Just days after the conclusion of its No. 1 competitor — Reed Travel Exhibitions' Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM) exhibition in Baltimore — the IMEX Group yesterday offered a preview of its inaugural U.S. trade show: IMEX America, taking place Oct. 11-13 in Las Vegas.
According to the latest forecast, IMEX America is expected to welcome 1,500 exhibitors and more than 2,000 hosted buyers — from both the United States and internationally — not to mention "thousands" of buyer attendees.
Among the exhibitors attending IMEX America are: Washington, D.C., California, Hawaii, Canada, Colorado, San Francisco, Atlantic City, Boston, LA Inc., Miami, San Diego, NYC, and New Orleans, from North America; Mexico, Argentina, Panama and Costa Rica, from Latin America; Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, London, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, from Europe; and Japan, New Zealand, China, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia from Asia Pacific.
Additionally, almost 50 hotel groups have contracted so far, including Starwood, IHG, Marriott, Carlson Hotels, Shangri-La, Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental.
Offering free entry and a free education program, IMEX America opens Oct. 11, but will be preceded on Oct. 10 by an education day known as "Smart Monday," hosted by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which will deliver its signature MeetDifferent programming throughout the day.
The three-day trade show itself will include 14 co-located events from industry associations and corporations, including MPI, the Association for Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Site and the U.S. Travel Association, as well as Maritz Travel and Carlson Marketing.
"The U.S. meetings and events market is the biggest in the world, with the [Convention Industry Council's] 'Economic Impact Study' estimating its contribution to U.S. GDP at $106 billion, and a total economic output of $907 billion," said IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom. "We all know that — along with most parts of the world — it has gone through some tough times in recent years, but April 2011 data from MPI's Business Barometer confirms a solid recovery has been under way for over a year with attendance and spending surging during that time. So, even when you're talking about securing small percentages of business from U.S. buyers, this translates into huge dollars. This is why exhibitors want to come to IMEX America. They want a slice of this incredibly powerful market. The efficiency and reputation of IMEX's approach and our ability to present large numbers of new and established destinations and suppliers from all over the world is also an extremely strong attraction for buyers."
For more information about IMEX America, including a complete program of events, visit www.imexamerica.com.