Rest in Peace, dear Paul

Paul Flackett, Managing Director, IMEX Group, on 11 November 2017 lost his struggle against a malicious illness. He had worked in the meetings and incentive industry for over 30 years and served in many trade associations. In 1987, he joined Ray Bloom to start EIBTM in Geneva 1988; in 2003, they launched IMEX in Frankfurt.

Rest in Peace, dear Paul Image 1
“Today is a day for deep sadness as well as fond reflection. Paul has been by my side as a friend and in business for over 30 years and was an inspiration to us all in how he conducted himself throughout his career, in particular the humour he brought to us all. He was a friend and mentor to so many in the industry and I know that he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Ray Bloom, Chairman, IMEX Group
"Paul was quite simply a friend to everybody in the meetings industry. I bumped into a photographer today who met him many years ago and said: „Paul was the guy, who didn't care whether you were the photographer or the CEO“. I think, this spirit is gonna be reflected at this congress with conversations, remembering anecdotes of Paul. Everybody has a Paul story, those will be shared around the camp fires here in Prague. This is a testament and the best way of remembering him.”
Martin Sirk, CEO ICCA
“Paul always had a profound grasp of self-deprecation and could never quite believe his luck at arriving in the events industry and enjoying the life he did. When he was president of the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) they brought him into the conference in Auckland on a racehorse to rapturous applause. He said to me afterwards: “Not bad for a boy from Birmingham.” It was one of his favourite lines and often repeated.”
Martin Lewis, Managing Editor of CAT Publications

Paul Flackett – My Mentor

"The last two days have been a complete blur. The realisation and overwhelming sadness of the passing of someone very dear to my heart and that of many others. The passing of an industry icon; our beloved Paul Flackett. Paul was not only my boss for 14 years over the course of EIBTM Geneva and IMEX Frankfurt, but my mentor and a very dear friend. I started working for Paul as a very young 22 year old, new to the industry, naive, no experience but hungry and keen to learn. Paul gave me so many opportunities to grow. You were there by my side during very memorable times in my life, giving a reading at my wedding, the first person to visit me in hospital with John Haynes literally hours after Georgia was born and the same years later when Luca was born. I remember a business trip with you to Jordan where I thought you were going to present to over 300 Government officials only to find out that you had already decided I was ready to give my first public presentation for EIBTM. I was absolutely terrified but you calmed me down, gave me the confidence to believe in myself. That opportunity was the beginning of many wonderful memories during my career. The introduction to SITE, MPI and ICCA. You always pushed me to face new challenges as opportunities. When I told you I was moving to the Middle East back in 2005, you were there again spurring me on with encouragement and words of wisdom but above all you always told me how proud you were of me. Those words of support and encouragement will always be with me. Nikki, Joy, Catherine, Heath, Nat, Nalan, Jane, Ellie, Sarah, Cheryl... we were all Paul's Girls and that was an honour for us and one that we will treasure. Rest in Peace dear Paul, thank you for being you and for the deep joy and happiness you brought to so many of us. I will never forget you, My Boss, My Mentor, My Friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Natalie, Ann and your family and friends.”
Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, CEO Novo Cinemas, Dubai