Global business events exhibition IMEX America 2019 has been hailed another success, with organisers revealing record results for the ninth edition of the event.
The show came to a close on Thursday 12 September, after three days of meetings and exhibiting at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas.
At the event’s conclusion, IMEX Group chairman Ray Bloom revealed 76,000 pre-scheduled appointments were recorded, representing a 3 per cent increase on last year’s show.
He added, while the official attendance number is yet to be confirmed, it will likely be around 14,000.
“This edition has been our most imaginative yet, and for good reason given that our annual Talking Point and annual research white paper were both devoted to the Power of Imagination,” said Bloom.
He said innovation and creativity were in rich supply at IMEX America 2019.
“In an age that’s marked by an exceptional rate of change, particularly in technology, it’s impressive to see how the whole industry is embracing virtual reality and experiential activations,” he said.
“We’ve seen some spectacular booths and activations this year and are delighted to see so many exhibitors aligning with our annual Talking Point and using it so innovatively each year.
“Their level of investment and commitment to business is remarkable. Equally the feedback about the quality and variety of our education program has been second to none this year.”
Bloom went on to highlight the industry “firsts” that took place during the week, including the launch of the Event Industry Council’s new Center for Sustainable Events.
EIC also announced that they plan to replace the old Apex standards with new EIC standards. In the process the standards have been consolidated and updated to make them more accessible for the whole industry; IMEX America is one of only two events that have committed to pilot them.
The show also saw multiple partners sign the Events Industry Sexual Harassment Task Force Pledge and the announcement of the events industry’s involvement in accelerating the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, making it a stand-out edition.
Other social justice issues, including ECPAT’s drive to encourage meetings and event planners to educate themselves on how to end child prostitution and slavery, were widely discussed at the show.
A number or high-level partner events also took place throughout the event, including the MPI Foundation Rendezvous at Drai’s Nightclub and SITE Nite, held at The Palms.
IMEX America 2019 also had a major focus on health, wellbeing and sustainability. Among the initiatives was the IMEX Run on Wednesday morning, as well as healthier and more sustainable menu options, including Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat hotdogs.
“We’re opening people’s eyes to what’s possible with health, wellbeing, sustainability and better nutrition on the road and during large event,” said Bloom.
“We really appreciate all those partners who have stepped up to help us make these massive strides forward. It’s also noteworthy that, thanks to Sands Expo, this year’s show is 100 per cent powered by renewable energy.”
IMEX America’s 10th edition will take place in Las Vegas in 2020.
Ahead of the event, Bloom announced the annual IMEX Talking Point for 2020 and 2021 is the “big, timely, important topic” of ‘nature’.
“We’ll be exploring what nature can do for us, and what we can do for nature and we’ll be running this theme over two years to give it the traction it deserves,” he said.