Lessons from Smart Monday at IMEX 2017

Photo from Play with a Purpose Room, Smart Monday of IMEX 2017

IMEX America launched its 2017 event in Las Vegas with a full schedule of educational content—powered by MPI—for the 1,000 planners who arrived on Monday, a day before the show opened. Participants were able to take advantage of 43 sessions, focused on the latest in planning purposeful meetings. Smart Meetings sent a team to do some early reconnaissance, and the top lessons learned included the following.

1. How People Think is as Important as What They Think

Keynote speaker Janet Sperstad, program director at Madison College in Wisconsin, explained that human-centric experiences deliver lasting impact by tapping into behavioral science, meeting design, technology, health and well-being, and CSR in new and interesting ways. She has found that planners who consider how the brain processes information are more successful than those who plan based on what they want to force onto the attendee.

2. Security is job No. 1.

From the moment of silence taken as leaders took the stage before the welcome address to the numerous breakout sessions, with tips for preparing and reacting for worst-case scenarios, recent natural and terrorist events cast a shadow over the event. #VegasStrong was always in the room.

3. We Learn by Touching

Whether it’s learning contraption theory by building Lego chairs in the Live zone, defining play with help from Play with a Purpose or frolicking with puppies sponsored by Visit Norfolk, Virginia, doing something with your hands is always more powerful that hearing about it from stage.

4. Sustainability Could be a Winning Differentiator

When it comes to conserving resources, preserving quality of life for residents and giving attendees a reason to attend, sustainability could be the unique feature that brings events to town without sacrificing quality of life. Just ask Copenhagen.

5. Time Management is Success Management

Planners may have to learn to outsource some logistics for management if they are going to get everything done. That could be particularly important over the next few days as hosted buyer appointments and networking sessions dominate the calendar.

What did you learn on day 1? Please share at #SmartMtgs and look for more reports from Sands Expo on our Twitter feed in the coming days.