IMEX America rallies the community as international events return to the US

The global business events community has shown strength in numbers, gathering at IMEX America, which opened 9 November in Las Vegas. Over 3,300 global buyers and over 2,250 exhibiting companies have registered to attend the show, which runs until 11 November at Mandalay Bay.

This year’s IMEX America, the first show in over two years, is the first international event to open after the lifting of the US travel ban. Airlines have reported a jump in bookings to the US and expect an immediate surge in travellers. The show also has a new home, Mandalay Bay, and is celebrating its 10th edition.

“This is the first time in a long time I’ve attended an event with such an international reach – it’s great to see people here from across the world. I’m currently planning for 2022 and 2023 and have meetings on behalf of my US association clients with destinations in Europe and Asia,” Bill Lemmon, a hosted buyer from MCI.

Organisers report two-thirds of existing appointments have been made for the purpose of researching or to discuss a specific event – a clear sign that buyers are planning ahead with the intention of kickstarting business and an eye on 2022 and beyond.

Exhibitors have come from 200 countries with representation from Europe, Latin America and Asia sitting alongside North American exhibitors across the 400,000 sq.ft. (37,161sqm) show floor.

Of the returning exhibitors, 16% have invested in a larger presence at the show.

This year the show welcomes new exhibitors from across the destination, hotel and tech sectors and the dedicated Tech Area of the show is the largest ever.
Using data to design an event and create a personalised experience was covered in Hopin’s session How to promote and market your events in 2022. Companies from the sector exhibiting include Aventri, Bravura Technologies, Cvent, EventsAir, Fielddrive BV, MeetingPlay, RainFocus and Swapcard.

Anthony Kennada, CMO of Hopin, explains: “We’re relatively new as a company, but we quickly understood that IMEX America is the heartbeat of the event industry. It’s clear that the show is a global magnet and we want to be a part of that. There has never been a more important time to come together and figure out how and where to go next.”

Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California, said of Day One of the show: “IMEX has exceeded expectations, just the quality of the show and the people here. It’s amazing – and with a huge engagement factor.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, added: “We last held the show over two years ago and we launch today with a global roster of exhibitors and buyers, over 200 education sessions, plus a new venue. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

“After 10 years Las Vegas really is like a second home, and I know that’s a sentiment that will be shared by thousands of people in our community here this week. For those of us who live and breathe meetings, events and incentive travel it’s remarkable to see or industry burst back into life.

“Numbers, appointments and business deals aside, I’m confident we’ll look back on this 10th edition of IMEX America as a tipping point for the industry. Digital and hybrid clearly have their place, but nothing beats that visceral feeling of being on the show floor meeting partners, buyers and suppliers from all over the globe and knowing that leads directly to job creation, professional development, industry advancement and most important of all, positive economic impact the world over.”

IMEX America continues until 11 November. www.imexamerica.com

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