Citing "strong demand" from attendees at the inaugural IMEX America trade show last October, the IMEX Group will expand and enhance "Smart Monday" — its free pre-show, one-day educational event — at this year's gathering, it announced yesterday.
"Last year industry professionals were delighted — and perhaps a little surprised — when they realized how strong the education program was," said IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer. "Now that the concept is well established and we have proven there is strong demand, we are really excited to be planning for 2012 and taking steps to develop it even further."
Taking place on Monday, Oct. 8, in Las Vegas, this year's Smart Monday will be known as "Smart Monday, 'Powered by MPI,'" in order to reflect the role of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) as IMEX America's principal education provider while also leaving room to acknowledge the contributions of other participating industry associations, including: the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), the International Special Events Society (ISES), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (Site) and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).
According to the IMEX Group, Smart Monday, "Powered by MPI," will include a morning keynote and all day sessions covering topics such as strategic meetings management, social media, leadership, sustainability, personal development, incentive travel, technology trends and international meetings management. All told, MPI will provide 12 education sessions — open to MPI members and non-members alike — along with several other "specialist" sessions provided by other associations.
Additionally, Smart Monday will now integrate and incorporate IMEX America Association Day — previously a separate event — with content specific to association professionals. The result, show organizers said, will be a specialist "conference within a conference."
"We had such a positive response to Smart Monday last year with over 1,200 people attending which has really inspired us in our planning for this year's event," Bauer said. "This year, Smart Monday, 'Powered by MPI,' really does offer exceptional value and diversity of education and there will be something for everyone, regardless of job title or association membership. MPI's 12 educational sessions are a key part of the day — the backbone if you like — but we are also emphasizing the incredible scope and quality of all the education and networking on offer by other participating associations."
The IMEX America trade show will follow Smart Monday on Oct. 9-11. For more information, visit www.imexamerica.com.