IMEX America in a Nutshell: Why Event Professionals Should Attend

September 7, 2018

IMEX America, America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events, will be held Oct. 16 – 18 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now in its eighth year, IMEX America 2018 will bring together more than 12,000 event professionals from around the world.

The event is free for event professionals to attend.  If you regularly plan or manage large events domestically or globally, there are also options to apply to attend as a hosted buyer. All expenses are paid, and in return, planners commit to a minimum number of scheduled meetings with the suppliers of their choice.

IMEX America statistics:

  • 12,389 total participants including exhibitors
  • 3,390 exhibiting companies representing 150 countries
  • 60,000 prescheduled appointments
  • 3,286 hosted buyers from 61 countries
  • 2,566 trade attendees from 62 countries

IMEX America is not your typical trade show. The IMEX Group’s aim is to unite and advance the meetings industry through education, innovation, and fostering connections and at its event, it provides multiple opportunities for those interactions to happen.

There will be educational presentations in the Inspiration Hub on the show floor throughout the event. Content will be grouped into 10 tracks including business skills, creative learning, personal development, technology, and trends and research. IMEX America also features daily keynote and masterclass presentations. These sessions, focused on hot topics within the meetings and events industry, will kick off each day of the event.

While IMEX America officially starts on Oct. 16, “Smart Monday,” powered by Meeting Professionals Internationals (MPI) is a free day of education and networking that immediately precedes the event, on Oct. 15. This includes 180 educational breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics including augmented reality, contract litigation, crisis management and women in leadership.

The Event Design Collective is offering attendees the opportunity to gain the highly regarded Event Design Certificate (EDC) Program - Level 1 of Mastery. A full day workshop will introduce attendees to the Event Canvas Model, a strategic event management model for customer-centric events. The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP) will also join together to present their first pan-industry survey into incentive travel.

IMEX offers an online appointment system, allowing attendees to book meetings with exhibitors. With nearly 3,400 exhibiting companies, this really does help maximize your time. You simply select who you want to meet with, and pick from an available time slot in their schedule. The system also allows you to exchange messages, simplifying communication.  But this doesn’t mean that you can’t still walk through the exhibit hall and meet with interesting vendors on the fly. Allow yourself plenty of time, and wear comfortable shoes!

In addition to the official event activities, as is typical for meetings industry events, there will be an extensive number of by-invitation parties and special events. If you’re attending as a hosted buyer or simply as a qualified planner, your dance card will no doubt fill up quickly. These events can be another great way to expand your professional network while having a great time.  

View the full IMEX America agenda here.

photo credit: IMEX Group

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