10 Reasons To Attend IMEX America

EventMB and IMEX are partnering to bring you a sweet surprise in a couple of months. Here is the first of a series of two posts on why IMEX shows are great events for #eventprofs and why you should attend.

10 reasons to attend IMEX

I attended IMEX Frankfurt for the first time in 2012. It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to be at IMEX America a year later.

It is very difficult to get me excited about trade shows. It is no secret I am not a big fan of them. Lots of screaming, lots of offline spam.

IMEX has managed to fix most of trade shows’ popular pet peeves. And that has a special value. Events for #eventprofs not only need to deliver a great experience, but they also need to carry the intrinsic responsibility of educating peers on how to innovate. IMEX has not let its audience down.

So what is so special about this show to make it an unmissable appointment for #eventprofs? Let’s have a look.

Event Technology Startup Competition

The number one reason for me to attend this year has got to be the new Startup Competition. Startups from all over the globe can submit their product or service for this competition and a jury and the audience on the show floor will vote for the most innovative and market savvy idea.

Startuppers will have a couple of minutes to pitch their idea. The prize is quite awesome:

• They will get a space to exhibit at IMEX America 2015
• They will be featured in the IMEX blog and interviewed for IMEXlive, IMEX Daily Paper.
• They will be reviewed and featured on EventMB

If you are a startup looking for more exposure and a gateway into the meetings industry then enter the competition now!

It’s a Source of Inspiration

I remember I got the idea of writing The Event App Bible,while at IMEX. I was speaking to several event professionals and startups and I immediately recognised the need for such an ebook.

By putting buyers and top notch suppliers in one room, IMEX sparks innovation, inspiration and serendipitous education experiences. This is also reflected online where the newly launched Online Inspiration Hub will give you the freshest news and commentary about our industry.

Powered by the great Scoop.it, the Online Inspiration Hub is a daily read for me, as I know I will find one of the best curated lists of industry news and EventMB articles of course!

Hosted Buyers

IMEX started the hosted buyer revolution (the concept was ‘invented’ by IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, back in the 80s). Whether you like it or not, hosted buyer programmes are changing the way we experience trade shows.

IMEX Hosted Buyer Programmes qualify high quality buyers, and via an online appointment system, make sure that exhibitors have the chance to reach a targeted audience.

I remember walking onto the show floor last year and the general consensus among exhibitors was that great business was being done. Here is a video on how IMEX HBP works.

Socially Connected Event

I am a big fan of IMEX’s social media effort. They surely understand the value of social media when used correctly in B2B environments. As soon as you enter the room, you’ll easily find the @IMEXSocialTeam (with their popular red shirts) ready and eager to help.

The Twitter account during the show is packed with great information about what’s coming up next, but also very responsive to the attendees tweeting their questions and comments.

That’s what you expect from a modern trade show, a recognition of the growing online community of event professionals, who will feel welcomed in their online persona while at the show.

Top Notch Education

Trade shows often struggle to offer good education, it is no secret. Alas, we can’t expect trade shows to be conferences. The action of trade shows revolves around closing deals, networking and inspiration.

IMEX has made a terrific attempt at introducing education (this year’s programme offers 180+ sessions over four days). Each day starts with a featured MPI keynote with top industry speakers. The show floor is packed with piles of knowledge at any of the three education spaces: the Inspiration Center, Tech Hub or Sustainability Hub.

Education tracks include:

– Business Skills
– Creative Learning
– Diversity
– General Education
– Marketing and Communications
– Risk Management/Compliance
– Senior Planner Skills
– Sustainability
– Technology/Social Media
– Trends and Research

There is a topic for you regardless of your background.

Smart Monday

Speaking about education, when you register (by the way registration is free) you get access to Smart Monday, powered by MPI.

The most popular industry associations participate in this one day preshow conference full of great content delivered in innovative formats such as the World Cafe.

If you are looking for career development this is a must-attend event that also delivers credits toward your continuing education hours.

A Tech Savvy Exhibition

One of my favourite things about IMEX is the strong presence of tech companies on the show floor. I remember the first show I attended and the number of tech suppliers was limited to a little corner that few visited.

I love to see the tech scene cannibalising the floor. It means it is a good time for the industry and that #eventprofs are ready to innovate.

This year the exhibition will feature over 40 meetings and event technology suppliers.

Discounted Flight and Hotel

Not much to add here. Awesome deals available for all attendees with Star Alliance and host hotels, The Venetian / The Palazzo.

For registered attendees a variety of discounts and special deals are available. Vegas shows, helicopter rides to the Grand Canyon and special deals at museums and shopping are all available.

Great savings to be made here to enjoy the best Vegas has to offer.

Attention for Sustainability

IMEX’s continued effort to bring sustainability issues to the attention of the wider event industry is simply remarkable. The Sustainability Hub is a must-visit during your packed day.

The mission of the Sustainability Hub is to raise your Green IQ. That happens through a series of seminars with industry visionaries and experts.

This year you will be able to tour the most sustainable destinations to make a ‘greener’ choice for your event. I will also be making my sustainability pledge on the green pledge wall. Show your commitment and join the sustainable revolution.

IMEX Challenge

The IMEX Challenge is a biennial CSR project for the meetings industry and this year it will take place in Las Vegas on 11-12 October, over the weekend prior to the trade show.

Over two days a team of volunteers will help the Shade Tree of Las Vegas fulfil its mission to provide safe shelter to homeless and abused women and children in crisis and to offer life-changing services promoting stability, dignity, and self-reliance.

They will do this by rebuilding the Shade Tree’s healing garden, which is in disrepair and in need of an overhaul. The Challenge’s goal is to renovate and create a peaceful healing garden for the women and children of the shelter to enjoy during their time there.
Join or donate to this worthy local charity here.

Party

One of the most pressing reasons to attend the event (that few like to confess to) – IMEX is packed with parties and networking opportunities. Yes deals will always happen on the show floor, but business relationships are often born at informal events.

One highlight this year is the MPI Foundation Rendezvous (followed by the IMEX America party – ticketed separately).

Dress to impress and get ready for entertainment and networking in a relaxed environment.
Pop-up networking events are also must-attends, it’s usually a good idea to follow the hashtag #IMEX14 to keep yourselves in the loop.

Keep an eye on the Show at a Glance page too (and the IMEX App, of course).

In Conclusion

I can’t wait to make my way to Vegas this year and I hope you can join me and several thousand other event pros at the Sands Expo.

The energy level is through the roof, appointments are being scheduled, the whole industry is coming to Vegas to celebrate the world of events, you have to make it, no excuses!

About The Author
Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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