IMEX America is Back!: Day 1 Highlights from the Return to Meeting

IMEX America 2021

The opening day of IMEX America 2021 at Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas was humming with people just happy to be back together. Don’t miss out on these important industry highlights from the tradeshow floor!

Destinations International Large Market Roundtable outlined initiatives to establish Destination Booking Agreement Guidelines to create certainty for all parties. “Once a legally binding contract is in place, it sets the stage for easier conversations,” said Dustin Arnhem, senior vice president of sales with Visit Baltimore.

As Darren Kingi, senior vice president of sales at Visit Indy said of the importance of streamlining letters of intent, “We can’t just rely on handshakes any more.”

Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board announced a partnership with Clear Health Pass and Co.Protect branded protective equipment to help meeting professionals create frictionless solutions for establishing and executing protocols.

“We started working early to help people get back to what they enjoy doing,” said Darren Green, senior Vice President of sales with LATCB.

Caesars and Meet AC announced sustainability highlights from its newly released 2021 CSR Report—in a Leed-certified Augustus Tower villa suite—and the news (and views) are great.

  • On track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (or sooner)
  • Reduced greenhouse emissions by 36.1% and water withdrawal by 33% since 2011
  • Diverted 45% of all waste from landfill in 2020

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts launched The Meetings Collection, a new network of premium meetings-focused hotels offers meeting planners new incentives in desired markets, and streamlined multi-year bookings.

“It is time as meeting planners are starting to book again,” said Evy Garcia, Director of Sales & Marketing for Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

Carol Lynch, senior vice president of global sales, said planning for the network stared before the pandemic, but will be an important tool to promote flexibility and consistency going forward.

Visit California—and 22 of its encompassing destinations attending IMEX 2021—celebrated the Golden State’s June reopening to group travel with Napa Mumm sparkling wine, and a new online hub for media and meeting professionals (see here!).

After suffering economic loss from strict in-state Covid restrictions, Visit California President and CEO, and 2021 Catalyst Award Winner, Caroline Beteta announced results from a recent study in tourism perception that the state is now caught up with competitors for its desirability for group travel.

Hybrid event company Allseated announced a partnership with Matterport, a company that brings real life experiences to the virtual world using 3D technology.

The two companies will work together to turn spatial data into an accurate and immersive digital twin, which can be used to design events effectively.

The new reality for venues is that they must find a way to sell and plan events remotely. Even as in-person meetings make a return, clients have come to expect virtual venue tours. Allseated’s VISION product offers dynamic layout and floor planning inside a Matterport model, explained Sandy Hammer, CMO of Allseated.

Discover Puerto Rico celebrated its great recovery, announcing an all-time record year for lodging revenue and the island’s status as first in the nation for vaccinations.

“We are winning the war against Covid,” said Discover Puerto Rico CEO Brad Dean. “There are more visitors, more flights, more hotels and more investments.”

The proof is in the pudding:

  • Passenger arrivals surpassed 2019, with record arrivals May-Sept 2020
  • Orlando-San Juan was the busiest route in the world in early 2021
  • Pipeline of future events is the highest in the last five years
  • Five new and reopened hotels in 2020, including El Conquistador Resort, InterContinental Hotel and Palmas del Mar Resort
  • Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is celebrating NYE 2022 outside of Puerto Rico Convention Center for the first ever Spanish-language countdown

Plus, more updates from Smart Meetings TV!

Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment

Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Michael Massari, Caesars Entertainment #MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Steve Blanner, The Wynn Resort Las Vegas

Steve Blanner, The Wynn Resort Las Vegas at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Steve Blanner, The Wynn Resort Las Vegas @wynnlasvegas #MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Frank Passante, Hilton

Frank Passanante, Hilton at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Frank Passanante, Hilton#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs#wowwithhilton #withlovefromhilton Hilton Newsroom

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Destination Canada

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Destination Canada at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Destination Canada#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

David Manzella, Posadas

David Manzella, Posadas at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with David Manzella, Posadas #MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs @Grupo Posadas

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

 

Chandra Allison, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

Chandra Allison, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Chandra Allison, The Venetian Resort Las Vegas#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Kelly Saling, Visit Seattle

Kelly Saling, Visit Seattle at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Kelly Saling, Visit Seattle Visit Seattle#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Nicole Roos, Fairmont Scottsdale

Nicole Roos, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess at #IMEX21 Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Nicole Roos, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Laura Lutter Cole, Visit Milwaukee

Laura Lutter Cole, Visit Milwaukee at #IMEX21Smart Meetings is live at #IMEX21 with Laura Lutter Cole, Visit Milwaukee @visitmilwaukee#MeetSmart #EventProfs #MeetingProfs

Posted by Smart Meetings on Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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