IMEX America – trade show’s unique model to set new benchmark in US

IMEX Group chairman, Ray Bloom, announced his delight at the way plans and partnerships were developing for the group's new show, IMEX America, during a press conference on day two of IMEX in Frankfur

IMEX America – trade show’s unique model to set new benchmark in US

IMEX Group chairman, Ray Bloom, announced his delight at the way plans and partnerships were developing for the group’s new show, IMEX America, during a press conference on day two of IMEX in Frankfurt today (Wednesday, May 26). He was joined by Bruce MacMillan, CEO of MPI (Meeting Professionals International), IMEX America’s Strategic Partner and major educational provider.

Bloom said: “IMEX America represents a unique model of trade show in the US. As a result we have had an extremely strong response and expectations are already very high. As discussions developed with a variety of partners over the first quarter of this year, it became clear that we could confidently announce a larger number of hosted buyers than first thought. Conference Direct, HelmsBriscoe, HPN, Starwood Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Maritz, MPI, ASAE, and PCMA are just some of the partners who have committed to bringing their most important buyers in good numbers. As a result, we now intend to host 2,000 hosted buyers from the association, corporate, and agency markets to Las Vegas in October 2011.”


Maritz Travel, the leader in designing and delivering effective meetings, events, and incentive travel programs (ME&I), also has announced today that it will run its annual senior-level Customer Event during IMEX America. This event will attract up to 100 of Maritz Fortune 500 corporate clients, as well as Maritz account managers all as hosted buyers.

“Maritz is excited to be able to integrate our annual customer event with this new industry tradeshow,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO, Maritz Travel. “It allows our clients to access the most advanced content from Maritz’ leading experts and provides the opportunity to network with the best global suppliers in the ME&I industry. The quality of the content and educational programs available through IMEX America are aligned with Maritz’ goal of helping our clients leverage meetings, events, and incentive travel programs to reach their business objectives.”

Bloom continued: “We are guaranteeing that 80 percent of our hosted buyers will come from North America and will place business internationally, as well as domestically. The remaining 20 percent of buyers will come from other world markets. This will guarantee exhibitors access to thousands of US buyers from the enormous American outbound market, as well as the best buyers placing business within the US – both from the domestic market, as well as from across the world.

“Our unique visitor marketing program will also be extensive. We will place a special emphasis on the catchment area around Las Vegas and the West Coast region. Agreements with a number of partners, including Northstar as our major media partner, mean we have already identified 300,000 planners who fit our criteria.

“The fact that the show is hosted buyer-led will be a unique feature in the US market, making IMEX America unlike any other trade show in North America. The scale and quality of the buyer program, the education program, and the number of its industry partnerships will be unrivaled. Our ability to bring hosted buyers in from both global and domestic markets and allow them to make their own business appointments with their choice of exhibitors using our online diary and appointment system is unique. In the last two months leading up to IMEX here in Frankfurt, for example, buyers made over 40,000 individual appointments with exhibitors. Numbers will obviously be different initially in the US, but it is this ability to make their own appointments before the show even opens that will set IMEX apart and give it enormous value and return on time invested for the business-minded buyer and exhibitor.”


Bloom also explained that IMEX America’s many industry partners and affiliated associations are confident of this strategy and already making plans to build the show into their marketing and education programs.

MPI’s Strategic Partnership with IMEX America means the association has the role of major educational provider for the three-day show. As a result, MPI will be running high-level seminars each morning before the show starts, together with a dedicated day of education the day before it opens, and its popular MPI Foundation Rendezvous party. In addition, from 2011, it will no longer be operating its marketplace tradeshow alongside WEC (World Education Congress) each year but encouraging all members to make IMEX America their annual show of choice. Said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI, “We are putting the collective buying power of MPI members, estimated to be US$16.4 billion, behind our exclusive strategic partnership with IMEX America, as well as designing a uniquely co-created educational experience for buyers and sellers.”

MPI and IMEX America will also be launching a series of six high-level webinars in the autumn of 2010, underlining the strategic partnership and the major education role of MPI while creating momentum for the inaugural event.
Bloom explained: “We already have a total of 40 different educational events, seminars, and workshops lined up in the schedule, with seven additional forums, which include a Politicians Forum similar to the one we run every year in Frankfurt, plus a continuation and expansion of the Future Leaders Forum, which we run in partnership with MPI. I am also delighted to announce today that we will be launching a Wild Card competition for IMEX America and offering free exhibition places plus a generous package of marketing support to two previously unknown destinations from the Americas region.”

Other indicators of confidence and support show in DMAI’s (Destination Marketing Association International) recent decision to make IMEX America an Alliance Partner and officially endorse the tradeshow. In addition, Site has chosen to hold its annual conference immediately after the show, together with Site Nite North America the evening before. Other key association partnerships have also been confirmed with ASAE, PCMA, ICCA, IAEE, ECM, AIPC, CIC, JMIC, and GMIC. MeetGreen are confirmed in the role of Official Sustainability Consultant, while the Alan Waxler Group will be the show’s official ground handlers.

Several partners and exhibitors have already given their resounding approval to the launch of IMEX America. They include Angeline Lue, director of sales and marketing, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, who said: “IMEX America creates an ideal platform for us to target the North America market more effectively. Based on the track record of IMEX and our success in generating leads at their shows, we are filled with anticipation at the potential this opportunity presents.”

Greg Ortale, president and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau has also given his support saying: “I am genuinely excited about IMEX America. Houston has had great success at IMEX Frankfurt because the organizers understand the importance of delivering value to their exhibitors. I strongly suspect the new tradeshow will meet or exceed those same exhibitor value standards.”

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