If you are a hosted buyer, your calendar for the second week of September is probably already pretty full, and the invitations are still pouring in. How do you make the most of the opportunity IMEX America 2019 gives you to talk to as many of the 3,500 buyers as possible at Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas over three days while still finding time for the valuable education sessions? Smart Meetings asked the experts for tips.

Come Early

Smart Monday, powered by MPI, is Monday, Sept. 9 and packed with everything from artist Phil Hansen’s inspirational keynote on how to “Embrace the Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities” to sessions on best practices for inclusion, AV tech and contract negotiations.

Lori Pugh Marcum, CMP, CMM, HMCC, manager of global education and event production with MPI Academy, advises attendees to prepare for new interactive formats designed to enable social learning. “We will host a mock trial on contracting and an interactive event clue game wherein attendees work in teams to cut costs by creating partnerships and negotiating for extra value,” she said. Find your favorites here.

The theme for IMEX America 2019 is “imagination” and the Discovery Zone will be filled with serendipitous encounters to spark ideas that will continue to inspire after the doors are closed on the trade show floor.

Get in the Imagination Zone

The theme for IMEX America 2019 is “imagination” and the Discovery Zone will be filled with serendipitous encounters to spark ideas that will continue to inspire after the doors are closed on the trade show floor.

  • AE&ES (Amusement, Exhibit & Event Services) will offer Brain Art, which uses electroencephalography (EEG) technology to create a one-of-a-kind artwork using only the minds of participants.
  • EyeJack Events combines art and augmented reality technology to transport audiences into interactive worlds.
  • Champagne Creative Group is inking attendees with“mystery tattoos” for surprise, but temporary, adornment.
  • DAHLIA+ Agency will review and advise on company branding online and showcase the newest technology solutions.
  • From Zuzor’s experiential LED wall that turns movements into art and Freakebana ugly-cool flower arranging to Thinkers Society’s fresh take on brainstorming and floating thought bubbles, the area is designed to spark curiosity and transform the way brands connect with their audiences.

“Our new Discovery Zone provides vivid new experiences that will encourage attendees to stretch themselves—figuratively and imaginatively—testing the theory that experimentation leads to innovation,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group.

Step Up for Women

Marcum says Monday’s focus on women is not to be missed. “I am thrilled that She Means Business is coming to IMEX America for the first time. We have lined up compelling education and networking for women and allies to discuss economic equality, lessons from influential businesswomen and the balance between family and career,” she said. All that great content goes down on Monday from 11:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Association for Women in Events will host a Celebration of Women in Events Pink Hour,  powered by Freeman, on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Booth F3666. It will include a toast to the 2019 Women in Events Hall of Fame winners and a statement from Bauer.

Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force is collecting signatures as part of #MeetingsToo for an industry-wide pledge with Philip Eidsvold of SITE, Bauer, Paul Van Deventer of MPI, Susan Robertson of ASAE and Kiki Fox of AWE.

Can’t make it to the show? AWE co-founder and Past-President Kiki Fox will be sharing highlights in a live podcast with EventIcons on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.

Finish strong with a joint PMI Women and AWE Meetup on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the MPI Booth. This is your chance to learn about new ways to connect and get involved.

Stretch Yourself

The Be Well Lounge will provide a chance to center yourself and get off your feet for a minute. Lee Papa’s Mindfulness Lounge leads 20-minute refreshes throughout the event.

Or, get your blood going by joining a 5K fun-run sponsored by Italian National Tourist Board, CORT, Hilton and Maritz Global Events on Wednesday morning. It is open to walkers, joggers and the run-curious.

Make all those steps count by participating in Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health. Finally, every day at 7 a.m., Jessica Micheletti and Liani Moore will lead Move Your Mind, Body & Soul Live workshops.