Dedicated space helps attendees learn about latest tools and tips
Technology has become so important to meetings and events that IMEX America has set aside a specific section of the trade show floor for buyers and suppliers to gather and learn about this ever-changing component of the industry. New and expanding exhibitor booths, Technology Pavilion and the Tech Knowledge area powered by Meeting Pool help put a spotlight on all things tech.
“We always try to make IMEX America a place where buyers can learn about what is top of mind for them right now and what they need to think about next,” says Miguel Neves, digital content and community manager for IMEX Group. “Technology is one of these hot spots, for sure. As a result, we work closely with tech exhibitors and speakers to make it an ever-growing part of the show. The technology area of the floor is getting larger each year.”
Start-ups on Stage
One of the coolest trade show innovations is IMEXpitch, which allows event technology start-ups to showcase their products at no cost. Together with an independent judging panel of event technology industry experts, IMEX identifies five finalists out of 25 to 30 submissions to compete in a live, head-to-head pitch on the IMEX America show floor. Besides notoriety and bragging rights, the winner receives free exhibition space in the Technology Pavilion at next year’s show.
Brian Friedman, CEO of Loopd, was the 2015 IMEXpitch winner. Loopd relies on two-way beacons to connect attendees with each other and buyers. Users wear a badge to exchange information in real time and keep track of when and where connections are made.
“IMEXpitch is a good cross between research on the strongest new tech ideas and innovations, and a face-to-face event where attendees and competitors can get inspired,” Neves says. “We always strongly encourage even those who don’t make it to the final presentation to attend the show so they can talk to meeting professionals about what they are doing in the tech area, share their own ideas and products, and just get a feel for the buzz of the industry they are working to break into.”
New Matching Technology
IMEX America doesn’t just pay lip service to technology; it implements it and helps introduce attendees to new products. New this year is peer-to-peer matching by Zenvoy, which uses intelligent data profiling to help interested and like-minded buyers connect. Matching factors include job title, nature of business, decision-making authority and industry experience. The service is event specific, so introductions will only occur between IMEX America participants.
Confirmed buyers are invited to register with Zenvoy and complete a confidential online profile. Zenvoy then matches buyers who share similar business profiles.
After attendees expressed a desire for assistance in finding new connections and support systems with similar needs and interests at the 2015 trade show, IMEX began testing Zenvoy at IMEX in Frankfurt 2016 and found it to be a really useful tool. Based on the feedback, questions were added into the online profile to help make the matching even more helpful.
“Meeting, connecting and building on relationships with industry peers is a key element of IMEX America and IMEX in Frankfurt,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “We see this new initiative as a valuable way to make it easier for people to meet others with whom they have the most in common. In a show that’s as large and busy as IMEX America, we’re clear that it’s our duty and also our pleasure to bring people closer together for long-term mutual gain.”