Your Essential Survival Guide to IMEX America

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

Your Essential Survival Guide to IMEX America

IMEX America is upon us and I already shared with you several reasons why you SHOULD attend this year.

If you decided to attend, I am sure you share the same level of excitement. Yet when faced with attending such a large show, excitement can soon turn into tradeshow fatigue. It is paramount that you plan in advance and that you arrive to Vegas ready to get business done.

You need to make the most of the show that, with its incredible numbers, can be overwhelming to the newbie and experienced attendee alike.

The objective of this post is to give you the tips and tricks to take control of your show experience and make the most of your visit to IMEX America.

Before You Go

Tradeshows can be very tiring for your physical and mental equilibrium. It is extremely important to come prepared with:

The right attire. Formal business clothing is a must but make sure it is comfortable enough to walk for miles. The focus is on shoes. Don’t let your shoes destroy your feet, you need them healthy for several days.

Bring all the tech that you need. I always bring with me an external phone charger, phone cord, laptop charging cable, adapter (if you are travelling from abroad). Also a good idea to bring your purchased movies or ebooks with you as it is inevitable to spend some lone time while travelling to such big events.

Remember all your docs. Bring with you your hotel reservation, transportation information and ID. Also remember your business docs, those include contracts, brochures, forms (although I would expect you to have an online version – it’s 2014 after all) Now in 2015 version.

While you will need only your email to print your badge, it is a good idea to bring your confirmation email – handy at registration.

Inform Your Customers. Let your customers know that you will be at IMEX America, this is valid whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee. Put a badge on your site or add a signature to your email.

Book Meetings. Do not leave meeting scheduling to the last minute. It would be such a shame to miss that vital appointment if you did not plan for it. The official IMEX app comes handy for scheduling, but more on this later.

Keep Yourself Hydrated and Eat Healthy

We all have different objectives when it gets to attending events. Whatever your objective, you have to make sure to be hydrated and eat healthily during the whole show. Pay special focus and attention during the day as it can be very easy to indulge in a few drinks at night.

Some tips include:

Always keep a bottle of water with you. Even better if you have a refillable water bottle, there are water fountains in the restrooms you can use to refill. Beware that booth lighting can make you feel really hot. Vegas also happens to be in the desert which makes hydration a red alert.

Eat healthy. You can find the world’s best restaurants in Vegas. You can also find some stupendous junk food. The saying in medio stat virtus could not be more true on this occasion. You have to be smart to find good food at IMEX America. There is a food court in the Venetian, a little further away, but with more healthy options. Do not over indulge in canapés!

Easy on the coffee!!!. It’s very easy to rely on coffee to make it until the end of the show. Demanding networking and parties scream for coffee the morning after. Just make sure you pace yourself if you don’t want to look like Flipper the dolphin at 5pm. I always recommend a good espresso and Espressamente. Illy is a good place to get your fix. Alternatively the Italia booth always offers some great coffee (of course), make sure to visit them.

Avoiding Crowds

There are a lot of people that love IMEX America like you do. The thing is that Vegas is not only popular for IMEX America, there is a whole crowd of gamblers, newly-weds and party goers you have to deal with.

A major tip few are aware of is that you can walk to the show floor via the second level of the Venetian. While it may be confusing at first, it is much quicker during show days. You can check the Venetian official map here.

Download the Official IMEX App

Event Apps have become a standard requirement for events this size. The IMEX event app is an essential of your 2014 visit.

Hosted buyers can check their appointments or consult their accommodation and travel information. Exhibitors can also check their staff calendars and view or edit appointments accordingly.

If education is one of your objectives, the app is the essential companion to show you what’s on, speakers’ profiles and session locations.

The biggest decider on downloading the app for me is usually the interactive map. You want to know ‘where is what’ without wasting any paper. Also cool to follow tweets and update social networks from the app.

Relax

Not sure about you but I can already feel my feet hurting while overstimulated by the lights and buzz.

It’s a great routine to take a break between appointments and stand visits. Go outside, even for a few minutes, see some daylight. It’s easy to forget to walk through the Palazzo or Venetian, take your mind off the show. That will help you to regain focus and tackle the show again. Breathe….

If you have access to lounges, this is a good time to visit them.

Fix Your Event

We all love education and great speakers, but what about you and your event? One of the greatest new features of IMEX America is the Meet the Experts Clinic. These are 20 minute one-to-one sessions with an industry expert that will be ready to answer all your questions.

Let me tell you that this is quite cool. You are getting targeted advice for your event or business on topics such as social media, leadership, career development, marketing, communications and business development.

But there’s a twist. I will be on the show floor for 2 hours helping you with social media and content marketing. It does not happen often that I do one-to-one consulting as I chose the one-to-many option with the blog. Therefore do not miss the opportunity. You can book your (free) session here.

Ask the IMEX Team

If you plan events for #eventprofs, you have to be super nice and helpful. This is exactly what the IMEX team is. You can reach out to any of them if you have any questions about the show.

Also don’t miss the IMEX Social Team in their red T-shirts. They will help you with connecting online with the show, whether it is your first or 10000th tweet. And don’t forget to use the show’s hashtag: #IMEX14 Update: #IMEX15

Network Like an Insider

Business and Networking are the recurring reasons why we attend trade shows. I want you to be a networking ninja at IMEX America this year. So make sure you have a clear networking strategy before leaving.

Who are you trying to meet? Where do they hangout? What key parties should you attend?

I know that all the cool peeps in event technology are going to be at Fresh Dinner, happening in the super cool and high tech Downtown Vegas. What is the dinner/event you are NOT going to miss? UPDATE: eventtechoftheyear.com reception

In Conclusion

IMEX America is a great show but can be overwhelming for the first-time as well as the seasoned attendee. This guide is your fast pass to access all the goodness IMEX America has to offer, while keeping yourself focused, fit and healthy.

If you have a tip to share from your experience at IMEX America, use the comment section and let everyone else know. Looking forward to meeting you there!

About The Author
Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker and author of The Event App Bible, Engaging Events, Social Media for Events, The Good Event Registration Guide and The Annual Event Trends Report.
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Julius Solaris
Editor, Julius Solaris

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