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October 8, 2013

Event Preview: IMEX America - Education & New Exhibitors

Next week, IMEX America will take over the Sands Expo in Las Vegas, and we'll be on-site to share all the insights and details. 

In anticipation, here's what to expect from the event, which will run from October 15-17. 


This year's Education Program kicks off on "Smart Monday," October 14, and continues throughout the tradeshow, October 15-17. The program, powered by strategic partner and premier education provider MPI, includes specialist education from a variety of additional association partners. This unique pre-show day of education allows all participants--including buyers, exhibitors and trade attendees--to take part in professional development sessions before the show even opens.

Once the show is underway, the education focus shifts to daily morning keynotes taking place before the start of business, followed by regular sessions at various locations on the show floor for maximum convenience and easy accessibility in between exhibitor appointments. MPI will also run its own full day program of education, which is open to both MPI members and all other show attendees.

We hear that data-mining, new green meetings ideas, leadership success and social media integration are expected to be popular topics.

Also taking place on Smart Monday will be the IAEE CEM Program on ‘Security, Risk and Crisis Management’ plus expert seminars delivered by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the International Special Events Society (ISES) and Site for the first time.

New this year are a number of Smart Monday deep-dive education sessions. These 3.5 hour sessions will be led by Paul Bridle, CEO of the Bridle Group, who will present “Leadership Starts from Within” and David Bancroft-Turner, Director of Training Solutions, Matrix TC, who will advise on “Using 'Personality DNA' to Influence, Sell and Communicate More Effectively”.  A sustainable event planning deep-dive will also be presented by Paul Salinger, VP of Marketing Oracle; Amy Spatrisano, CMP, Principal of MeetGreen®; Gina Broel, Senior Planner for Microsoft and Johanna Walsh.

A new set of deep-dives has also been developed especially for meeting industry professionals with over 15 years’ experience. These sessions will address: “The 10 biggest mistakes to avoid when owning a business”; “The Seven Deadly Sins of Managing People” and “Strategic Marketing.”

Also taking place on Smart Monday, powered by MPI, will be IMEX America’s Association Focus. Now in its third year, this invitation-only event concentrates on the education and networking needs of around 200 association executives with sessions designed and delivered by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership; ICCA and PCMA. 

Once IMEX America is underway, a nine-track education program will take place at five show floor locations including the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Center, a new Networking Hub (sponsored by Turkish Airlines), Tech Hub (sponsored by DoubleDutch) and App Bar (sponsored by QuickMobile). Formats will include informal "campfires" (pictured above) and drop-in workshops, 30-minute seminars as well as 20-minute Lightening Learning Labs aimed specifically at suppliers and destinations.

Data is Hot Topic for 2013: Several industry hot topics are set to dominate the schedule this year, with data mining top of mind for many. Addressing current data practices and challenges will be: DoubleDutch’s “Become a Data-Driven Event Organizer: Tips and Tricks from the Veterans” session, “Event ROI”, delivered by ISES and Aimia’s “Customer-Centric Data, Big Loyalty”.

Example sessions in the Marketing and Communications track include: “Aligning Marketing Strategies with Changing Demographics” by IAEE; “How to Get More People, More of the Time to Buy From You” by Matrix Training & Coaching and a Seven Degrees Communications campfire on “Integrating Social Media into Your Business Development Plan.”

Another hot topic will be technology and apps, where a dedicated track will include sessions on “Why Hybrid Meetings Built Long-Term Engagement” by a team from Aimia; “Evernote Should Be Called Eventnote: An Event Teams' Best Friend,” by DAHLIA and The Meeting Pool, and SongDivision’s “How Spotify and other Music Subscription Services Can Bring Soul To Your Event.”

ISES Partnership Develops In a development of its IMEX partnership ISES will be running a series of educational sessions throughout the show. These include “Quick Thinking Solutions to Last Minute Events with Limited Resources”, “Incorporating Design into Your Event” and “Leveraging Creativity to Produce Innovative New Ideas.”

Scheduled speakers include Debi Scholar, Director of Managed Meetings Strategies for American Express who presents “Mind the Gap: Risk Mitigation in Meetings & Events”; Chief Confidence Officer, Alyssa Dver, who will deliver a campfire on “Need to Know Marketing: Are You Getting The Biggest Bang For Your Marketing Buck?” and motivational speaker and trainer, Robb Braun, who will urge his campfire attendees to understand that “Success (In any Endeavor) is in Your Mind.”

Last year's feedback survey found that 39 percent of hosted buyers rated IMEX's education program as "very important." Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, explained agreed that “it’s essential for us to achieve a balance between business opportunities – the primary focus for buyers and exhibitors – and providing a range of other added-value services and education for our attendees.”

New Booths

More than 80 new booths have been added to this year’s line-up of exhibitors.

The growth in new booths plus a significant rise in demand for more space from previous exhibitors means that overall booth space will have increased by 17 percent compared to 2012. Ultimately, more than 25,00 exhibiting companies are expected to attend.

The new exhibitors represent 11 new hotel groups and 24 new destinations and suppliers from across the USA. Other new booths include Emirates Airlines and Jordan from the Middle East, Hyderabad from Asia, the British Virgin Islands and Bahamas from the Caribbean; as well as a range of new technology suppliers.

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