IMEX will make its U.S. debut in Las Vegas, Oct. 11-13, 2011 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. This worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events has been bringing together global buyers and trade suppliers for eight years in Frankfurt. The U.S. version will target 2,000 hosted buyers from the association, corporate and agency sectors, 80 percent of which will be from North America and 20 percent from the rest of the world.
“IMEX America represents a unique model of trade show in the U.S.,” says IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom. “The fact that the show is hosted buyer-led will be a unique feature in the U.S. market, making IMEX America unlike any other trade show in North America.”
Hosted buyers plan, recommend or make financial decisions for corporate, association and incentive meetings, and must place international as well as domestic business to qualify for the event. Buyers are required to set up a minimum of eight appointments with trade associations and their attendance is tracked to ensure the appointments are kept. This minimum appointment number is often greatly exceeded. At IMEX Frankfurt, some buyers book as many as 20 to 30 appointments per day, resulting in over 50,000 appointments at the show, overall. IMEX America is expected to generate approximately 20,000 appointments.
“Our ability to bring hosted buyers in from both global and domestic markets and allow them to make their own appointments with their choice of exhibitors using our online diary and appointment system is unique,” Bloom says.
The concept is a business-led show that concentrates on the return-on-investment for both buyers and exhibitors. Business opportunities are maximized because buyers are pre-qualified and remain on the trade show floor longer due to their pre-arranged appointments. This model, new to the U.S. but common in other countries, was an indicator that an American version would be well received.
“We knew there was a gap in the U.S. market for a hosted buyer exhibition,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. “Because appointments are made well in advance of the show, exhibitors are not standing around hoping someone will come to their booth.”
The show will include seven forums and 40 educational seminars and workshops. Strategic partner Meeting Professionals International (MPI) will launch a series of six high-level webinars in the fall of 2010 to drive momentum for the event.
“We continue to see strong economic improvement in the industry,” says MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan. “We believe IMEX America can be a catalyst for recovery.”