Imex America promises to be bigger than ever
Taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian, The Palazzo in Las Vegas from September 10 to 12, Imex America will bring together around 3,500 suppliers and 4,000 qualified buyers to plan and book everything from high-level incentives to huge association conventions as well as to make important new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and seal critical deals.
So far, 21 new exhibitors have already signed up this year, including Tourism Trinidad, Visit Spokane, Visit San Antonio, Destination Cleveland and Rocco Forte Hotels. To date, more than 30 current exhibitors have expanded their presence at the show, including Live National Special Events, Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau, Discover Palm Beaches, Utah and the Canadian Tourism Commission.
TED Talk keynote
Imex America kicks off with Smart Monday powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), a dedicated day of free education taking place on September 9. Inspirational artist and TED Talk speaker Phil Hansen launches Smart Monday with his keynote. Having developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand, Hansen decided to ‘seize the limitation’ and embrace imagination (a key topic for IMEX this year). ‘Embrace The Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities’ will outline how limitations – for meeting planners, that can be reduced budget, limited resources, rushed timelines – can be an impetus for creativity and imagination. His keynote breaks down resistance to limitations by recognizing their role in driving – not stifling – creativity.
The Association Leadership Forum created by ASAE: The Centre for Association Leadership, is a free programme for association professions to learn from engaging thought leaders through strategic conversations and collaborative peer learning.
Best-in-class corporate meetings and events practices and innovations will be discussed among corporate meeting planners at the Executive Meeting Forum. Planners can put forward their preferred topics for discussion–from procurement through stakeholder management to meeting design.
Education is a firm focus of Imex America with more than 180 education events over the entire show designed for meetings and events industry professionals at all levels – both buyers and exhibitors. The learning opportunities – deep dives, one to one sessions and hot topic tables – provide fresh thinking on current industry issues, delegate engagement and explore all aspects of innovation, creativity and imagination.
Jessica Pettitt, who combines stand-up comedy with diversity training at Good Enough Now, will lead a discussion on ‘Inclusion: beyond the law for meeting professionals.’ She will advise on how to keep attendees feeling safe and welcome, and detail how to create inclusive environments. Lynn Wellish, an award-winning hospitality industry trainer and speaker, will discuss how to ‘put lead generation in your comfort zone’ by offering tips and tricks to overcome sales call reluctance.
The show is especially important as a source for new ideas and for unleashing attendees’ imagination, Imex’s Talking Point this year. The Imex Group is championing imagination through encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate with other organisations and the benefits this can bring. Through its Talking Point, Imex celebrates diversity and also focuses on best practice in event sustainability, with education sessions designed to encourage exhibitors and buyers to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation. EventMB, an online resource for event professionals, is delivering a session on ‘Unleash your event imagination: how to ask what if?’ and also presenting research on Imagination in Events.
“We’re working to bring the power of imagination to everything we’re doing at Imex America,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the Imex Group. “Absolutely everything – and everyone – is connected or capable of becoming connected and the driving force behind all the positive changes we’re witnessing is the power of the human imagination – a uniquely human quality. So, we’re exploring and celebrating this aspect of being human – one that we frequently take for granted. Think of it as a human superpower; our instinct to ask, without judgement or limitation, ‘What if…’”Registration for Imex America is free of charge and open to all who work in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry.