IMEX America landmarks after US border opening

Published on : Thursday, November 11, 2021

The global business events community has shown strength in numbers, gathering at IMEX America, which opened today in Las Vegas. Over 3,300  global buyers and over 2,250 exhibiting companies registered to attend the show, taking place November 9 – 11 at Mandalay Bay, and are set to pave the way for the regeneration of the industry.

This year’s IMEX America, the first show in over two years, is a milestone for the sector as the very first international event to open after the lifting of the U.S. travel ban. The show also has a new home, Mandalay Bay, and is celebrating its 10th edition, making the next few days in Las Vegas a very special occasion.

Doing business sits at the heart of the show and this year is no exception 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 kickstarting business and an eye on 2022 and beyond.

In another sign of confidence for the sector, the 2,250+ exhibiting companies have a truly global reach, spanning over 200 countries with representation from Europe, Latin America and Asia sitting alongside North America across the show floor (all 400,000 sq ft of it!).

Of the returning exhibitors, 16% have invested in a larger presence at the show – some, including Baltimore, EventsAir, Boise and St Louis, have increased their stand space by 100% or more compared to the previous show in 2019.

This year the show welcomes new exhibitors from across the destination, hotel and tech sectors from A to (almost) Z including: Amadeus River Cruises, Hopin, Louisiana, MeetingPlay, Minneapolis, Iberostar Hotel & Resorts and VenuIQ. The dedicated Tech Area of the show is the largest ever, reflecting the sector’s growing demand for, and investment in, event technology.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says that they last held the show over two years ago and they launch today with a global roster of exhibitors and buyers, over 200 education sessions, plus a new venue. After 10 years Las Vegas really is like a second home, and I know that’s a sentiment 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 travel it’s remarkable to see our industry burst back into life.

The numbers, appointments and business deals aside, I’m confident we’ll look back on this 10th edition of IMEX America as a tipping point for the industry. Digital and hybrid clearly have their place, but nothing beats that visceral feeling of being on the show floor meeting partners, buyers and suppliers from all over the globe and knowing that leads directly to job creation, professional development, industry advancement and most important of all, positive economic impact the world over.

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