Networking and business opportunities run deep at IMEX America
Being the biggest meetings industry trade show in the United States, IMEX America sets the stage for near-limitless opportunities for meetings and events professionals to expand their connections and business potential in just three days of jam-packed opportunities.
The show floor—where planners and suppliers can’t walk two steps without rubbing shoulders with someone who would be a valuable contact—is just the tip of the iceberg. Thousands of hosted buyers show up at IMEX America each year to meet with suppliers from around the world. Powerful networking events pepper the schedule each day. Everywhere you look, there’s the opportunity to meet, greet and get down to business with the best in the industry.
Why take the cold-call approach when personalized, prearranged appointments are available for qualified buyers? One of the many highlights for those looking to get some business done at IMEX America is the hosted buyer program. Demand with this program is at an all-time high, and the number of hosted buyers at the 2015 trade show is set to be greater than ever.
The Numbers Game
More than 2,900 high-level decision makers from the United States, Europe, Latin America, China and other parts of Asia attend with business on their brains—and attract the executive suite from the world’s top suppliers with hopes of sealing as many deals as possible.
IMEX organizers listened to feedback from previous years and have all-new improvements, including restricting appointments between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., giving buyers more time to explore the show floor and attend educational sessions. There will also be expanded food options to ensure healthy eaters have a great selection.
Hosted buyers have the power to customize more than 90 percent of their appointments so they can target destinations and individual sellers that fit their needs. Group appointments also expose buyers to destinations and hotel groups they’re not as familiar with, giving buyers and sellers the opportunity to expand their reach and forge new partnerships—all in one place, without the need to make dozens of phone calls and exchange even more emails.
“IMEX America offers me the whole package and helps me to maximize my time out of the office,” says Cathy Berg, director of event sourcing for ACA International.
The opportunities for hosted buyers can get overwhelming, but IMEX America has that covered. The team runs training webinars in advance of the show to help buyers navigate the appointment-making process and share tips to help buyers target their optimal suppliers so buyers and sellers alike come away with RFPs in the offing.
For all attendees, the plethora of networking events at IMEX America 2015 are the places to be after the show floor closes down for the evening (and before the infamous late-night
after-parties begin). Buyers and sellers make it a point to attend as many of these evening events as possible, further facilitating the opportunities to make powerful connections that bring attendees back year after year.
Incentive to Network
SITE Nite, hosted by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence, is one of the most anticipated networking events each year at IMEX America. More than 1,000 attendees, including SITE members, will fill up Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace—along with a cast of costumed Vegas characters—on Monday, Oct. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Also joining the party will be members of CMI 25, Corporate Meetings & Incentive’s exclusive list of the largest and most influential North American meeting and incentive companies focused on the corporate marketplace.
Find the meetings and events professionals with hidden artistic skills at DMC Network and Ovation Talent Search. In an industry filled with charisma, it’s no shock to see big personalities take the stage to belt out a few tunes (though it tends to be hilarious). Last year’s winner was Paul Miller from Spectra DMC. Can he repeat as this year’s top vocalist? Join the fun on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at The Bank Nightclub at the Bellagio to enjoy the show find out who the winner will be.
MICE Hall of Fame
It’s the 20th anniversary for the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards celebration, and they’re shaking things up this year. What was previously an exclusive black-tie event is opening its doors for a more casual cocktail reception at Mandalay Bay’s Light Nightclub on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.
The Hall of Leaders has inducted 114 pioneers in the meetings and events industry over the years, and high-level networking opportunities abound as this year’s group of influencers who have helped shape the future of the industry are honored.
Successful by Association
The unofficial opening party, Association Evening, gets underway Monday, Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at SLS Las Vegas’ Foxtail Nightclub. This event is part of Smart Monday—all attendees registered for the day’s Attention Focus event are automatically registered for the evening party, as are IMEX America’s hosted buyers.
Enjoy cocktails and canapes while mingling with some of the industry’s top sellers—who are attracted to the party by the plethora of buyers looking to pair up with sellers for their upcoming events. Needless to say, this is one of IMEX America’s most popular networking parties, and space quickly gets limited. “I was able to attend the Association Evening and really enjoyed the great food and networking most of all,” says Monique Thompkins of mPaisley’s Event Planning.