David Dubois, Immediate Past Chair of the Convention Industry Council and President & CEO of IAEE, is set to deliver the keynote at the opening ceremony of IMEX in Frankfurt, launching three days of business opportunities, networking and a comprehensive education programme. The show, taking place from April 19 to 21 at Messe Frankfurt, has been developed following feedback from buyers and exhibitors and is designed to address some of the hot topics in the meetings and events sector.More for Hosted BuyersMore than 20 new hosted buyer groups from around the world are set to attend IMEX Frankfurt 2016. These include buyers from the U.S., Poland, China, South Africa and South America, plus UNICEO – the network for corporate event decision makers. ISES (International Special Events Society) is also bringing their Global Event Summit to the show for the first time.Revised group appointment timings will give buyers more time to explore the show floor, discovering new exhibitors, education and networking opportunities – the show will now open at 9.45 am local time, with no group appointments scheduled before 11 am or after 4 pm.Buyers can meet numerous new exhibitors such as Sardinia, Catalunya Convention Bureau, Wyndham Hotels, Condor Airlines, Variety Cruises and ESA Central & South America. Many established exhibitors have expanded their stand space, including Sri Lanka, Serbia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Portugal; and hotel groups – Hilton International, Maritim Hotels and Preferred Hotels.Topical educationWith over 180 education sessions at IMEX Frankfurt 2016, visitors are sure to find sessions that match their needs. The Inspiration Hub, home to all the show floor education, will host experts exploring Business Skills, Creative Learning, Diversity, General Education, Health and Wellbeing, Marketing / Social Media, Personal Development, Sustainability, Technology, Trends and Research. CMP / CEU and ISES Points can also be accrued at many sessions. New for this year is a series of short and snappy talks focused on ‘Trends and Future-Think’. These TED-style talks brought to IMEX in Frankfurt by the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus, promise to introduce an ‘innovative Swedish interactive learning experience’.The sharing economy is a hot topic at the show this year, explored through the comprehensive education programme including a panel session of sharing economy pioneers discussing: How can we work with the new sharing economy? Senior representatives from MeetingRooms.com, VizEat and Maritz Travel Company will detail their experiences and explore how the ‘old’ and new economies can work together for mutual benefit. Jean-Michel Petit, CEO and co-founder of VizEat, the European leader of social dining, will further explore the shared economy, particularly food tourism and authenticity, in his session: The unexpected power of shared meals.‘Business is Personal’ is another major area of focus with sessions designed to help buyers and exhibitors to grow and develop both professionally and personally. Business Skills and Personal Development educational tracks explore this theme with sessions on leadership skills, developing confidence and fostering strong connections. Jonathan Bradshaw delivers ‘The Meetology’ guide to influence and persuasion while Laura Richey from WINiT (WomenInTravel) shares her advice on ‘dealing with challenging people’.There are also numerous ways for both buyers and exhibitors to join the Business is Personal theme off the show floor, via meditation and yoga sessions in the new Be Well Lounge (supported by Weichlein Tours + Incentives and Munich Convention Bureau), or by joining others for an energetic start to the day at the IMEXrun, sponsored by Rio de Janeiro.Fresh from its success at IMEX America, the Play Room will host its interactive ‘quirkshops’ at IMEX in Frankfurt. ‘Play with a Purpose’ brings this new feature to the show, providing a creative, interactive, hands-on “play space” designed to provide a fresh look at meeting planning.Dedicated featuresAs part of the show’s comprehensive education programme, PCMA Business School is bringing its prestigious Business School to Europe for the first time alongside IMEX in Frankfurt. Hosted by Congress Center of Messe Frankfurt, this free of charge programme is open to all and offers executives the chance to develop core business skills and learn from an MBA level professor.Exclusively Corporate @IMEX is a dedicated education and networking event solely for corporate meeting and event planners. Leading business strategist, Dr Kaihan Krippendorff, will deliver a keynote on how to develop ‘mental agility’, sharing insights from his study of over 200 successful innovators. At a Mock Trial, new for this year, participants can turn their hand to becoming prosecution and defence lawyers exploring a real, ethical scenario in an authentic courtroom setting in an engaging, entertaining educational session.A dedicated education and networking event for exclusively for association executives, Association Day, attracts around 300 professionals from 40 countries each year. This year’s collaborative programme has been developed in response to issues raised by participants at last year’s event – how to remain relevant. Charles Leadbeater is set to harness this in his keynote address. As a leading authority on innovation and creativity, he has advised companies, cities and governments across the globe and is regarded as one of the top management thinkers worldwide.Finally, the renowned Politicians Forum brings together up to 40 politicians and political influencers with around 80 industry leaders to discuss building and sustaining a successful meetings industry. This year the keynote speaker is Hon Minister Stuart Ayres, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events for New South Wales detailing ‘How Meetings and Events Can Fulfil Political Optimism’.