IMEX America, the largest meetings industry trade show in the U.S., will be bigger than ever, September 10 – 12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas. IMEX America will bring together around 3,500 suppliers and 4,000 qualified buyers to plan and book everything from high-level incentives to huge association conventions as well as to make important new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and seal critical deals.
So far, 21 new exhibitors have already signed up this year including Tourism Trinidad, Visit Spokane, Visit San Antonio, Destination Cleveland and Rocco Forte Hotels. To date, more than 30 current exhibitors have expanded their presence at the show, including Live National Special Events, Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau, Discover Palm Beaches, Utah and the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Smart Monday helps make you smarter
IMEX America kicks off with a full day of free education on Monday, September 9 with Smart Monday, powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). The day of cutting-edge professional development launches with an inspirational keynote address by artist and TED Talk speaker, Phil Hansen. Having developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand, Hansen decided to “seize the limitation.” “Embrace The Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities” will outline how limitations – for meeting planners, that can be reduced budget, limited resources, rushed timelines, etc. – can be an impetus for creativity and imagination, which ties to this year’s Talking Point. His keynote breaks down resistance to limitations by recognizing their role in driving – not stifling – creativity. More news on all keynotes will be announced by MPI in July.
Hansen’s keynote is part of more than 180 education events over the entire show designed for meetings and events industry professionals at all levels – both buyers and exhibitors. The learning opportunities – deep dives, one to one sessions and hot topic tables – provide fresh thinking on how to make meetings more engaging, embrace new ways of thinking, consider the big issues, and explore innovation and creativity.
Jessica Pettitt, who combines stand-up comedy with diversity training at Good Enough Now, will lead a discussion “Inclusion: beyond the law for meeting professionals,” to learn how to keep attendees feeling safe and welcomes. It also includes how to implement elements to foster inclusive environments. Lynn Wellish, an award-winning hospitality industry trainer and speaker, will discuss how to put lead generation in your comfort zone by offering tips and tricks to overcome sales call reluctance.
The show is especially important as a source for new ideas and for unleashing attendees’ imagination, which ties to the Talking Point for this year’s show. The IMEX Group is championing imagination through encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate with other organizations and the benefits this can bring. Through its Talking Point, IMEX celebrates diversity and also focuses on best practice in event sustainability, including offering education sessions designed to encourage exhibitors and buyers to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation. EventMB, an online resource for event professionals, will present research on Imagination in Events.