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IMEX America kicks off in Vegas

Business Events Australia out in force at IMEX America 2018

IMEX America, one of the world’s leading exhibitions for international business events planners, has kicked off in Las Vegas, with business deals, live activations and education on the agenda.

Taking place at Sands Expo at The Venetian on 16-18 October 2018, the show will see more than 5500 meeting planners connect with more than 3000 exhibitors from 130 countries.

Business Events Australia is in attendance with 33 partners who will meet with influential buyers responsible for organising corporate meetings, incentive travel programs and association events.

Australia will be showcasing its new Business Events Bid Fund Program (BFP), which has already helped secure six events for Australia since its launch in July.

Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan says IMEX America is a consistent lead-generator for the Australian business events industry.

“With Australia’s track record in business events delivery coupled with our winning combination of unique natural landscapes and friendly welcoming people we are already on the radar as an ideal business events destination,” he says.

“The BFP will provide even more reasons to choose Australia and enable business event decision makers to discover first-hand how the combination of the destination’s unique attributes delivers exceptional business outcomes.”

Cocktails on the show floor

Down to business

A number of significant partnerships have already been sealed, including a destination agreement between the Rwanda Convention Bureau, based in East Africa, and the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO).

The partnership will further IAPCO’s goal to expand its outreach in Africa and has the potential to bring major international association business to the region.

Meanwhile, BestCities partners Dubai and Houston have collaborated with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to ensure continued success for the annual ICCA Congress, which will take place in Dubai this November and in Houston in October 2019.

Representatives from Dubai Business Events, Visit Houston and ICCA gathered at IMEX America to discuss legacy and knowledge transfer for associations and to initiate the countdown for the 2018 ICCA Congress.

“For the first time in history, ICCA is promoting two congresses in different destinations in the same period, with the hosts joining forces to showcase the ICCA Congress as a leading event in the meetings industry calendar,” says interim CEO of ICCA, Dennis Speet.

“This is a fantastic example of cities looking beyond their own interest at the benefit of the organiser and symbolises the collaborative spirit of our both industry and the ICCA community.”

A delegate enjoys a virtual ride at the Live Zone.

Exciting activations at the Live Zone

The Live Zone at IMEX America will host a range of live entertainment elements, including magicians, painters, musicians, photographers and even a giant shoe of champagne.

The zone aims to showcase the power of experiential entertainment as a tool to grow engagement, connections and knowledge sharing.

Eva Deschryver, a buyer from Porta Mundi, Belgium, says the Live Zone is extremely beneficial for her.

“I’m increasingly looking into experiential activities that deliver the wow factor – whether it’s engaging audiences during the event or offering them a simple souvenir such as a fun photo to take away with them,” she says. “These booths are really inspiring.”

Education sessions form part of the three-day event.

Education sessions

More than 250 education sessions will also take place during IMEX America, which have been designed to tap into current industry developments and trends.

Sessions topics include business skills, marketing, sustainability and technology – all key areas of focus for planners, says delegate Amanda Vaz from Boston Scientific.

“Education is a real priority for me,” she says. “I rarely have time to top up my learning during busy days at work, so I set aside time in my schedule during this show to hone in on the sessions relevant for me, such as trends, legal issues and business skills.”

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