Politicians Forum

IMGL2122 Kopiepf Keynote Cropped

Tuesday 15 May 2018

Venue: Frankfurt

For more than a decade, the Politicians Forum at IMEX has been bringing industry leaders together with representatives of governments and government agencies. Our aim is to garner government understanding and support, critical to the advancement of our industry.

2017 Programme

Please note the official language of the Politicians Forum is English, with no simultaneous interpretation. 

The full 2017 programme can be downloaded here.


Meetings showcase - IMEX show floor tour
A tour to three destination exhibitors on the show floor. Each will give a short destination presentation demonstrating what they do to attract meetings and events. Open to politicians only and places are limited.


IMEX Opening Ceremony (Room Seminar, Third Floor, Level 9.2, Hall 9)

Keynote: Professor Greg Clark CBE

All politicians and their accompanying guests are invited.


IMEX @ your leisure
Time to visit your destination stand or simply walk the show floor and experience the buzz of IMEX.


Transfer from Messe Frankfurt to Villa Kennedy (politicians and accompanying guests only)


National government discussion 
in collaboration with UNWTO                               

Local and regional government discussion


Chaired by Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Attended by national government ministers of travel and tourism, economic affairs and any portfolio related to the meetings and events industry. Invitation only.

A workshop-style peer-to-peer discussion. Moderated by John Greenway, former Member of Parliament, UK. Attended by mayors, deputy mayors, local-level politicians, city managers/influencers. Invitation only.


Networking coffee break


OPEN FORUM Open to all Forum delegates




Professor Greg Clark CBE
Greg Clark is a British urbanist and leading adviser, advocate and mentor on cities and businesses. He was a member of the International Advisory Board for Vienna 2020. Greg Clark explores the role meetings and events play in a world where globalisation, free trade, free movement and social order is undergoing critical change. 


Questions from the floor. Addressing issues raised by Greg Clark. Moderated by Michael Hirst OBE, Deputy Chairman, Events Industry Board, UK and Chairman, Business Visits and Events Partnership, UK. 


Summary and update from the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) 
Rod Cameron, Executive Director, JMIC


Drinks reception at Villa Kennedy


Our sponsors on why they support the Politicians Forum.

 GCB Logo Qu POS CMYK It's an excellent opportunity to make political decision makers aware of the economic impact of the meetings industry as well as its role for exchanging experiences, ideas and innovations and transferring knowledge. We're delighted to be the host country for this special event.
                                                             Geneva At Work                                                                                                    We support the Forum as we believe that politics should work closely with convention bureaux. We all work towards the same aim: the economic growth of the destination. Geneva wins bids by promoting its well-known expertise in relevant fields selected by the economic development organisation.                                                  
 SECB Logo We support the Forum because it's an outstanding and unique event that highlights the economic importance of the meetings industry. A great opportunity for us to gather information, network with government officials and key players in the international meetings industry.
 Business Events Australia Logo Business Events Australia is a proud sponsor of the Forum, which promotes better industry engagement with government. The Australian Government has created a clear framework for its approach to securing international business events, working together with industry to create Attracting Business Events to Australia. Under the framework, support is offered to industry during the bidding, marketing, and leveraging of business events for Australia.

BES LOGO Teal 2 Copy

Sydney is a perfect example of how industry working hand-in-hand with government develops attractive value propositions for international business events, and we believe the Politicians Forum is an opportunity for community leaders to understand this value in a highly competitive marketplace.
Messe Frankfurt  
 Meetings Mean Business Logo  
 West Sweden The Politicians Forum enables engagement with regional and local politicians and therefore increased knowledge regarding the value congresses bring to a destination in terms of direct economic impact and the legacy a congress leaves behind. This knowledge is vital in getting political support for the meetings industry in West Sweden.


Advocacy Partners  

                   UNWTO Logo Collaboration En              JMIC 2005 Resized          ECM LOGO RVB Web 
                  Aipc Partnerlogo Typeweb NO BACKGROUND              ICCA Round Weblink NO Bg  Iceberg Textcolour Centre


Collated to help IMEX exhibitors to gain political support in attracting more meetings and events to their destination.

International Meetings Review (IMR) review IMEX 2016 including coverage of the Politicians Forum

Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP interview during IMEX in Frankfurt 2015

One of the world’s foremost business leaders, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world’s largest business software company, urges politicians to recognise that meetings and events don’t just bring money and jobs into a city, they actually improve people’s lives.

Bill Mcdermott Interview

Other industry initiatives

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) was created in 2009 by the U.S. Travel Association to showcase the incredible value that business meetings, travel and events bring to the U.S. economy. Its members span all facets of the face-to-face industry, which have come together behind a common goal: providing the resources, tools and information to show the real impact the industry has on businesses, economies and communities.


There is tremendous economic value and intellectual capital gain associated with a strong meetings and conference industry. Therefore it is crucial for governments to respond with a focused strategy to make the most of these business opportunities to benefit their destination. The IMEX Politicians Forum provides a unique platform for governments wishing to improve their competitiveness.

Hon Ragnheidur Elin Arnadottir, Minister of Industry and Commerce for Iceland

 Contact natasha.richards@imexexhibitions.com to find out more.