The first event to take place on the new IMEX BuzzHub on Wednesday 12 May brings together an exceptional line-up of speakers and panellists who are all experts in building global communities.

Taking its programming theme from one of IMEX’s 12 Commitments, ‘Collaboration, Connections and Community’, the Buzz Day programme, which is open to all and free of charge, opens with a short introduction and welcome by IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom and CEO, Carina Bauer.

Shortly after in “Leadership Passport: Building Community to Move Beyond Competition and Scale Impact”, Shane Feldman, Founder of Count Me In, will recount how an idea that started as a 2008 high school project grew into a global social entrepreneurship incubator that has impacted more than 10 million people in 104 countries.

Image: Shane Feldman, Founder of Count Me In. 

By spearheading the world’s largest millennial-led movement, Feldman has decoded frameworks that enable individuals and teams to connect more authentically and perform at their highest levels. Feldman will share the universal strategies that make teams click and businesses thrive using his research into community leadership and human behaviour in over 25 countries.

Daybreaker CEO and author of ‘Belong’

In a session sponsored by MPI, Radha Agrawal, founder of Thinx and morning dance and movement community, DAYBREAKER, which serves 500,000 people in 28 countries, will reveal “How to create deep belonging and joy for yourself and others”. Agrawal will show that the science of belonging and collective joy is more critical than ever in a post-covid world and that both are not just experienced in the mind but in body and mind. She’ll also talk about labels and how the way we label ourselves can move us further away from ‘belonginess’.  

Image: Radha Agrawal, Founder of Thinx. 

Described as a ‘force of nature’, Agrawal is the author of ‘Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life’. She and her team famously supported the WW presents Oprah Winfrey 2020 Vision Tour in the US.  

Community building insights from the world’s largest professional network

From what started as a kitchen table project in 2002, LinkedIn is now the world’s largest professional network with nearly 740 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. In the third session of the day, Marketing Manager, Content & Social Media, Steve Kearns and Senior Executive Producer, Strategic Events at LinkedIn, Rena McGrath, will examine the definition and importance of community for any brand. They will discuss the overall impact of the pandemic on business planning and reveal how LinkedIn approached both community building and its events strategy over the past year. The duo will also cover the pros and cons of using influencers. 

Image: Steve Kearns, Marketing Manager, Content & Social Media at LinkedIn. 

Image: Rena McGrath, Senior Executive Producer, Strategic Events at LinkedIn. 

The Buzz Day’s programme will wrap up at 5.45pm London time with a no holds barred panel discussion, led by Julius Solaris, Head of Engagement for Swapcard, the platform that powers the IMEX BuzzHub. 

Joining Solaris to debate “Events are not enough anymore. Why is everyone betting on communities?” will be ‘Tribes and Trust’ expert, Kiki L’Italien, who’s also CEO of Amplified Growth and host and producer of the Association Chat podcast; Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer at SXSW and Miguel Neves, Editor in Chief of EventMB.

Talking about the IMEX BuzzHub concept and the first Buzz Day, IMEXCEO, Carina Bauer, says, “I’m delighted with the programme we’ll be delivering on 12 May. We’ve stretched ourselves to bring in new, entrepreneurial speakers who can bring fresh perspectives to the global events industry while having the privilege of tapping into the knowledge and expertise of some ‘insiders’ who fully understand the challenges our industry is facing. Our theme of ‘Collaboration, Connections and Community’ speaks to the times we’re living in. Old competitive, anti-trust business models are fading away as we start to realise the only way to build back better and create more prosperity and global harmony is through community and collaboration, not competition.”

The prime directive of the new IMEX BuzzHub is to get people talking and connecting, using both professional and personal interests to find common ground. The digital platform will be open from May to September and will offer a variety of structured activities and learning opportunities together with informal moments of human connection. Powered by Swapcard and designed by award-winning creative agency, Smyle, the IMEX BuzzHub is designed to help individuals in the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry to connect, learn and share experiences for the benefit of themselves, their organisations and the industry. 

To take part in the IMEX BuzzHub all visitors must register, which is free of charge. Registration goes live on Wednesday 5 May when the IMEX team will share details across all social feeds and by email.