The sixth IMEX America was the largest ever, according to IMEX group chairman Ray Bloom, speaking as the event drew to a close 20 October in Sands Expo, Las Vegas.
Bloom hailed a record number of exhibiting companies – 3,250, a 4.8% increase on 2015 – representing 139 countries. There were 69 new stands.
Over 3,000 hosted buyers attended the show, also a record, said Bloom, who added there had been 60,000 individual appointments and booth presentations, and 10,000 attendances by buyers at group appointments. This, he claimed, represented a 5% increase in appointments on 2015.
This year IMEX America buyers were asked to specify the reason for their meetings, as well as being invited to attach a profile or mini-RFP to their appointment. The proportion of appointments with RFPs attached increased from 51% of appointments in 2015 to 69% this year as a result, said Bloom, who called the change “an important innovation enabling both buyers and exhibitors to be better prepared for their meetings. It has made a great impact on the appointments taking place on the show floor”.
Michelle Romein, director of corporate events, Americas, for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, said the new appointment profiles and types had been “valuable in helping allocate the most appropriate person to the meeting”.
Among show highlights, Bloom picked out the Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI), attended by Bruce Davidson, director of the US Office of SAFETY Act Implementation. “There is no greater issue facing our industry and to start the process of agreeing a comprehensive set of nationally recognised event security guidelines and standards is an extremely important and valuable step for everyone,” said Bloom.
A series of event tech, innovation and sustainability tours were among initiatives in the show floor education programme, which offered 269 sessions, 86% of which were assigned with CEs for CMP certification, more than ever before.
A new Senior Planner Open Forum was successfully introduced for those with 10 years’ plus experience.
Bloom reported that more than 1,000 delegates attended educational events on Smart Monday, powered by MPI, and supported by association partners.
More than 40 buyers from the corporate sector who, between them, control annual meetings budgets in excess of $3.4bn, attended the annual Executive Meetings Forum. The group included senior executives from Cisco Systems, EY Group, Wells Fargo and BP.
Popular events off the show floor included SITE Nite North America, the CIC Hall of Leaders Reception, CEIR Golf Classic and the MPI Foundation Rendezvous, the IMEX America Night.
IMEX America CSR & Sustainability activities included Garbage Grabbers-Clean Up Las Vegas on Monday, a #GreenCaffeine campaign as well as a CSR & Sustainability Showcase at the show entrance, while this year’s IMEXrun attracted over 800 runners.
DoubleDutch has been announced as the new mobile solution provider for IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America and Bloom announced the dates for IMEX America in 2019 (10–12 September) and 2020 (15–17 September).