IMM 2024 has launched with the first-ever TravMedia Summit in the UK, the event drawing over 300 industry media, content creators and communications professionals to hear speakers including acclaimed sustainability campaigner Bruce Poon Tip and WTTC President Julia Simpson.
The Summit, focused on 'Sustainability and the Future of Travel', covered the first half-day of IMM's two days (QEII Centre, London, 19-20 February 2024), and was anchored by TravMedia's Global Managing Director Henry Hemming. Entrepreneur, leader, and philanthropist, Bruce Poon Tip, the Summit's keynote speaker, was interviewed by top Sustainability writer and editor Juliet Kinsman in a powerful and entertaining session.
Julia Simpson, WTTC president opened The Summit with a stirring address on the industry's future roadmap. Delegates also heard from Tim Riley, Managing Director of True Traveller Insurance, the Summit's sponsor.
The first panel session 'Travel in 10 Years | AI, Behaviours, Trends' saw a line-up of industry analyst David Goodger, Director of Tourism Economics, Oxford Economics; AI specialist, Andy Owen Jones, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SMARTSEER GmbH, and comms supremo Caroline Moultrie, Managing Director of MMGY Worldwide, with TravMedia's Henry Hemming moderating. Next up was 'The Future of Long Haul' looking at how sustainability, transportation and consumer trends will shape future travel plans.
On stage were Dona Regis-Prosper, the new Secretary General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation – the first woman in that role – together with Claire Ross, Sustainability Director, DER Touristik UK, and Hazel McGuire, General Manager, UK & Ireland, Intrepid Travel. The session was expertly moderated by Richard Hammond, Editor of Green Traveller magazine and Executive Videographer, Green Traveller Productions. The panels concluded with 'The Page Turns | The Travel Media's Next 10 Years' which featured top travel editors George Kipouros, Editor in Chief & CEO, Wanderlust; Lisa Minot, Head of Travel, The Sun, and Thomas Midulla, Editor in Chief at NetJets and International Editorial Director at Centurion & Departures Magazines. At the helm was incisive moderator Paul Charles, CEO and Founder, The PC Agency.
The TravMedia Summit, already a fixture of other IMMs around the world, was followed by the first day IMM Lunch, with new TravMedia UK MD Louise Napier addressing the audience. The afternoon was devoted to exhibitor appointments for attending media and influencers, with stands busy throughout.
IMM's day two will feature a whole day of appointments, the second IMM Lunch – sponsored by Visit Detroit - and a post-event drinks reception sponsored by Tourism Australia to close the show. Louise Napier, TravMedia UK's Managing Director, said: “IMM got the start it deserved with a truly fascinating debate at The Summit.
“The quality of the speakers couldn't be higher, and we were thrilled with how the event panned out. The day generated an intense debate on the major issues our industry faces but also looked forward to exceptional opportunities for travel brands and consumers alike in the decade to come.”
Now in its 12th year in the UK, IMM is established as the must-attend annual event for travel and tourism brands to make media connections, nurture established relationships, and catch up with industry friends.
Over 315 journalists registered for this year's IMM, together with 85 influencers. Some 233 PR professionals are in attendance representing 160 brands across 155 stands.
Collectively, delegates booked over 15,000 meetings.
Significant regional delegations are France (30 stands), USA (34), Europe (28), Canada (12), UK (11), Australia (7), and the Caribbean (4). The show is welcoming Tour Operators/Travel Providers (11), Cruise Lines (2), Hotel Groups (9) and others.
IMM's sponsors are Cayman Islands (Reusable Water Bottle Sponsor); VisitEngland (Registration Desk & Lanyards Sponsor); Visit Detroit (Day Two Lunch Sponsor) and Tourism Australia (Day Two Drinks Reception Sponsor).
IMM 2024 will provide exhibitors with an exponential return on investment from two highly productive days of activity. Timed, pre-scheduled 15-minute meetings between exhibitors and journalists remain the cornerstone of the event. Alongside breakfasts and lunches, and socialising at the IMM evening drinks party at the end of day one, the event will introduce further breaks between meetings – providing more focus in the meetings and further informal networking.
TravMedia UK launched IMM in 2013. The event has evolved globally to become the world's leading show connecting the travel industry with the media. IMM is operated by TravMedia, the global network connecting the travel industry with the media and content creators.