The ninth edition of IMEX America, which ran September 10-12, 2019 at Sands Expo® Convention Center in Las Vegas, achieved a new high in the key performance metric of pre-scheduled appointments with 76,000 appointments recorded—a three per cent increase over 2018.
At the show’s closing press conference, Ray Bloom, chairman, IMEX Group, explained that every year the show strives to be its own competition, to deliver richer experiences and better education along with a really strong business pipeline for its exhibitors. “This edition has been our most imaginative yet, and for good reason given that our annual Talking Point and annual research white paper were both devoted to the ‘Power of Imagination’,” he said. “In an age that’s marked by an exceptional rate of change, particularly in technology, it’s impressive to see how the whole industry is embracing virtual reality and experiential activations. I can also testify that innovation, creativity and imagination have been in rich supply here at the Sands Expo this week.”
Bloom praised the show’s partners for rising to the occasion and embracing the theme. “We’ve seen some spectacular booths and activations this year and are delighted to see so many exhibitors aligning with our annual Talking Point and using it so innovatively each year. Their level of investment and commitment to business is remarkable. Equally the feedback about the quality and variety of our education program has been second to none this year.”
Highlights of the show included:
- The launch of the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) new Center for Sustainable Events and its new sustainability standards (IMEX America is one of only two events that have committed to pilot them).
- The announcement of the event industry’s involvement in accelerating the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are the focal point of discussions at the UN Summit in New York this Fall.
- The signing by multiple partners, including IMEX America, of the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force Pledge.
- High-level partner events held during the show, including EIC’s Hall of Leaders and Pacesetters Awards, MPI Foundation Rendezvous and SITE Nite.
Bloom also spoke about the success of the show’s efforts to provide a wider range of healthier food and beverage choices, including Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat hotdogs, together with hits waterwise menu options. “We’re opening people’s eyes to what’s possible with health, wellbeing, sustainability and better nutrition on the road and during large events. We really appreciate all those partners who have stepped up to help us make these massive strides forward. It’s also noteworthy that, thanks to Sands Expo, this year’s show is 100 per cent powered by renewable energy.”
Other themes that ran strong throughout the week include diversity and inclusion, transformation, collaboration and sustainability, all of which featured in the IMEX Imagination research report, sponsored by PSAV. The report has been downloaded by 1,900 events industry professionals to date, a major achievement for authors EventMB.com and IMEX.
IMEX America 2020
In 2020, IMEX America turns 10. Bloom said that everyone was invited to share in the show’s birthday celebrations. “This isn’t about IMEX, it’s about you, your contribution and our collective desire to see this industry flourish, to use its influence and power responsibly and, above all, to grow in a sustainable way.”
In closing, Bloom revealed the annual IMEX Talking Point for 2020 and 2021. “I’m delighted to tell you that, for the first time, we have a Talking Point that will run for two years. It’s a big, timely, important topic, one we can all relate to and one that warrants our full attention; that Talking Point will be ‘Nature’. We’ll be exploring what nature can do for us, and what we can do for nature and we’ll be running this theme over two years to give it the traction it deserves.”
IMEX America 2020 will take place September 15-17, 2020 at Sands Expo Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.