The ninth edition of IMEX America comes to a close in Las Vegas today after a week that left no one in doubt about the strength, vitality and appetite for a business that currently defines the global meetings, incentive travel and events industry.
He was joined by Chandra Allison, senior vice president sales, Sands Expo; Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and John Schreiber CEM, vice president of business sales, LVCVA.
Reporting on the number of pre-scheduled appointments made between buyers and exhibitors, a key performance metric for the show and its attendees, Bloom explained the show had achieved a new high with a 3 per cent increase to 76,000 appointments recorded this week.
He went on to talk about the many industry “firsts” that had taken place during the week, including the launch of the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) 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 only two events that have committed to pilot them.
The signing by multiple partners of the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force Pledge and the announcement of the events industry’s involvement in accelerating the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are the focal point of discussions at the UN Summit in New York later this month, also made this a stand-out edition of IMEX America. Other social justice issues, including ECPAT’s drive to encourage meetings and event planners to educate themselves on how to end child prostitution and slavery, were widely discussed at the show. IMEX is a proud sponsor of the ECPAT 20by20 campaign and has also signed the pledge.
Bloom recapped other highlights of the week, including dozens of high-level partner events such as EIC’s Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards, MPI Foundation Rendezvous and SITE Nite. IMEX’s efforts to provide a wider range of healthier food and drink choices, including Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat hotdogs had proved a big hit, together with its Waterwise menu options. “We’re opening people’s eyes to what’s possible with health, wellbeing, sustainability and better nutrition on the road and during large events. We really appreciate all those partners who have stepped up to help us make these massive strides forward. It’s also noteworthy that, thanks to Sands Expo, this year’s show is 100% powered by renewable energy.”
Other themes ran strong throughout the week including diversity and inclusion, transformation and collaboration and sustainability, all of which featured in the IMEX Imagination research report, sponsored by PSAV. The report has been downloaded by 1,900 events industry professionals to date, a significant achievement for authors EventMB.com and IMEX.