A very positive IMEX



# tags: Germany , Events , Portugal , Exhibitions , IMEX , Meetings Industry , IMEX Frankfurt

The interest in Portugal as a destination was evident at the most recent edition of IMEX Frankfurt.

As usual, Portugal was strongly represented at IMEX Frankfurt. The Turismo de Portugal stand featured 68 companies (including venues, event agencies, service providers and hotels) and the promotion agencies: Porto Visitors & Convention Bureau, Lisbon Visitors & Convention Bureau, Madeira Promotion Bureau, Algarve Promotion Bureau / Visit Algarve and Azores Promotion Bureau.

There were also those who opted for their own stand, such as Visit Cascais, which took the opportunity to make the world debut of its Awe&Some platform, and which brought to IMEX an immersive brand activation that aroused a lot of curiosity. As usual, the Voqin' agency also had its own stand at the fair.

TigerTeam was one of the companies making its debut in Frankfurt, although the team has many years' experience in the sector. João Luís Moita and André Araújo e Sá had their hands full at IMEX. ‘The prospects are really good, there are buyers from some emerging markets, which is interesting, and we're seeing old friends and old clients again,’ says João Luís Moita, Managing Partner.

Of the more than 80 meetings scheduled, the result was ‘very interesting’, he told Event Point at the end of the second day of the fair. André Araújo e Sá, International Business Development director, explains that ‘there are concrete requests, already with dates. The buyers themselves are already very interested in exploring Portugal’.

One trend noticed by both professionals is an appetite for Porto. ‘When we're talking about medium-sized groups of 80 or 100 people, there are already a lot of requests for Porto, which is a curious thing. When we used to be at fairs, typically for incentives and MICE, it was very much Lisbon. Now a lot of people are saying ‘don't talk to me about Lisbon any more, now talk to me about Porto’,’ explains João Luís Moita. This is because ‘Porto has a good image’ and is undergoing great development. ‘There are a lot of new things in Porto, not just from the point of view of hotels, but also venues, and the possibilities are very great,’ he says.

André Araújo e Sá adds: ‘It's also good to feel that there have been some requests from agencies that, with the same clients, have already been to Lisbon, and want to return to Portugal and visit a different city, which is great.’ As well as Porto, the highlight is also the Azores. ‘I think the Azores have something to do with this new trend that emerged during Covid and now post-Covid, related to sustainability,’ analyses João Luís Moita.

LM Tours was also a first-timer at IMEX Frankfurt. Beatriz Dantas, sales assistant, describes the experience. ‘For a first time, we had a lot of meetings,’ she says, and ‘we met some good buyers, many of whom haven't worked in Portugal before and are interested in doing an incentive programme in Portugal.’ The exhibitor also highlights the many contacts with people who spontaneously passed by the stand and showed interest in the destination, and often not the most obvious cities or regions.

LM Tours is used to taking part in ITB Berlin, a fair ‘more focused on our core business’, but the incentives segment is gaining more importance for the company. At IMEX they made contact with various markets from a geographical point of view, meeting delegates from India, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, among many others.

‘We're not looking for a specific market, we're more looking for companies that want good cooperation, that are looking for a more familiar relationship,’ says Beatriz Dantas, adding that LM Tours strives to be a company with a very personalised service, focused on customer satisfaction.

Ukino Hotels Management & Consulting wasn't a first-timer at IMEX, but almost, as it was their second time at the fair. Odete Fonseca, MICE & Corporate director, explained to Event Point that the hotel she represents at the fair, in the Algarve, has meeting rooms, but there they were more focused on incentives. For this segment, the hotel has an entertainment team that creates activities for the group, tailored to the objectives and identity of the companies. The markets that most seek out the hotel are French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The aim of the presence was to ‘publicise the brand’ among the trade, showing ‘our potential’. The director described the buyers as ‘good’.

IMEX took place from 14 to 16 May in Frankfurt.

© Cláudia Coutinho de Sousa Newsroom