. September's IMEX America 2020 Is Cancelled | Northstar Meetings Group

September's IMEX America 2020 Is Cancelled

The IMEX Group announced the decision “with great regret and disappointment.” 

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IMEX America 2019

IMEX America, the large hosted-buyer event for the international meetings industry that was scheduled to take place Sept. 15-17 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, has been cancelled. 

“It is with great regret and disappointment that today we are announcing that we have made the difficult decision to cancel IMEX America 2020,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, in a statement released today. "Our industry has been impacted heavily by the global lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know how many of you were looking forward to coming together again in Las Vegas this fall. We're acutely aware that since lockdown began, IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business-events community. We assure you, no one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can't fulfill that expectation."

Bauer outlined the three main reasons behind the decision:

  • First was IMEX’s responsibility to exhibitors to deliver a return on the investment they make in the show. "We do this through our guarantee of delivering a high-quality, large-scale, hosted-buyer program. With corporate travel bans still in place and uncertainty over continued global travel restrictions, we’re sadly in no position to offer that guarantee," stated Bauer.
  • Timing was another consideration. IMEX Group said they made the decision now, when they are still able to reduce the risk and exposure for their exhibitors, partners and suppliers.
  • Global travel restrictions and uncertainties around when they might be lifted also factored into the cancellation. It was impossible for a large proportion of exhibitors, buyers and key industry professionals to commit to attending. 

The move follows the earlier cancellation of the sister show, IMEX Frankfurt, which was to have taken place May 12-14 in Germany. At that time, the IMEX Group launched PlanetIMEX, a virtual online platform that will continue; Bauer promises that the industry can expect to see innovations and plenty of fresh activity on PlanetIMEX during September and beyond.

“We know that nothing we do online can make up for the loss of meeting, celebrating and doing business together face-to-face in Las Vegas at what would have been the 10th anniversary of IMEX America,” said Bauer. "We'll miss shaking your hands, giving our industry friends a well-earned hug and looking you in the eye with a warm smile. However, true to the spirit of IMEX and our heartfelt commitment to the industry we love, we'll do our very best to deliver our customary high-quality content, business connections plus a dash of fun through our online experience until we can all meet again. We will meet again and, like you, we can't wait for that moment to come."