Powerful start of IMEX America in Las Vegas
New exhibitors, a broader educational program than ever before and the diversity of guest buyers of the Hosted Buyer program are some of the significant features of the exhibition this year
Imex America opened its doors yesterday at the Sands Expo Convention Center offering new experiences, conferences, training and networking spaces; The showroom is full of exciting opportunities for event professionals from around the world. The show extends until tomorrow.
While the growing variety of inspiring experimental activities and educational sessions is surprising, companies remain the focus of IMEX. Buyers will find a stimulating selection of destinations, places, hotels, technology specialists and service providers from 150 countries among more than 3,500 exhibitors, a new milestone for IMEX America. The business approach is reflected in the large number of individual and group meetings that have been set up through the exclusive IMEX dating system before the show opens.
Driving this expansion is a continuing demand from new and existing exhibitors for more space. 81 booths - 28 per cent of returning exhibitors – are larger this year while there are also more than 60 new exhibitor booths.
Among those who have taken larger booths, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, DMI Hotels, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Royal Caribbean International and Bermuda Tourism Authority have all doubled the size of their spaces.
The new exhibitors include Meet New York, Malta Tourism Authority, Morocco National Tourist Office, Nobu Hotels, River City Venues at Mardi Gras World, Visit Dallas and Pacifica Hotels. As a result of these and other new and larger booths, the USA/Canada, Caribbean, Asia/ Pacific and hotel areas of the show have all expanded significantly.
Experiencing Smart Monday
Smart Monday (today), powered by MPI, continues to grow, attracted around 1000 people for a day focused on learning. Was bigger and more interactive than ever with the arrival of the MPI Carnival and the Six Star Innovation & Experience Lab adding live experiential activities alongside the extensive MPI education program.
The Association Leadership Forum created with ASAE, the Executive Meetings Forum, and the SITE Young Leaders Conference have also brought audiences to events dedicated to these groups while the Shamrock Invitational Golf Classic, Association Evening and Site Nite North America are the first of the week’s many popular networking activities.
Legacy, a theme flowing through many activities throughout the show, was the topic for the first of the top class daily MPI keynotes. Julius Solaris, editor of Event MB shared fascinating revelations around ‘Legacy; the power of events,’ from an extensive IMEX research report produced by Event MB. The new white paper, published in association with ProColombia, is now available to be downloaded.
The legacy theme, the IMEX Talking Point for this year, continues through education sessions, through the Future Leaders Forum, and by encouraging everyone at the show to recycle, be conscious of sustainability and contribute their materials and time at the Giving Back Booth. The concept comes to life at the new Legacy Wall which showcases heart-warming and inspiring stories and case studies from exhibitors, partners and IMEX staff about their legacy.
Buyers looking for inspiring ideas for live and experiential elements to add to their events will find many they can see and experience. At the Live Zone, supported by Michael Cerbelli’s Hot List, the dynamic, interactive activities include giant puppets, a VR zipline, digital caricatures and living walls. IMEX Group’s charismatic creative partner C2 International will be bringing its Cloud Lab, one of its suite of Learning Labs. There will also be the chance to ‘test-drive’ some of the latest ground-breaking ideas in event technology at the new Tech Zone.
For those eager to learn about the latest trends and techniques and with an eye on personal development, there is a superb choice of 200 plus education sessions at the Inspiration Hub, sponsored by Maritz Global Events. The 10-track education program features hot topics for every need and level of experience, covering security, sustainability, creativity, innovation, technology, experiential events and legacy.
IMEX continues to care for health and wellbeing with meditation sessions to help everyone unwind led by Lee Papa of Mindful Makeovers™ supported by Imprint Events Group, at the Be Well Lounge, sponsored by Hilton. The new Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health, to see who walks the most steps each day and the IMEXrun, sponsored by GES, Hilton, LVCVA, Simpleview, and Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, on Wednesday morning, are both sociable ways to look after the body.
IMEX America is known as a great place to make new connections and catch up with friends. The many co-located events throughout the week including MPI Foundation Rendezvous and the EIC Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards will bring hundreds of people together to enjoy themselves while raising money for industry good causes.
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says: “As we head into our 8th IMEX America, we’re excited by the growth in the show and the way that the industry continues to make IMEX America such a key part of their year. We’re looking forward to an exceptionally busy and productive week with a record number of exhibitors and buyers due to be here doing business, networking and fundraising for the major industry foundations. Yet again, our partners here in Las Vegas have welcomed IMEX America and the industry with open arms and hearts and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support”.