Revitalized downtowns, improved hotel inventory, and successful positioning as innovation and knowledge hubs are just some of the factors making midsize cities around the world attractive to a greater number of planners and events, according to a just-published report commissioned by the IMEX Group and developed by Skift.
‘The Rise of Midsize Cities in the Meetings Industry in North America and Europe, which is available for download, is a complimentary 40-plus page report examining why and how some midsize cities (historically known as second-tier cities) have managed to position themselves as innovation or knowledge hubs. It reveals how some smaller cities have deliberately leveraged their local innovation economies to elevate their destination brands, and develop new multi-partner coalitions and new attendee experiences, becoming “catalysts for lasting change and collision spaces for new ideas.”
The IMEX Group, organiser of IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America, commissioned digital media and business intelligence company, Skift, to produce the research in support of the IMEX Talking Point for 2018 — “Legacy.”
“The big shift today is that midsize cities are leveraging their size as an advantage now, versus something they need to overcome.”
IMEX CEO Carina Bauer explains the thinking behind the new research: “This is an important trend in the global meetings and events market, and one we touched on briefly at IMEX America last year. By looking in more detail at how some destinations are responding to demand and shaping themselves differently, we’re giving planners, agencies, advocacy organisations and, of course, other suppliers, fresh insights and new perspectives.
“This is not to suggest that the big, established cities are lacking — they’re clearly not. The big cities of the world all have transport links, infrastructure, support services, and hotel stock that others simply can’t compete with. Instead, this report reveals why and how smaller cities — defined as less than one million citizens — have started to find new ways to gain traction, add value to their communities, and attract business. They’re frequently working with city leaders and entrepreneurs in very innovative ways, and collaborating with more intention to build a positive legacy. There are important lessons here for every part of the supply chain.”
Greg Oates, executive editor, SkiftX comments: “The big shift today is that midsize cities are leveraging their size as an advantage now, versus something they need to overcome. That’s based on the widespread improvements in their downtown cores, the exponential rise of industry sector expertise beyond the big gateway cities, and the demand for more affordable, diverse and unique destinations.”
Among the city stories revealed in the report are: Albuquerque, Belfast, Brisbane, Bristol, Calgary, Hamburg, The Hague, Monterey, Nashville, Newcastle, Portland, San Antonio, Raleigh, Stuttgart, and Victoria. It also includes interviews and insights from: American Express Meetings & Events, SD Meetings & Events, Johnson & Johnson, HelmsBriscoe, Bayer HealthCare, UBM, International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society, VR World Congress, Encounters Festival.
The research report marks the start of a new partnership between Skift and IMEX, created to develop attendee education, panel discussions, and more at each of the IMEX trade shows. In addition, IMEX is an official launch partner for the new Skift Cities platform.
IMEX in Frankfurt 2018 will take place at Messe Frankfurt from 15 -17 May 2018, with EduMonday, its pre-show day of learning and insights on Monday 14 May. IMEX America 2018 will take place from October 16-18, 2018, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo®, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI on 15 October.