IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom has declared the fourth edition of IMEX America held this week at Sands Expo, Las Vegas, to be the biggest to date with growth in all areas.
Bloom told a press conference at the end of the 2014 show that exhibitor numbers had risen from 2,694 in 2013 to 2,900 in 2014, a number reflected in a 13 per cent in the size of the show floor.
The hosted buyer programme has continued to expand, with Bloom claiming 2,900 hosted buyers attending the show this week, up from 2,700 last year.
A total of 10,000 visitors had passed through the doors, Bloom added, 5,400 of whom had downloaded the show app.
Other show statistics included a rise in pre-arranged appointments between buyers and exhibitors, to 53,000 (up six per cent). There were also 1,250 group appointments, the IMEX Chairman added.
A high proportion of hosted buyers, it seems, are coming from outside the United States, and staying in Las Vegas longer.
In terms of co-located industry meetings and events, Bloom said there had also been more than ever, with 10 events concluding before the show proper had opened.
Major events included the IMEX Challenge, SITE Young Leaders Conference and various fundraisers such as Site Nite, the first ever CEIR IMEX America Golf Classic, the CIC Hall of Leaders Gala, plus the MPI Rendezvous which raised US$180k for charity.
The Executive Meeting Forum, an event for senior corporate executives attracted its biggest group of buyers to date, up to 50 from 30 and including high level representatives from Coca Cola, Microsoft, Toyota and Wells Fargo.
“These executives are not typical trade show attendees. It is only because IMEX caters very specifically to their needs, and we run it as a high-value private event that we are able to attract them to the show,” Bloom said.
Bloom also picked out as a show highlight the live satellite interview on Day One with Global CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott, expressing his delight that the meetings industry now had a charismatic new champion. “The fact that Bill accepted the challenge to become a spokesman and advocate for the power of meetings and live events to drive economic growth was a significant moment for us all,” he said.
The 2015 IMEX America is to take place 13-15 October, again at Sands Expo and Bloom said he expected to grow the hosted buyer programme again.
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