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January 31, 2008

IMEX Wild Card 2008 winners reflect new market growth

The continued rise of Eastern European destinations within the international meetings industry is confirmed once again with the announcement that Torun (Poland) is among the winners of the global meetings industry event IMEX 2008’s Wild Card programme. A second, free exhibition place has also been awarded to the Republic of Armenia.

The IMEX Wild Card programme offers aspiring entrants into the international meetings market the chance to exhibit free of charge alongside established destinations and other participants. To qualify for the scheme, entrants must not have exhibited at a major international fair before, although they must have sufficient infrastructure and skill to support their ambitions to enter the meetings or incentive travel market.

In addition to a free exhibition place, winners receive complementary accommodation and travel, as well as complimentary tickets to the show’s gala dinner. The IMEX marketing team also provides each winner with year-round marketing support and guidance.

"As the international meetings industry becomes bigger and stronger every year, new destinations are entering the market and gaining recognition more quickly,” said Carina Bauer, IMEX marketing and operations director. “Many of them are able to attract development funding but others struggle to convince investors or local business partners of the value of having a higher meetings industry profile.

“We are delighted that our Wild Card programme can help these fledgling destinations to demonstrate their potential and ambition. And we know it works because, over the years, we have seen several Wild Card winners come back to the show as exhibitors in their own right."

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