September Business Events Champion - Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group

Each month, ECPAT-USA will be highlighting a Business Events Champion who, in support of our 20BY20 campaign, has pledged to join with us in ending child sexual exploitation and trafficking through educating and empowering business events professionals.

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Carina Bauer is the CEO of the IMEX Group, one of the foremost organizations connecting the global meetings industry. Recognized around the world for her exceptional leadership in business events, she serves as a Mentor Fast Forward 15 for women in hospitality and events, was the winner of the Smart Women in Meetings Award in both 2018 and 2019, and named as one of Northstar’s 25 Most Influential People in the Incentive Industry. As one of the founding champions of the 20BY20 campaign, ECPAT-USA was interested in speaking with Carina about her thoughts on why being involved with this initiative was so important. 

With so many important causes where the business events industry can make a difference, what about this issue speaks to you, personally?

I think this is one of those defining moments when we can either turn away and rationalize “I’m too busy” or “I don’t see how I can make a difference here” OR we can step up and speak up. As a mother and the leader of a British company that aims to lead by example, I’m happy to lend my support. IMEX is in a unique position. We operate in a truly global marketplace. We have a voice. We have a global audience that’s willing to listen, and to learn. This is the time to put that advantage to good use.

 Why did IMEX choose to be a Champion of the ECPAT-USA 20BY20 initiative? 

The global business events industry, as a sector that brings together people from all over the world, has a responsibility to drive positive social transformation and ECPAT-USA 20BY20 helps to deliver this. Like many of the big societal challenges of our times, this isn’t about one person, one government or even one company taking a stand but about recognizing and embracing our collective accountability and knowing that lasting change demands lasting and consistent collaboration.  

 What is IMEX doing to promote your support of 20BY20?  

Other than lending our voice online and through our marketing and PR efforts,  we have a couple of ideas bubbling away but we’ll consolidate these once we’re on the other side of our current focus – IMEX America, which opens next week!

What would you say to event organizers to encourage them to take this training?

Don’t hesitate. Put yourself, your team and your business on the front foot now.

About 20BY20: 20BY20 is an industry-wide awareness campaign to educate 20,000 business events professionals to identify and respond to the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Addressing the issue of human trafficking as well as the intersections between human trafficking and the event and travel industry, ECPAT-USA’s 25-minute online course, Preventing & Responding To Human Trafficking And The Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Children teaches BE leaders how to become BE Protectors. This course provides (CE) credit for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) credential.

To learn more or get involved in the campaign click here.