Successful event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas is a game changer in the industry
LAS VEGAS - IMEX America has opened the doors of the 2021 edition yesterday with more than 3,300 global buyers and more than 2,250 exhibiting companies present. The three-day event runs until tomorrow and there are key meetings for the regeneration of the industry.
The convention marks a milestone for the industry, it is the first internationally to be held after the lifting of the travel ban to the US The show also has a new venue, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
With two-thirds of existing appointments made for the purpose of researching or discussing a specific event, a clear sign that buyers are planning ahead with the intention of boosting business and an eye on 2022 and beyond.
In another sign of confidence for the sector, the more than 2,250 exhibiting companies have a truly global reach, spanning more than 200 countries with representation from Europe, Latin America and Asia alongside North America in a surface area of 400,000 square feet.
Of the exhibitors who returned, 16% have invested in a greater presence at the fair; some, including Baltimore, EventsAir, Boise and St Louis, have increased their booth space by 100% or more compared to the previous show in 2019.
This year the fair welcomes new exhibitors from all A to (almost) Z technology, hotel and destination sectors, including: Amadeus River Cruises, Hopin, Louisiana, MeetingPlay, Minneapolis, Iberostar Hotel & Resorts and VenuIQ. The dedicated technology area of the fair is the largest in history, reflecting the growing demand and investment of the sector in event technology.
Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, says: “The last time we held the fair was more than two years ago and we launched it today with a global list of exhibitors and buyers, more than 200 educational sessions, plus a new venue. To say I'm excited is an understatement!
“After 10 years, Las Vegas is truly like a second home, and I know that is a feeling that will be shared by thousands of people in our community here this week. For those of us who live and breathe meetings, events and incentive trips, it is extraordinary to see our industry come alive again.
“Numbers, appointments and trade deals aside, I am confident that we will view this 10th edition of IMEX America as a turning point for the industry. Digital and hybrid clearly have their place, but nothing beats that visceral feeling of being on the show floor meeting with partners, buyers and suppliers from around the world and knowing that that leads directly to job creation, career development, the advancement of the industry and most important of all positive economic impact around the world."