The sixth and largest ever IMEX America opened yesterday. The show features a wide range of innovations, new initiatives and improvements throughout the show that have helped to create more opportunities to do business, learn and meet new contacts than ever and enhance the experience for all attendees. Many of these have been introduced in response to research, delegate feedback and market trends.
Strong demand from both new and existing exhibitors from around the world and every market sector has fueled growth. Among the 3,250 exhibiting companies who represent over 139 countries are 69 new booths, while 69 previous exhibitors (24%) have this year chosen to book larger space at the show. Together they are increasing choice and opportunities for buyers to do business.
Many areas of the show have grown year on year including Asia Pacific (increased by 7%), hotels (also up 7%), USA (14% bigger) and Incentive Products (also up 14%). First time exhibitors contributing to this expansion include Taiwan, Slovenia Tourist Board, Visit Flanders, Destination Michigan, Albuquerque CVB, Global Gifting, Boomset and glh hotels.
Among those who have taken larger stands are Tourism New Zealand, Thailand CEB, Carnival Cruises Lines, NYC & Company, Panama Tourist Authority, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Omni Hotels & Resorts.
Demand from hosted buyers has been unprecedented so more are expected to attend than ever before. This has contributed to an increasing number of one-to-one meetings and group appointments being set up through the unique IMEX appointments system.
From education and networking to hosted buyer facilities, the IMEX Group has been investing in new initiatives, innovations and improvements in every area. For instance, a series of guided tours covering Eventtech, Sustainability and Innovation has been introduced to give attendees greater insight into these topics. There are 269 education sessions, more than ever, with more for every level of seniority including a new Senior Planner Open Forum. The content of the Executive Meeting Forum and Association Focus programs is completely new in response to feedback from delegates. A record 86 per cent of sessions are now assigned with CES for CMP certification.
Two new innovations to help buyers to network better with their peers are the Zenvoy app and the Networking Hub, while new facilities include a new food court.
The new Be Well Lounge offers yoga as well as meditation to extend the health and wellbeing opportunities while a new CSR initiative on Monday, Garbage Grabbers – Clean Up Las Vegas, will give volunteers the chance to support the local community. A new CSR and Sustainability Showcase offers attendees the chance to make Clean the World hygiene kits for charities and the innovative #GreenCaffeine campaign encourages everyone to refill reusable travel cups rather than using disposable ones.
IMEX America has become established as the catalyst that brings the global industry together in Las Vegas. Many co-located partner events are taking place in the city, day and night, including the Site Young Leaders Conference, the CIC Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards, Site Nite North America, the CEIR Golf Classic, the DMC Network and Ovation Talent Search and the b.
Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group said: “We have brought the global industry together here to do business, to update their knowledge of industry developments and to make new contacts. So we have been investing our resources in creating innovations and improvements in every area of the show to enable everyone to make the most of the immeasurable opportunities for business and networking here this week.
“With the superb support of our many partners through the industry and here in Las Vegas, we are set for an exciting, busy week that has all the components to be stimulating and successful for everyone.”