IMEX 2008 Wild Card Winners Reflect New Market Growth

The continued rise of Eastern European destinations within the international meetings industry is confirmed once again today with the announcement that Torun (Poland) is among the winners of the 2008 IMEX Wild Card programme.

A second, free exhibition place has also been awarded to the Republic of Armenia. Two further Wild Card places have also been awarded specifically to new German exhibitors - Holstein Eventmarketing and Marketingkooperation Städte Schleswig-Holstein.

The IMEX Wild Card programme offers aspiring entrants into the international meetings market the chance to exhibit free of charge alongside established destinations and other participants. To qualify for the scheme, entrants must not have exhibited at a major international fair before, although they must have sufficient infrastructure and skill to support their ambitions to enter the meetings or incentive travel market.

The city can currently host events for up to 1000 delegates and has a growing reputation as a centre for science, medicine and new technology. 30,000 of its 200,000 residents are part of the Nicholas Copernicus University which also houses the city's 900-person lecture theatre. Torun is also well served by elegant ballrooms, hotels and a modern exhibition hall, the Park Fair Centre. It will also compete for the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2016.

Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Armenia is now an independent country. It lies along the Great Silk Route and reflects a long history of mixed Turkish and Persian influences. After an uncertain period, infrastructure investment is now allowing Armenia to develop its meetings and incentive travel industry services. Armenians are known for their friendliness and hospitality.

Holstein Eventmarketing specialises in planning conferences or incentives for smaller groups. It has developed a unique approach that allows several small groups to share a single event or different elements within it. This innovative concept promotes synergy between hotels, agencies and other suppliers whilst ensuring that smaller groups still benefit from economies of scale.

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