After skipping a year due to the pandemic, IMEX America, the largest global meetings industry trade show, returned to Las Vegas Nov. 9-11. The tenth edition of the event, held in its new home at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, attracted 3,300 buyers and more than 2,200 exhibiting companies. Though numbers were down from the 2019 show, when the event drew 4,000 buyers and 3,400 exhibitors, this year’s IMEX was a joyful reunion for the industry, and many suppliers, including IHG Hotels & Resorts, reported strong business during the show.
During the event, organizers announced that IMEX America 2022 has been moved to Oct. 11-13. The show originally was scheduled to take place Oct. 25-27. "The dates of IMEX America 2022 were recently changed from the end of October to the middle of October," explained Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO. "The new dates were always our preferred dates, but were initially booked for another event." When those dates became available, she said, the show was moved.
Reflecting on the 2021 show, Bauer said, “This IMEX week has given us all reason to believe the industry’s future is bright; It’s been heartwarming and joyful to hear so many comeback stories. London & Partners, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and dozens more, including hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental, have all reported strong business pipelines right through Q3 next year and into 2025.”
More than 200 education sessions were offered and several new initiatives were launched. Among them was the People & Planet Village, featuring sustainability sessions, advice, and a refreshing ‘misfit’ fruit and vegetable juice.
Strong health and safety protocols were followed. All participants had to show proof of full vaccination (with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization) via the CLEAR app. Mask-wearing was voluntary on the trade show floor, but required in all other areas of the resort.
“Like so many of you, our team worked long and hard to make IMEX America 2021 come to fruition,” stated Bauer at the end-of-show press conference. “We were buoyed up knowing you were watching, waiting and willing it into life, because it means so much for our global industry. We couldn’t have done it without you. More importantly we do it for you because we believe so strongly in the economic value and positive impact of this industry all over the world. This week has signaled that, collectively, we’re back, and we’re back in business. Even if you weren’t in the room, we know you felt it from afar.”