richard Ross Past Presidents’ Award (2022), PCMA Wayfinder Award (2021) and ICCA Inspirational Women Awards (2018).

Appointed CEO of IMEX Group in 2009 following the expansion of IMEX into America, Carina has been part of the IMEX team since the very beginning, joining in 2002 as marketing and operations director with the original launch team.

She enjoys spending time with her family (she’s a mother to two boys) and travelling for work and pleasure. She is an adventure sports enthusiast with a particular love for climbing and skiing. In her spare time, Carina works with a variety of local charities and is Chair of the Brighton and Hove Albion Foundation - using the power of football to help people get active, learn and stay well throughout Sussex. 

Industry/media award highlights

  • Richard Ross Past Presidents’ Award, For Outstanding Service to the Incentive Travel Industry - April 2022
  • Chair AEO Council 2020/2021
  • Chair EIA, 2020/2021
  • Past President, SITE Foundation, 2020
  • Winner, PCMA Wayfinder Award, 2021
  • Mentor 2019/2020 for Fast Forward 15, the mentoring scheme for women in hospitality and events
  • Winner of Smart Women in Meetings Award 2018 and 2019
  • One of the 25 Most Influential People in the Incentive Industry - Northstar Meetings Group, 2018
  • Winner of the Spirit of Collaboration Award, Timothy S Y Lam, Spirit of Hospitality Awards, 2018
  • Winner, Inspirational Women Awards, ICCA 2018