There was a record number of exhibiting companies – 3,250, a 4.8% increase on 2015 - representing 139 countries. They included 69 new booths and another 69 booths had expanded year on year. Together they created the largest ever IMEX America.
Well over 3,000 hosted buyers attended the show this year, also a new record.
An important new pinnacle was reached in the number of appointments. More than 60,000 individual appointments and booth presentations were made, while there were 10,000 attendances by buyers at group appointments. This represented a 5% increase in appointments on 2015.
This year IMEX America introduced a new feature to its appointment scheduling system – appointment types. When making an appointment buyers were asked to specify the reason for the meeting; as well as being invited to attach a profile or mini-RFP to their appointment.
This year IMEX America introduced a new feature to its appointment scheduling system – appointment types. When making an appointment buyers were asked to specify the reason for the meeting; as well as being invited to attach a profile or mini-RFP to their appointment. ￼
The result was that the proportion of appointments with RFPs attached increased significantly from 51% of appointments in 2015 to 69% this year.
Ray Bloom commented: “This is 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 validated Bloom’s observation. “The new appointment profiles and types have been valuable to us, particularly in helping us to allocate the most appropriate person to the meeting.”
Important initiatives and innovation
The Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) was launched at the show, attended by Bruce Davidson, director of the U.S Office of SAFETY Act Implementation. Ray Bloom said; “There is no greater issue facing our industry and to start the process of agreeing a comprehensive set of nationally recognized event security guidelines and standards is an extremely important and valuable step for everyone.”
A series of event tech, innovation and sustainability tours were among the many new initiatives in the show floor education program which this year offered a record 269 sessions. 86% of these sessions 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 and the daily MPI keynotes attracted great interest and gathered strong positive feedback.
Ray Bloom reported that more than 1,000 delegates attended educational events on Smart Monday, powered by MPI, and supported by association partners, IAPCO, ICCA, ASAE, PCMA, HSMAI, DMAI, SITE, GBTA, GMIC and ECM. The new programs for Association Focus and the Executive Meeting Forum and this year’s PCMA Business School were all notable successes that day.
More than 40 leading buyers from the corporate sector who control annual meetings budgets in excess of $3.4billion attended the annual Executive Meetings Forum. The group included senior executives from Cisco Systems, EY Group, Wells Fargo and BP.
The introduction of the Zenvoy business networking software to help participants make connections had generated more than 3,000 introductions so far and more are expected over the coming months. In addition, IMEX America is now a magnet for the industry. Ray Bloom says “Many people say to me ‘everyone in the industry is here this week.’
There is great camaraderie here, not only around the show floor but also at key events such as SITE Nite North America, at the CIC Hall of Leaders Reception, CEIR Golf Classic and last night’s superb MPI Foundation Rendezvous, the IMEX America Night.’
IMEX America continued to develop its CSR & Sustainability activities, introducing Garbage Grabbers-Clean Up Las Vegas on Monday, a #GreenCaffeine campaign as well as a CSR & Sustainability Showcase at the show entrance. All these initiatives had a great impact while this year’s IMEXrun attracted over 800 runners.
To further enhance the buyer experience, the IMEX Group has appointed DoubleDutch as the new mobile solution provider for IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America. DoubleDutch is the global leading provider of event apps and the Live Engagement Platform that allows attendees to engage and participate in conversations real-time via the digital channel.
Before concluding Ray Bloom said; “This has been an exciting week for doing business, learning and networking. But also the high quality of the booths and the tremendous energy of the exhibitors and buyers has made an enormous contribution. They have created a great atmosphere around the show.’
Bloom also announced the dates for IMEX America in 2019 (10 – 12 September) and 2020 (15 – 17 September).
Ray Bloom was joined on stage by show partner executives Matthew Marcial, VP of Education and Events at MPI, Chris Meyer, VP of Global Business Sales for the LVCVA and Chandra Allison, Vice President of Sales for The Venetian®|The Palazzo®.