As reports continue to fill the meeting/event industry media and the social media posts of its members, in the wake of the record-breaking IMEX America last week, it’s worth examining the opportunities available to you through hosted buyer programs.
What did you miss by not attending IMEX America? First off, they were immersed with more than 13,000 industry colleagues and 3,500 exhibitors representing 150 countries. Education on offer—including Smart Monday, Powered by MPI, and daily keynote speakers—ran the gamut through more than 250 sessions and 150 speakers. (To explore a thorough, on-site experience from this year’s IMEX America, read Rich Luna’s MPI post.)
There is a litany of live events that planners can attend for free thanks to the hosted buyer format. Find the one best suited for your needs (suppliers you may legitimately work with in the future, education sessions/keynote speakers, location, etc.), sign up and start planning.
RELATED STORY: 10 essential IMEX America hosted buyer tips
Starting with “Identify your priorities,” the above post offers advice for planners to be prepared entering the hosted buyer realm. If you qualify as a fully hosted participant, sure there will be no (or minimal) direct out-of-pocket expense for you, but your time certainly has a value—and to get the most out of going to a massive event such as IMEX America, you need to do your homework and actively engaging with the community before, during and after the event.
So, you missed IMEX America 2018. Well, now’s the perfect time to start planning a hosted buyer visit to IMEX in Frankfurt next spring (May 21-23) and/or MPI’s World Education Congress next June in Toronto, which will also have a robust hosted buyer element.