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October 8, 2008

Future Leaders Forum to debut in Middle East

A new Future Leaders Forum (FLF) is set to take place in Abu Dhabi in March 2009 which will bring the total number of MPI and IMEX Future Leader Forums worldwide to 11.


The FLF programme, which was launched in 2003, supports the education and training of the brightest young students in the global meetings industry. The aim is to give participants a unique opportunity to enjoy a highly motivational day that mixes tailored education with networking. Each forum also provides a chance for the young people to meet face-to-face with some of the meetings industry’s most prominent global figures.


Although full details of the Abu Dhabi Future Leaders Forum are yet to be announced, MPI and IMEX are already inviting young professionals who are studying the events, conventions, incentive travel or hospitality industry to apply for a free place at the Forum.


Speaking about this first ever forum in the Middle East, Tom Hulton, IMEX international relations director, said: “Both IMEX and MPI fully recognise the importance of the Middle East and especially the value of reaching out to local students and informing them about the long-term benefits of a career in the meetings industry. The Middle East is rapidly becoming one of the most important areas in the world for meetings, as so much development is taking place in terms of meeting venues and other essential infrastructure.


“We hope that launching the Future Leaders Forum in the Middle East will throw an important spotlight on the importance of developing high quality professional management and encourage further investment and initiative in this area, especially for the next generation of managers.”


More than 2,000 students have now benefited from Future Leaders Forums in different parts of the world. Eighty percent of attendees have said that they are more likely to enter the industry as a result of attending the forum. Future Leaders Forums currently take place in different parts of Europe, the USA and Asia.


2009 Future Leaders Forum attendees will also have the chance to apply for two internship places with AOS (Asian Overland Services) Conventions and Events in Malaysia. Last year’s winners spent three months working at the company’s offices before transferring to continue their education within one of the company’s spa resorts.


IMEX remains focused on building and adding to its strong long-term relationships with businesses and buyers from the Middle Eastern market. Recognising that cultural differences can play a major part in business success when working with Middle Eastern partners, one of IMEX 2008’s Cross Cultural seminars was devoted to educating visitors on how to maximise business opportunities and be aware of subtle differences in culture, language and behaviour between Europe, the US and the Middle East.


305 of this year’s IMEX exhibitors were from Middle Eastern countries, covering over 10 percent of the IMEX floor space. Destinations exhibiting included Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Egypt, Jordan and Oman; plus Emirates Airlines, Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre and the Qatar National Convention

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