IMEX America will focus on how to plan with deeper meaning, innovation and insight in mind
An exciting new approach to education and content strategies will be featured at IMEX America 2017, slated for Oct. 10–12 at Sands Expo and The Venetian/The Palazzo in Las Vegas.
IMEX America will introduce its first Talking Point—a theme that allows the IMEX Group to plan and respond more dynamically to rising trends and issues within the international meetings, events and incentive travel industry. The Talking Point—which debuted at IMEX in Frankfurt May 16–18—is “Purposeful Meetings: How to Plan with Deeper Meaning, Innovation and Insight in Mind.”
The Talking Point concept is a reflection of IMEX Group’s new mission—“to unite and advance the meetings industry by doing everything we can to educate, innovate and help our clients make powerful connections with the right people.” The concept will be featured explicitly through a range of new initiatives and implicitly within IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt.
“An IMEX Talking Point is a theme—something we try to center each show around to give it focus and direction,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. “Under the Purposeful Meetings umbrella, the IMEX 2017 education program will feature sessions on event design, behavioral science, health and well-being, technology and leaving a positive legacy—all with an eye to helping attendees up attendee engagement, inspiration, enjoyment and lasting value at meetings they create.”
“Purposeful Meetings—Driving Deeper Meaning and Insights” will be the topic of a keynote at IMEX America by Janet Sperstad, CMP, program director at Madison College, Wisconsin. She will discuss some of the main preliminary results from her study on purposeful meetings.
Keynotes will also be delivered by CEO Juliet Funt from White Space at Work, economist and author Todd Buchholz, and CEO Brent Bushnell from Two Bit Circus.
The first IMEX America took place in 2011, following the debut of IMEX in Frankfurt in 2002. IMEX America has grown considerably since it began in 2011. Last year’s event drew a record 12,227 participants, a 14 percent increase from 2015. Some 3,250 exhibitors participated from 139 countries and 60,000 prescheduled, one-on-one appointments took place on the trade-show floor.
“We don’t sit around the table and say it must be bigger, though,” says Ray Bloom, chairman and CEO of IMEX Group. “We ask, ‘How can we make it better? How can we add more benefits and keep it interesting? How can we tune into the industry’s current needs, but also help to push the industry forward in new directions?’ This commitment to creating continual improvement and innovation builds a show environment where growth can take root and expand.”
Bloom is gratified that IMEX America has become such a fundamental component of the meetings industry.
“I think IMEX America’s growth and interest levels have far exceeded our initial expectations, and we are so pleased to see so many old and new friends come together each fall,” he says. “One of the most heartening aspects of IMEX America is the number and variety of partners that take part in the IMEX America week—hosting their own co-located events, raising money for their respective foundations, and providing education and networking opportunities for their members.
“This really means that the entire industry is taking part in the event, and while we hoped that would happen, the speed and scale of this has been wonderful.”
A Perfect Match
Las Vegas has proven to be an ideal location for the show.
“We chose Las Vegas because of its commitment to hospitality excellence for conferences and meetings, all with a truly electric destination,” says Bauer, who is Bloom’s daughter. “In terms of infrastructure, Vegas, of course, really has it all—an excellent and convenient international airport in the heart of the city, super hotels, spectacular evening event options, stellar restaurants, world-class shows and music, and fantastic shopping—all in a very compact and mostly walkable footprint.”
The relationship between IMEX America and Las Vegas is mutually rewarding.
“This conference is all about innovation and business opportunities, and there is no better place than Las Vegas to do business. We remain the top trade-show destination, an honor we’ve held for the last 23 years,” says Carolyn G. Goodman, the city’s mayor. “I look forward to the continued growth of the conference.”
Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, echoes Goodman’s remarks.
“It’s been a great honor to witness and support IMEX America’s growth over the years, and the momentum is sure to continue,” he says. “Hosting IMEX America provides a phenomenal opportunity to showcase the destination on a global platform. Seeing Las Vegas is selling Las Vegas, and it’s critical for us to keep Las Vegas top of mind for international meeting planners and travel buyers.”
Ralenkotter says that last year’s IMEX America was particularly memorable.
“In 2016, Las Vegas had the tremendous opportunity to host IMEX America and the final presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle simultaneously,” he says. “These two high-profile events placed Las Vegas in the spotlight as a professional place to do business, and as a global business center.
“October 2016 was truly a month to remember and those who return to Las Vegas for IMEX America in 2017 will see the excitement and momentum that continues to echo through the destination today.”