"This support for each other is what will be remembered"

GCB FutureTalks #6 with Carina Bauer


IMEX Frankfurt 2020 was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Exactly one month after this cancellation, Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, spoke to Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, in our series GCB FutureTalks about valuable support from the industry and plans for a virtual IMEX.

Matthias Schultze: It has been one month since you had to cancel IMEX Frankfurt 2020. How do you assess the situation today?

Carina Bauer: For IMEX, as for all businesses, these are trying times. I think as an industry we need to take this opportunity to learn and plan for the future. We have been overwhelmed by the support we, at IMEX, received from our partners when we announced the cancellation of the show. This support for each other is what will be remembered long after this crisis has lifted, and we need to keep this at the top of our agenda. If you do nothing else – check in on your contacts and colleagues across the world in the coming weeks and months.

Matthias Schultze: What are you currently working on at IMEX? What are your plans for the next months?

Carina Bauer: Like many other event businesses, we are looking into what makes sense to deliver in the virtual world. We are keen to contribute and give back to the industry, but do not want to overlap with the wealth of information and webinars that are already out there. We are evaluating hard what we can offer that is uniquely IMEX. Our team is positive and working hard on producing a virtual experience for our industry, as well as working hard on producing IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt 2021. We can’t wait to welcome our community back to IMEX in the future.

Matthias Schultze: Many assume that the event industry will look completely different after the crisis. What is your expectation?

Carina Bauer: Once this crisis is fully over and health and safety considerations are no longer a concern, I think that there will be an exceptional pent up demand for face to face events. However, I also think that people will have gotten used to online events to a degree and I think that this will have a positive impact on the industry embracing virtual and digital even more broadly than it has already. More hybrid events and virtual events that truly extend the life of a physical event - those would be great long-term outcomes.

You can read the interview in full length on eventcrisis.org.

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