IMEX America 2017 to major on the power of experience

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Raising the experiential power of the 7th annual IMEX America, October 10–12 in Las Vegas, meeting pros from the US and around the world can expect to see and feel hundreds of fresh learning and design approaches they can “take back to the ranch”. They can also expect to meet even more exhibitors to connect and do business with, plus exposure to latest industry trends and issues.

The World of Meetings All in Vegas

During the IMEX week – which many buyers call one of the most productive of the year – over 3,200 organizations will highlight products, services, and destinations hailing from across North America and around the world and spanning all major meeting and event industry sectors, including incentive travel.

Pumping up the business value again this year, to date over 44 expanded booths and almost 50 entirely new booths are expected, with more to come before show time.

Those taking bigger booths for the 2017 edition include Hungary, Long Beach CVB, Panama, the Philippines, Tommy Bahama, Evenium, 3D Cruise Partners, IHG and the Greek National Tourism Organization to name a few.

Brand new to IMEX America this year are everyone from the Global Incentive DMC, Viking Cruises, the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, Havana Strategies, Prince Hotels, Rwanda Convention Bureau, Moscow and Groups360 … to a wide range of tech players. They include PigeonLab Pte, Events Ready and Lead Interaction who will all be exhibiting in the show’s dedicated Tech Pavilion.

Several companies are also hosting their own booths for 2017 after having been booth partners in the past including: Ray Ban Events, the Mob Museum, Turkish Airlines, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Diplomat Beach Resort.

Inflatable Rooms, White Space and brand new ‘Live Zone’

Equally dynamic as the business conducted at the show is the learning scene, and this year won’t disappoint in terms of new features and ideas.

Inflatable domes will be used for seminars and workshops at the Maritz sponsored Inspiration Hub – giving planners a vivid sense of potential meeting rooms of the future. As a result, the Inspiration Hub is expanding in a new area next to the food court – Hall G.

Alongside the growing Hub, IMEX is also launching a brand-new concept – the Live Zone. On Smart Monday, October 9, Gary Bordman, Chief Interactive Designer and founder of AE & EC will aim to spark creativity in a Live Zone Open House by showcasing LEGO furniture, games and more, all intended to inspire planners to step up their understanding and use of dynamic, interactive meeting and event experiences.

Then Tuesday – Thursday a number of performers and experiential artists will be showcased during Lunchtime Live Zone sessions from 11.30 am – 2.30 pm. These “free tasters” will allow planners to see, touch, hear and feel new-to-the-show products and services, each focused on creating lasting memories and deeper engagement. Sand Man, Joe Castillo, Heidi Schwartz of Paint Your Event plus the song-writing team from Song Division will be among those demonstrating their unique skills and abilities. BYOL (bring your own lunch.)

Complimenting this emphasis on ‘the power of live’ is Thursday morning’s MPI keynote by Brent Bushnell, CEO of Two Bit Circus. As a master of interactive experiences and immersive entertainment, Bushnell’s presentation offers a chance to delve further into all aspects of this powerful trend.

True to its talking point theme for 2017 – Purposeful Meetings – the IMEX team is offering a white space area close to the Inspiration Hub. ‘White space’ is the intentional design of time and space to allow people to chill out, clear their minds or take time to purposefully digest information. At IMEX attendees are also invited to use the IMEX white space to brainstorm with speakers.

Addressing this emerging topic in Tuesday’s MPI keynote will be Juliet Funt, CEO of WhiteSpace at Work. Funt is on a mission to embed the benefits of white space culture into organizations the world over. Her keynote will explain this unique, sanity-saving concept in detail; a rallying cry that super-stressed meeting planners are sure to respond to.

PCMA Business School urges ‘innovation more obtainable than you think’

Last but not least – and before the show floor even opens – Smart Monday, October 9, will encourage attendees to flex their innovation muscles at the ever popular PCMA Business School with Cleveland Justis, Executive Director of the UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. As an expert in getting ideas from the lab into the real world, Cleveland’s Business School session entitled “Innovation: It’s More Obtainable Than You Think” will focus on how to incorporate and increase innovation in day-to-day work.

Over 1,000 attendees traditionally take part in Smart Monday, powered by MPI. This unique pre-show education day features a diverse, high quality learning and development program, the majority of which is accredited.

eTN is a media partner for IMEX.