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We’ve been tracking the rise of experiential learning and personalized events for years, and it now looks like these concepts and techniques are moving more closely to the mainstream of meetings and events than ever before.

IMEX Group and C2 International have formed a partnership that will feature C2 content and experiences at IMEX events in various forms over the next three years.

UK-based IMEX Group operates two of the biggest meetings industry trade shows in the world, IMEX Frankfurt and IMEX Americas. C2 International operates conventions in Montreal and Melbourne bringing together professionals across a variety of fields using 00innovative and provocative face-to-face experiences.

C2 events tend to feature creative workshops and brainstorming concepts, like dangling attendees in the air on chairs or face-to-face meetings in ball pits, all alongside a diverse group of speakers that cut across industry sectors. The Montreal business conference is also notable for its design, which features modular, custom-built structures in a gallery devised anew each year by its event design team. The company launched its second conference in Melbourne late last year.

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, characterized the deal as a formalization of the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations.

“As an organization, we’ve got our key goals of connecting people and showing how meetings can be innovative and different,” Bauer told Skift. “The combined the forces around IMEX shows will be very powerful for the industry and gain more traction for the transformation of meetings and events.”

The fruits of this collaboration will be seen next month at IMEX Frankfurt, with an educational session on C2 International’s corporate work with Ernst & Young along with new collaborative sessions for attendees designed by C2.

“This is the first time we’re taking our education out of the main hall,” said Bauer. “C2 will be creating a learning lab and showcasing how education can be done in a really innovative way.”

Bauer suggests that next year’s events will feature even closer collaboration between the two companies after they learn from what was successful in 2018.

For C2 International, which has evolved into the operator of one of the most creative innovation conferences in the world, the deal represents a move into the mainstream of the meetings industry.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with IMEX, who has certainly earned its place as an industry leader in the global meetings sector,” said Martin Enault, president and CEO of C2 International, Asia Pacific, in a statement. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for C2 International to share our expertise in creating transformative and immersive events in the cities of Frankfurt and Las Vegas around IMEX shows. IMEX and C2 share a similar vision; we are both dedicated to innovating in the event space and believe wholeheartedly that success stems from creating powerful connections between people.”

Photo Credit: A promotional photo from C2 Montreal. The organization's partnership with IMEX Group shows that experiential concepts are becoming more important to meeting planners. Sebastien Roy / C2 International