For those packing to go to IMEX America in Las Vegas next week to see more than 12,000 of their best friends in the event and hospitality industry, we put together a checklist of things you will want to make sure to bring along.
1. Comfortable shoes. Sands Expo and Convention Center covers 2.25 million sq. ft. and many meetings will be in the surrounding blocks. More than 3,000 suppliers will be exhibiting, and you don’t want to miss connecting with any of them, do you? It would be a shame if you had blisters after the first day.
2. Lots of business cards. This annual meeting of the minds is a unique opportunity to make meaningful connections with people from all over the world. Come prepared to tell your story.
3. An open mind. On Smart Monday alone, you can earn your Event Design Certificate, participate in a PCMA Business School session and network with your peers at SITE Nite for a good cause. Workshops cover everything from career development and event tech to trends in food and beverage. Keynotes from WhiteSpace at Work CEO Juliet Funt and economist Todd Bucholz will inspire and challenge. Be ready to take it all in.
4. Thoughts and prayers. In the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Las Vegas last week, empathy and security are on everyone’s mind. IMEX has planned enhanced, visible security at the entrances, and Sands is coordinating internal security teams with local law enforcement. #VegasStrong has emerged as the message of unity behind fundraising to aid victims and their families.
5. Extra luggage. You will need to carry back all the swag you will be collecting. Mementos of your chats with convention bureaus, hospitality companies, technology providers and potential partners will be reminders of the productive discussions you had over the three days.
6. Did we mention comfortable shoes?