The ninth edition of IMEX America drew to a close in Las Vegas 12 September, with IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom hailing a new high with a 3% increase to 76,000 appointments recorded over the week.
“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,” Bloom added, speaking at the show’s closing press conference.
He was joined by Chandra Allison, Senior Vice-President Sales, Sands Expo; Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and John Schreiber CEM, Vice-President of Business Sales, LVCVA.Bloom spoke about many industry “firsts” that had taken place during the week, including the launch of the Event Industry Council’s (EIC) new Center for Sustainable Events. EIC also announced that they plan to replace the old Apex standards with new EIC standards, updated to make them more accessible for the whole industry. IMEX America is one of only two events that have committed to pilot them, said Bloom.
The signing by multiple partners of 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, which are the focal point of discussions at the UN Summit in New York later this month were also key moments at the show.
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.
Bloom pointed to other highlights of the week, including partner events such as EIC’s Hall of Leaders and Pacesetter Awards, MPI Foundation Rendezvous and SITE Nite.
Bloom also praised venue Sands Expo for enabling this year’s show to be 100% powered by renewable energy.
Other themes ran strong throughout the week including diversity and inclusion, transformation and collaboration and sustainability, all of which featured in the IMEX Imagination research report, sponsored by PSAV.
Next year, 2020, will see the 10th edition of IMEX America and Bloom announced that there would be one IMEX Talking Point for 2020 and 2021: “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,” said Bloom.