The largest meetings industry show of the year, IMEX America, is streamlining content categories from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST to help attendees find the information they need from the more than 100 sessions available on Oct. 10 for MPI’s Smart Monday and She Means Business, in the daily keynotes and in the Inspiration Hub on the show floor running through Oct. 13 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
Pathways to Clarity will be the umbrella theme for educational content grouped as: Respect for People and Planet (DEI, sustainability, CSR); Future Self (personal and professional development, listening, coaching, emotional intelligence); Innovation and Creativity (inspirational design and event tech); Event Planner Toolkit (strategies for live, virtual and hybrid meetings, contracting and set-up).
“Hopefully, this arrangement will help people focus on what is available and get the most out of the experience to take back to their offices,” said IMEX CEO Carina Bauer.
“Even if a team comes from the same company, they can all take away something different,” said Tahira Endean, new IMEX Head of Events.
The remodeled program builds on IMEX’s educational legacy and aims to deliver a fresh twist on old problems while also facing the business realities of Q4 2022 head-on. “This radical simplification fits better with post-pandemic business needs,” Bauer said.
Mark your calendars for the annual Smart Women in Meetings Toast and photo opportunity at the Smart Meetings booth Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m.
The expanded Inspiration Hub is once again home to show floor education. Sessions will address topical challenges, such as how to manage supply chains to contract clauses and pricing fluidity. Digital dragons, cryptocurrencies and the metaverse will all be explained and explored, while sessions on building creative and communication skills recognize new workplace demands.
Professional development content includes a coaching session from organizational expert David Jaime, founder of L.E Professionals, on red flags signaling ethical, harassment and discrimination issues in the workplace and how to proactively address them.
Personal empowerment will be distributed by Jennifer Cassetta, author of “The Art of Badassery,” in a session she is calling “Unleash your mojo with the wisdom of the Dojo”. She is a health and empowerment coach with a third-degree black belt in Hapkido who helps modern professionals feel stronger, safer and more powerful through a mind and body approach.
Perspective-heightening sessions will cover everything from behavioral science and emotional intelligence to neurodivergent thinking and even what we can learn from military innovations.
Daily keynotes will consider big issues and explore innovation, creativity and the power of community.
- Tuesday October 11: Jen Coken – The Science of Self-Sabotage: Making Imposter Syndrome Your Superpower
- Wednesday October 12: Shane Feldman – Leadership Passport: Build Better Relationships and Create Engaged Communities
- Thursday October 13: Nancy Snowden – On the Playground: Your IMEX America Unkeynote Experience
“We want people to be able to go to a session of F&B, DEI or contracts and be able to go back to the office and ask better questions,” said Endean.
Running alongside these content tracks will once again be a wellness theme that will be housed in inflatables next to the hosted-buyer lounge. Morning activities will include the annual IMEX Run squeezed between HIIT workouts and yoga. “There will be something for everyone,” said Bauer.
Dining choices will focus on sustainable menus by considering water consumption and carbon emissions in creating meals with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
The misfit smoothie and juice bar will return with beverages made with fruits and vegetables that may not look perfect, but are perfectly good. Expect more non-alcoholic beverages that are more interesting than Diet Coke and orange juice.
Overall, Bauer projected that the show will be “significantly” larger (she estimated more than 12,000 sq. ft. larger) than 2021 as more countries are open to travel and many exhibitors are returning to their 2019 dimensions. She also expected more tech companies to bring their demonstrations.