Proud to say I attended my second consecutive IMEX America conventions here, the only two ever to be in produced in the United States. These are mammoth shows aimed at attracting the industry’s largest audience and generally focused on international meetings and incentive travel both inbound and outbound. I owe my attendance to the lovely people at IHG who sponsored me as a hosted-buyer both last year and this. It is an exceptional use of my time and I imagine, a great return for hosts. It would have to be given the extraordinary cost associated with exhibiting.
But indeed if each hosting organization properly vets their buyers, all suppliers stand to benefit from incredible returns. It’s an appointment based show but buyers are encouraged to stop by booths even without appointments. Given the volume of business that all participants do in this marketplace, all suppliers are able to get their fare share provided the right sales managers are in place. To not exhibit at a show like this is understandable given the cost to do so, but the absences will grow more and more conspicuous as the show takes a stronghold in the US market.
In addition to their enormous exhibit floor, the show is also able to provide cutting edge and relevant education as they collocate with other major shows in the industry. Though planners need to be diligent with their schedules, it’s not terribly easy to make all of the necessary appointments as well as take in a lot of educational sessions.
And to top it all off, the show takes places at the Venetian Palazzo, the hemisphere’s largest hotel. And despite its gargantuan size, they pull off the show at 5-star level with exceptional guest care and without much challenge of getting around. This spectacle must be seen to believe!
I encourage all suppliers who are considering the show to take a leap next year. I promise you won’t be sorry.