• Aoife McCrum

GUEST POST: 3 Things I learned at FLF/IMEX 2017 in Frankfurt

At Meeting+Millennials we want to cross generational gaps and create bridges together. Therefore we are proud to provide a platform to Thuy Anh Nguyen, student at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. In this guest blog she will tell us about her experience at IMEX in Frankfurt and her participation in the Future Leaders Forum.

A Student's fresh Experience into the Meeting Industry

- 3 Things I learned at FLF/IMEX 2017 in Frankfurt -

As a 4th Semester Tourism Student who has just started her majors in Business Tourism and MICE three months ago, everything I have learned about the meeting industry was through the Professor's lectures. If you had asked me back then how sure I was about my major choices, my answer would have been: “I’m still experimenting with my choices”.

I mean, how many of us actually know exactly what we want to do in the future? How many of us have a clear purpose in life? Not that many, in fact 98% of people don't - according to Guy Bigwood, Group Sustainability Director at MCI Group and one of the presenters for the Future Leaders Forum at IMEX.

But IMEX has given me more than just a bag full of goods to bring home, the exhibition has given me a sneak peek into the meeting world, valuable contacts, new friends and an experience that made me changed my mind and think “I want to become a part of it”.

1. Valuable Contacts and new Friends around the Globe:

The one tiring thing you will be doing again and again in IMEX, besides listening, is talking. The FLF/IMEX is designed so that you meet new people at every turn and in every corner throughout the whole program. The first activity you do during the FLF welcome is to stand up from your round table of classmates and join other circles that share the same idea with you through a series of questions. “You like Chocolate Ice-cream? Me too. What a coincidence”. And of course, we can´t forget about the many networking coffee breaks, lunches and receptions.

Be it with other students from all over Europe as well as from the US, China, Thailand and South Africa, or with industry leaders, business meeting experts and exhibitors… you will find yourself networking and bonding with other people whether you like it or not.

2. A peek into the Meeting Industry:

The FLF/IMEX program gave a clear understanding of what was going on inside the meetings and events industry, which trends are currently ongoing and how to plan a purposeful meeting.

My favourite activity of the whole program was the round table session, where you had the chance to sit down with 4 out of 14 industry experts of your choice and get first-hand insights into their respective organization and field. I heard about their exciting personal experiences, what they have done to reach that professional position and their view on what a job in the industry is really like. And as a bonus tip, I even received some inside info about possible internship openings. Jackpot!

3. A Bag full of Goodies:

And I mean a very full bag of goodies packed to the brim with small gifts from each exhibitor that I visited: a small stuffed Kuala bear from Australia, delicious Penang sweets from Malaysia, a Stuttgart to go coffee cup, an adorable Japanese Umbrella and a bag with beautiful printed design from Singapore… All these souvenirs gave me the feeling that I just jumped across half of the world and came back home packed with memories of my experience.

But most important of all are the valuable conversations, business cards, brochures and company info that I’ve gained from tourist boards, convention bureaus and destination management companies worldwide.

Who knows, maybe one of them will become my future employer.

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