IMEX does Vegas


IMEX Group is to replicate its European meetings exhibition stateside and this year sees the launch of IMEX America. In partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the event will take place between 11 and 13 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in the Venetian Palazzo Hotel.

The new show is expected to welcome 1,500 exhibitors and host over 2,000 hosted buyers: 80 per cent from the US market and 20 per cent of international buyers with a strong interest in placing business internationally.

IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom told CMW: “The US meetings and events market is the biggest in the world with the CIC’s Economic Impact Study estimating its contribution to US GDP at US$106bn, and a total economic output of US$907bn. We know the MICE industry has gone through some tough times in recent years, but April 2011 data from the MPI Business Barometer confirms a solid recovery has been underway for over a year with attendance and spending surging during that time.

“So even when you are talking about securing small percentages of business from US buyers, this translates into huge dollar sums, which is why people want to come to IMEX America.”

Among confirmed destination exhibitors for the show are Dubai and South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Europe will also have a strong presence at the show with Croatia, Failte Ireland, Greece, France, Spain, Denmark and Turkey all signed up. Forty one hotel groups have also confirmed their exhibiting attendance.

There are a series of partners for the show and these include; the US Travel Association, CIC, IAEE and ACTE. These are in addition to those associations that will be co-locating major events at the show such as PCMA International Summit, Site’s Annual International Conference, Sote North America and USTA Advocacy Forum. “In total we have association partnerships that allow us to be in regular touch with over 100,000 individual meetings industry professionals around the world,” said Bloom.

In addition to the lure of a recovering US meetings and events market, Bloom attributes the growth of interest in IMEX America to “powerful” educational offerings led by MPI, which include the MPI Meet Different Day of Education and Innovation and MPI Foundation Rendezvous.

MPI will be creating educational programmes to run alongside the tradeshow with power keynotes each morning before the show starts together with a dedicated day of innovative meet different education the day before the exhibition opens. Other initiatives include co-development of the IMEX mobile app, a series of six expert webinars, and personal wellness activities such as fun-runs and yoga each morning of the show.

MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan told CMW: “Our objective is to provide relevant, credible education in an environment and a way that encourages innovation, creativity and passion. We want the IMEX America audience to feel a sense of performance empowerment, as well as an aura of inspired action when they listen to each of our content presenters.”

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