LAS VEGAS, NV — At the closing press conference for IMEX America 2016 held in the Sands Expo Center, the IMEX Group reported statistics demonstrating a robust showing of exhibitors and hosted buyers at the event. The flurry of record numbers included 3,250 exhibitors, as well as 3,000 hosted buyers representing 139 countries who scheduled more than 60,000 meetings during the show’s three-day run.
IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom described “an important innovation enabling both buyers and exhibitors to be better prepared for their meetings.” Essentially, buyers were asked to attach a profile and detail the reason for their meeting request, a process that resulted in meetings that were more productive and meaningful.
In addition to numerous networking opportunities sponsored by exhibitors throughout Las Vegas, buyers and exhibitors, as well as the IMEX Group itself, participated in the betterment of the host city through charitable and environmentally responsible endeavors. IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer noted that the organization’s planned funding and community outreach with local charity The Shade Tree, a shelter for women and children, was supplemented by sponsorships of the IMEXrun. “The IMEXrun had more sponsors that expected,” explained Bauer, referring to the filled-to-capacity, early morning 5K run along the Las Vegas Strip. Excess funds were contributed to local charitable organizations. (Facilities Media Group’s COO participated in the run during the 2015 show.)
Bauer added that Tourisme Montreal coupled its successful “Breakfast in Bed” program with charitable giving by contributing $10 to The Shade Tree for any hosted buyer that signed up for the popular promotion. For over 20 years, the Breakfast in Bed promotion has been giving planners “more than a branded pen or cocktail,” but rather “something they really need during a busy conference: some quality downtime to recharge their batteries,” said Bauer.
In another charitable effort, the IMEX Group provided a cohort of show attendees the opportunity to assist the local charity Garbage Grabbers tidy up a park before the show commenced. In addition, Hyatt contributed toward breast cancer awareness charities for each meeting scheduled.
Overall, Bauer said she was pleased not only with the success of the show as a platform for business, but also as “an enjoying, fulfilling experience” for attendees.