IMEX America 2019: From Culinary Surprises to Internet Upgrades

Event sites have enhanced their offerings

IMEX America 2019 participants will be able to enjoy plenty of exciting new features at the host venues—Sands Expo and Convention Center, and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.

“Throughout the years, Sands Expo has continuously engaged in facility upgrades,” says Kirsten Dimond, vice president and general manager of the venue. “Most recently, our focus has been on strengthening our wireless Internet capabilities to ensure consistent service levels throughout our meeting and exhibit space.”

Dimond says that this year, IMEX America participants also will be in for some culinary surprises.

“The new food-and-beverage menu will feature several new plant-based entrees, and there will be coffee bikes on the show floor where participants may purchase nitro cold brews,” she says. “In addition, our show cleaning team has created a VIP porter package, and efforts supporting our donation program will continue to grow.”

The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, which houses both The Venetian and The Palazzo, added new restaurants and entertainment options this year, including Mott 32 (Chinese fine dining), The Factory Kitchen (traditional Italian) and a new bar, Electra Cocktail Club, which completes The Cocktail Collective, with three venues featuring crafted cocktails and visionary decor.

“This summer, we also completed a total renovation of the Venetian pool deck, which is now an exciting, new space for groups to host gatherings,” says Chandra Allison, senior vice president of sales at The Venetian. “We also recently completed a refresh of The Palazzo tower—everything from the guest suites to the casino floor. The redesigned Palazzo tower suites offer opulent accommodations with earth-friendly nods, setting the bar for luxury in Las Vegas.”

Sands Expo and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas have hosted IMEX America since its inception in 2011. Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, says that they’ve been ideal partners.

“They’ve been outstanding hosts,” she says. “As partners, they and their teams have supported our growth, and work with us each year to innovate. Of course, from a purely logistical standpoint, the properties offer us ample space for the trade show and our educational and collocated programs, as well as having been able to continue to accommodate us through our growth.”

Dimond also lauds the relationship between the venues and IMEX America.

“Having been the long-standing home to IMEX America, our teams have established a strong foundation upon which to prepare for each year’s program,” she says. “Several of the innovations that were originally created for IMEX are now part of our standard operations. As a result, we’ve been able to shorten lead times, strengthen existing practices and find new ways to engage event participants.”

The new initiatives include special menus that emphasize healthy, vegetarian and sustainable options; a trash-sorting program that achieves zero waste; digital signage that highlights sustainability messaging; and communications to participate in its donation program.

Bauer says that IMEX Group has also collaborated with Sands Expo on sustainability practices for the past 10 years.

“It’s one of the things that isn’t ‘seen,’” she says. “Each year, they have changed the way they are working back-of-house to help us deliver a more sustainable show, and they continue to offer those improvements to other clients. We also work closely with the Sands Foundation, which supported the IMEX Challenge in 2014—together, we rebuilt a garden for The Shade Tree, a home for abused women and children.”

Ray Bloom, founder and chairman of IMEX, points to some specific ways that IMEX America has become more sustainable.

“Our host venues have evolved over the years by working with us to improve the sustainability of the venues and the shows—from developing waste separation and diversion to introducing compostable service-ware, eliminating plastic straws and sourcing water-wise and local food options,” he says.

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