IMEX announced new plans for a digital strategy this week by choosing Swapcard to be its preferred virtual and hybrid platform from May until September, right before IMEX America 2021.
This is not a replacement for the iconic Las Vegas-based trade show, nor is it a hybrid version of the show. As IMEX CEO highlights, ”we’re mindful that you can’t simply pick up a tradeshow and transfer it online. Digital content needs to be more nuanced than that for it to be valuable and worthy of attention.”
After the triple cancellation of IMEX’s 2020 and 2021 shows in Frankfurt and the 2020 edition of IMEX America, many event professionals see this year’s IMEX America show as the defacto return to in-person events. What this looks like in practice is still an open question, but the show is seen as a desperately needed sign of international business events returning globally.
With the new November dates, and new Mandalay Bay location, IMEX is keen to stay connected with the industry and build momentum for this key moment, particularly with what is now a full year lacking international trade shows on North American soil.
Despite the inevitable shrinking of the industry, IMEX is counting on Swapcard’s expertise to help generate fresh leads for exhibitors by attracting a new online audience. This would seem a good match considering that Swapcard promotes itself as a platform that “leverages large-scale events as an inception point for long-term online community creation and eCommerce.”
Swapcard’s promise, as stated by CEO Baptiste Boulard, is to deliver, “a rich, immersive virtual event experience and networking opportunities”. With the company boasting artificial intelligence-powered technology and a rich feature set, the expectations are high.
The partnership may go beyond this initial digital experience, but for now, this is its scope. There is a lot of pressure on IMEX to make a strong statement with IMEX America, and this partnership may be key in building the momentum needed to make this possible.
On Swapcard’s side, it’s a unique opportunity to showcase its technology to thousands of event professionals. If the company is to be the go-to provider of AI-powered digital experiences, particularly in hybrid formats, then this is the ultimate user experience test.
We will certainly be following this experience closely in the months to come.