Full house in Las Vegas

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Full house in Las Vegas

A ‘power-packed business experience’ to meet new needs of the industry at IMEX America, which returns to Las Vegas, 10-13 October

IMEX America is set to address the new needs of the industry head on, bringing together the global business events community in a four-day show designed to deliver a tailored, targeted, and efficient business experience.

This edition builds on the success of last year’s show, which recently won the UK’s AEO Best International Trade Show Award (Americas). It has been crafted by the IMEX team in response to the conversations they’re having with industry friends around the world and to reflect significant shifts in the sector in 2022. The market, particularly in the US, is busy and registration numbers reflect this.  Just two months after registration opened, over 2,500 buyers have so far confirmed their participation.

A gathering of the global marketplace

Likewise, there has been strong demand from suppliers from the offset, with international exhibitors returning to the show in force, including all the major hotel groups. Accor, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International – are already confirmed as are a host of major global destinations: Abu Dhabi, Australia, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Dubai, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey and New Zealand among others.

North and South America are strongly represented at the show including Atlanta, Banff, Boston, Canada, Florida, LA, Marina Del Rey, San Francisco, and Toronto as well as first time exhibitors Huntington Beach and California’s Riverside CVB. Brazil is returning this year bringing with it new exhibitors from Latin America including Chile and Uruguay.

Dozens of suppliers from Asia and Europe who were unable to take part in 2021 are returning this October. These include Portugal, Tokyo, Malaysia, and Egypt.

The range of event technology providers currently includes new names such as WebEx Events, Entegy, Erbium, Swoogo and Vfairs.

Education sessions power business conversations

Under the theme ‘Pathways to Clarity’, the IMEX team has reduced the number of education tracks from 10 to four: Respect for People and Planet; Future Self; Innovation and Creativity; Event Planner Toolkit. The remodelled programme builds on IMEX’s strong educational legacy and aims to deliver a fresh twist on old problems while also facing the business realities of Q4 2022 head on. This radical simplification also fits better with post-pandemic business needs.

There are more than 200 educational events over four days, beginning with Smart Monday on 10 October, led by MPI. The free day of learning offers tailor-made opportunities for corporate and association planners to meet, connect and learn at the Executive Meeting Forum, Corporate Focus and Association Leadership Forum. There are also sessions from IAEE, EIC and MPI, plus She Means Business a joint event by IMEX and tw magazine, again supported by MPI.

The expanded Inspiration Hub is once again home to show floor education. It now offers a choice of ‘E’ for everyone sessions or learning tailored for agency, corporates, or association professionals.

Sessions will address topical challenges, such as how to manage supply chains to contract clauses and pricing fluidity. Digital dragons, cryptocurrencies and the metaverse will all be explained and explored, while sessions on building creative and communication skills recognise new workplace demands.

The programme is live online from September, which is also when buyers can start making appointments with exhibitors.

Supporting sustainability

In a world where planet-friendly practices and carbon costs are more important than ever, IMEX America will champion sustainability, diversity, and social impact throughout the education and across show floor activity with the IMEX-EIC People and Planet Village a focal point.

The Village, which returns following its launch at IMEX America last year, will feature a shared campfire area dedicated to sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as the chance to take part in activities that support the local Las Vegas community. Wellbeing also figures highly with a dedicated Be Well Lounge offering mediation and mindful moments as well as wellness-focused show floor education or events.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, comments: “Every year we start afresh. We carefully craft and rework the show in response to what we’re seeing and hearing in the industry and from post-show surveys and data. When to-do lists and hours are long and budgets and resources are limited, any visit to IMEX America needs to be a tailored, efficient, and satisfying experience. More than ever, the market is looking for a single location – and a single business trip – that accomplishes multiple goals

Education in focus

Every day at IMEX America kicks off with a dose of inspiration from outstanding MPI keynotes. Planners can learn how to make meetings more engaging, embrace new ways of thinking, consider the big issues, and explore innovation and creativity.

Shane Feldman will host his Leadership Passport: Build Better Relationships and Create Engaged Communities session. Feldman is founder of Count Me In which has grown from a school project to a global community of over 10m young leaders in 100+ countries. He has been recognised by the White House, Prime Minister of Canada, and United Nations, and worked with a variety of big-name businesses.

He explains: “What I’ve learned from working with some of the most dynamic companies in the world, from Google and Microsoft to Disney and Mercedes, is that community building really is the key differentiator. You can have the best tech, the best product, the best formula, but if you don’t have people who feel connected to each other and a larger purpose, retention falters and companies crumble.

“Community is about shared meaningful experiences, or what I call ‘+1 Experiences. It’s the difference between putting on the best Bose noise-cancelling headphones and listening to your favourite artist alone in your room, versus being in the arena listening to them perform live, surrounded by other fans. Or the difference between reading a novel solo, versus being in an intimate book club.

“My greatest passion is helping leaders build better relationships and create engaged communities. That passion has only amplified coming out of this challenging time as we all realize just how important (and fragile) our relationships really are, especially as many people have a challenging time connecting despite differing cultural backgrounds, beliefs or political ideologies. In many ways, our world feels more fractured than ever before, but there are small actions we can choose to take every day to build bridges and close gaps.”

Elsewhere, the old rules are out the window – it’s a battle to see who holds the money, fees on practically every page, plus the ever-present spectre of ‘force majeure’ looming over every event. Tyra Warner, professor of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the College of Coastal Georgia, will dig into the detail, sharing draft contract language to address surcharges and fees that may come up after the contract is signed, and make clear the distinction between force majeure and cancellation as it pertains to a supervening or intervening event.

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