As the fifth IMEX America closed in Las Vegas, 15 October, IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom claimed the 2015 show had set new records, with the organiser’s initial unaudited figures showing 3,100 companies representing 150 countries had exhibited, including 80 new stands.
Bloom claimed a record 3,000 buyers from 54 countries had attended the show, with 10,600 visitors attending the 2015 event at Sands Expo (2014: 10,697). The show, at Sands Expo, saw 66,000 business appointments made.
Bloom reported that over 40 buyers from the corporate sector had attended the annual Executive Meetings Forum, including senior executives from Merck, Cisco Systems and Wells Fargo. Bloom said that together they controlled annual meetings budgets in excess of US$3bn.
Smart Monday, powered by MPI, and supported by association partners, IAPCO, ICCA, ASAE, PCMA, HSMAI, DMAI, SITE, GBTA, GMIC and ECM, had grown, the IMEX chairman said.
“The daily MPI keynote sessions featured very interesting speakers and generated a great response,” said Bloom.
A new educational initiative, the Play Room, had drawn 350 participants on the Monday with many hundreds more visiting when it moved on to the show floor for three days, he added.
The second PCMA Business School at IMEX America, a business improv workshop presented and led by professor Bob Kulhan, of the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, attracted a full house and will now be introduced at the PCMA Business School at IMEX in Frankfurt next April.
The MPI Foundation Rendezvous, the IMEX America Night provided big networking opportunities, while Association Evening and the CIC Hall of Leaders had successfully introduced new formats, said Bloom.
“We are delighted that so many industry events are coming together here using IMEX America as a hub for successful fundraising events such as the MPI Foundation Rendezvous, the CEIR Golf Classic and SITE Nite as well as education activities, social networking and industry meetings,” the IMEX chairman added.
The new wellness initiative, ‘Be Well at IMEX’, included a meditation room and the first IMEXrun Las Vegas – Inspired by Rio de Janeiro, in advance of the Olympics. Sponsored by RioTur and Embratur and organised by sports by tlc, the route took in a section of the famous Las Vegas Strip. Fully booked, 412 exhibitors and buyers rose early to take on the course.
Looking ahead to IMEX in Frankfurt 2016, which takes place at Messe Frankfurt on April 19–21, a month earlier than usual, Bloom reported that demand for the event from exhibitors continues to be “exceptionally high from destinations, venues and service providers”.
He promised to announce educational and hosted buyer initiatives shortly, and highlighted new developments for the show including the first Global Event Summit in Europe in partnership with ISES immediately following IMEX in Frankfurt 2016. Senior event professionals from North America and Europe will visit IMEX before heading to Scotland for three days of high level debate.
Additionally, the IMEX Politicians’ Forum will feature a series of new political Master Classes for government delegates to supplement the existing forum debate.
MPI, meanwhile, announced the following key statistics from its activities at the show in Las Vegas:
More than 30 different education sessions were delivered on Smart Monday, plus the four keynotes each morning during the show proper.
Nearly 900 unique attendees participated in MPI Smart Monday education sessions.
1,200 total attendance for the keynote sessions.
More than 2,000 people attended Rendezvous, the IMEX America Night, an increase of 25% compared to last year.
The MPI Foundation set a new record, raising more than $335,000 during the week of the show.