A brand new trade show for the US meetings industry was announced in Las Vegas today (October 28, 2009) by Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group. Bloom was joined by Bruce MacMillan, CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), IMEX America’s strategic partner, and Chris Meyer, vice president of sales for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), in announcing the launch of IMEX America – America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings, and events.
The new show will take place at the Sands Expo Convention Center at the Venetian/Palazzo from October 11-13, 2011 and will benefit from a Strategic Partnership with MPI, as well as a broad coalition of industry support. It will be run as part of the IMEX Group of exhibitions and, as such, will be characterized by an uncompromising focus on business, international hosted buyer programs, and industry-wide collaboration.
IMEX America will benefit from the widespread support of the industry’s biggest and most powerful associations. Site (the leading association worldwide for incentive travel and motivational events) will hold their 2011 Annual Conference immediately following the first show from October 13-15, while ICCA (International Congress Convention Association), DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International), AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres), and ECM (European Cities Marketing) will all add their support through a number of marketing and educational initiatives. In addition, ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) will organize dedicated association-led education on the day before the show. Further industry partnerships will be announced in the coming months.
Speaking at the press conference at the Venetian/Palazzo Meetings Hotel, Bloom explained: “IMEX America will deliver the largest-scale, hosted-buyer program in North America where top meetings and incentive buyers from across the US and the world will travel and stay free as our guests. For the inaugural show in 2011, we are forecasting 1,500 hosted buyers, of whom 80 percent will originate from within North America – the balance arriving from across the world. We will also conduct large-scale visitor marketing campaigns to attract several thousand more key decision-makers from across the country.”
Speaking as IMEX America’s strategic partner, Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI, commented: “MPI has a strong history of partnership with the leading players in the global meetings industry. As a long time partner of the IMEX Group, we are honored to be the strategic partner in IMEX America to provide compelling educational experiences to the entire meetings and event industry as part of this tremendous new marketplace opportunity.”
Commenting on the trade show’s chosen location, Chris Meyer, vice president of sales for the LVCVA stated: “We are delighted that IMEX America’s home will be here in Las Vegas. With more than 140,000 hotel rooms, superb transport connections from across the US, and growing direct international links, we are confident that Las Vegas will provide IMEX America with a truly outstanding, long-term home.”
More information about developments and specific trade show initiatives will be announced in the coming months.