Bauer hails return of IMEX as ‘tipping point’ for industry

The global business events community has shown strength in numbers by gathering at IMEX America in Las Vegas for the first time in over two years.

More than 3,300 global buyers and 2,250 exhibiting companies registered to attend the 10th edition of the show at its new home at Mandalay Bay. The show also marks a milestone for the sector as the very first international event to open after the lifting of the US travel ban.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “We last held the show over two years ago and we launch today with a global roster of exhibitors and buyers, over 200 education sessions, plus a new venue. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

“After 10 years Las Vegas really is like a second home, and I know that’s a sentiment that will be shared by thousands of people in our community here this week. For those of us who live and breathe meetings, events and incentive travel it’s remarkable to see our industry burst back into life.

“Numbers, appointments and business deals aside, I’m confident we’ll look back on this 10th edition of IMEX America as a tipping point for the industry. Digital and hybrid clearly have their place, but nothing beats that visceral feeling of being on the show floor meeting partners, buyers and suppliers from all over the globe and knowing that leads directly to job creation, professional development, industry advancement and most important of all, positive economic impact the world over.”

Two thirds of appointments at the show have been made for the purpose of researching or to discuss a specific event – a sign that buyers are planning ahead with the intention of kickstarting business and an eye on 2022 and beyond.

In another sign of confidence for the sector, the 2,250+ exhibiting companies span more than 200 countries with representation from Europe, Latin America and Asia sitting alongside North America across the show floor.

Of the returning exhibitors, 16 per cent have invested in a larger presence at the show – some, including Baltimore, EventsAir, Boise and St Louis, have increased their stand space by 100 per cent or more compared to 2019.

This year the show welcomes new exhibitors from across the destination, hotel and tech sectors, including: Amadeus River Cruises, Hopin, Louisiana, MeetingPlay, Minneapolis, Iberostar Hotel & Resorts and VenuIQ. The dedicated Tech Area of the show is the largest ever, reflecting the sector’s growing demand for, and investment in, event technology.

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