The third edition of meetings industry tradeshow IMEX America in Las Vegas, US ended on 17 October with Group Chairman Ray Bloom announcing “significant increases” in all areas of the show.
Speaking at a closing press conference, Bloom said Hosted Buyer numbers had increased from 2,400 in 2012 to just under 2,700. He expected attendee numbers to be in line with last year, around 1,700.
Appointment numbers between buyers and exhibitors had grown 27 per cent, Bloom noted with 50,000 pre-arranged individual appointments and a further 9,500 group appointments over the three-day show at Sands Expo.
Bloom praised the high quality of stands this year, saying: “No-one can doubt the seriousness with which our exhibitors now take the business opportunities available to them here. The quality, creativity and visual impact of many of the booths has been remarkable. Their investment is clear to see, and this is clearly down to their belief in the return they can achieve from being at the show.”
Bloom reported one example of business done on the show floor: a single booking for 10,000 room nights in Austin, Texas.
Recapping some show highlights, Bloom noted the first ever IMEX and US Travel Association Policymakers Forum on 16 October.
“At a challenging time for the US Government, we were delighted that the Mayor of Washington DC, Mayor Vincent Gray, could join us live by satellite link. He spoke to around 60 industry and political leaders,” said Bloom.
Asked whether the US Government shutdown had adversely affected the show, Bloom said he couldn’t think of an instance where it had. Customs and airports had all worked normally, he said, while confessing to “a tinge of concern” beforehand.
Bloom also talked about the show’s third Executive Meetings Forum, attended by 30 top corporate meeting planners, including from McDonalds, Monster, Wells Fargo, KPMG and Cisco.
Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the show’s strategic partner and education provider, explained that over 1,200 participants had taken part in Smart Monday’s education programme.
Bloom said he would be developing the Hosted Buyer Programme further in 2014 and looked forward to returning to Sands Expo “for many years to come”.
IMEX America, he noted, was now roughly 80 per cent the size of the Frankfurt show.
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