Global Updates

What to expect at IMEX America

Beefed-up educational programme features TED Talk keynote and tailored learning.

This year’s edition of IMEX America, set to take place on 10-12 September at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, will bring together some 3,500 sellers and 4,000 qualified buyers.

More than 20 new exhibitors have already signed up this year, including Tourism Trinidad, Visit Spokane, Visit San Antonio, Destination Cleveland and Rocco Forte Hotels. To date, more than 30 current exhibitors have expanded their presence at the show, including Live National Special Events, Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau, Discover Palm Beaches, Utah and the Canadian Tourism Commission.

IMEX’s Talking Point this year is ‘Imagination’. The IMEX Group is championing this by encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate with other organisations and the benefits this can bring.

We’re working to bring the power of imagination to everything we’re doing at IMEX America,” says IMEX Group CEO, Carina Bauer.

“Absolutely everything – and everyone – is connected or capable of becoming connected and the driving force behind all the positive changes we’re witnessing is the power of the human imagination – a uniquely human quality.

“So, we’re exploring and celebrating this aspect of being human – one that we frequently take for granted. Think of it as a human superpower; our instinct to ask, without judgement or limitation, ‘What if…’”

‘Seize the limitation’ – TED Talk keynote

IMEX America kicks off with Smart Monday, powered by Meeting Professionals International. Inspirational artist and TED Talk speaker, Phil Hansen, will begin the day with a keynote address. Having developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand, Hansen decided to ‘embrace the shake’ and turn his limitation into opportunity; recognising how challenges can drive – not stifle – creativity.

Tailored learning

Education is a firm focus of IMEX America with more than 180 educational sessions – for both buyers and exhibitors. Learning opportunities, such as deep dives, one to one sessions and hot topic tables, provide fresh thinking on current industry concerns.

The Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE, is a free programme for association professions to learn from thought leaders.

Meanwhile, best-in-class corporate meeting and event practices and innovations will be discussed at the Executive Meeting Forum. Corporate event planners can put forward their preferred topics for discussion — from procurement and stakeholder management, to meeting design.

Jessica Pettitt, who combines stand-up comedy with diversity training at Good Enough Now, will lead a discussion on Inclusion: Beyond the law for meeting professionals. She will advise how to keep attendees feeling safe and welcome, and detail how to create inclusive environments. Lynn Wellish, an award-winning hospitality industry trainer and speaker, will discuss how to put lead generation in your comfort zone by offering tips and tricks to overcome sales call reluctance.