IMEX America sets attendance records

Friday, October 20, 2023


Imex America ended Thursday with a panel of events-industry leaders, but it was numbers that did the talking.

After the 12th edition of the No. 1 events trade show, Imex America producers reported:

Imex Chairman Ray Bloom said show attendance broke pre-pandemic attendance records, something he said he didn’t expect to happen until 2024 or later.

“To do it by now is testament to the rebound of the industry,” he said as the event concluded its three-day run at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas.

Imex CEO Carina Bauer said the show’s investment in technology — including a dedicated phone app — added to its success.

“We had 3,000 meetings scheduled on the app, and 120,000 scans between exhibitors and buyers,” she said.

Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), said the success of Imex America showed it “broadening its lead” over other similar tradeshows. “This show is THE show,” he said.

Hill said the record-setting attendance also reflects a strengthening industry overall.

“Events (in Las Vegas) are up 30% year to date,” he said. “We are back where we were in 2019.”

The LVCVA used the occasion of the Imex show to roll out its new ad campaign targeted at the convention business. Dubbed “Not Invited,” the campaign lets the travel industry know that the city’s 24/7 dynamism is a reason to bring conventions to the city, and not a reason to avoid it.

Hill said the success Imex America has found in Las Vegas over the last dozen years reflects that, along with what he said was the Imex commitment “to make the show better not just bigger.”

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