IMEX America, the annual meetings industry hosted-buyer trade show held in Las Vegas, wrapped up yesterday with 76,000 buyer/exhibitor appointments, a record for the show. This year’s edition -- the ninth -- offered approximately 3,400 exhibitors from 150 countries, including 84 new exhibitors. Among them were Choice Hotels International, Destination Cleveland, Leonardo Hotels, RIU Hotels & Resorts and Tourism Trinidad. While final attendee numbers were unavailable at press time, show organizers estimated prior to the show that 4,000 hosted buyers would attend.
Among new initiatives launched at IMEX America was the new Discovery Zone for experiential activities, which featured multisensory digital displays, digital graffiti walls, interactive photo booths and a meditation station. In total, the show offered 180 education sessions, including 30 Smart Monday classes and a full day of She Means Business, programming dedicated to the role of women and diversity in events.
Other industry firsts that took place during IMEX included the launch of the Event Industry Council’s new Center for Sustainable Events. EIC also announced that they plan to replace the old Apex standards with new EIC standards. In the process, the standards have been consolidated and updated to make them more accessible for the whole industry; IMEX America is one of two industry organizations that has committed to pilot them.
During the closing press conference, IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom announced that the annual IMEX Talking Point for 2020 and 2021 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,” noted Bloom.