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Industry Briefs
IMEX America's 2011 Debut Show Helps Drive $2.8 Billion In Business For US and Global Meetings, Events And Incentive Travel Industry

An exit survey of IMEX America hosted buyers has revealed that total orders placed onsite amounted to $281 million with an expected $1.9 billion worth of orders to be placed with exhibitors in the next nine months or so. The average value of orders placed by hosted buyers during the show was $496,000 each, with post-show average orders expected to be worth $1 million each. This means that IMEX America hosted buyers have – or will – generate a total of $2.2 billion in business with IMEX America exhibitors.

Two thousand hosted buyers attended the first ever IMEX America at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas in October. Seventy-Five percent were from the USA; 5% from Canada and the remainder from 34 other countries with Brazil, the UK, Germany, Mexico, India and Australia accounting for significant numbers. Seven hundred of the show’s 2,000 hosted buyers answered the survey (a representative 35% sample).

Of the 2,000 hosted buyers attending, 65% came from the incentive, agency or third party industry sector; 25% were corporate buyers and 11% were from the all-important association sector. Fifty-three percent of all hosted buyers at the new Las Vegas trade show were responsible for budgets in excess of $1 million.

A total of 1,867 companies exhibited at IMEX America representing 147 countries. With US destinations accounting for 27 per cent of all booths, these results bode well for US suppliers as well as those international exhibitors who attended in order to capture new business from US buyers.

Non-hosted buyer business also strong
Likewise an exit survey was also conducted among IMEX America non-hosted buyers (known as buyer attendees). This buyer group placed business in the region of $89 million with exhibitors during the show, and expects to place $538 million of orders within the next 10 months. These figures support the feedback from many hundreds of exhibitors who testified that both hosted and non-hosted buyers came to the show with business in hand and ready to be contracted.

Exhibitor feedback also supports the survey’s findings, with praise for the quality of buyers from all parts of the globe, and especially from North America. Michelle Saran, executive director of the Canadian Tourism Commission commented: “IMEX America is wonderful and we’ve had many one-on-one appointments – I haven’t seen a booth this busy in North America for years and years! Our team pre-planned appointments but we’ve also had a lot of people walking on to the stand for ad-hoc meetings. Everyone is happy. The buzz has worked and it’s the place to be! You’d be conspicuous in absence if you haven’t attended IMEX America.”

Kaaren Hamilton, VP Global Sales for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, reiterated this sentiment during the show to IMEX America TV. She stated: “We’re actually conducting and transacting business (on the booth) and that’s unique these days at a trade show – fabulous!”

Strategic Partnership
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the strategic partner and premier education provider for IMEX America, and joint efforts yielded more than 1,100 participants (both hosted and non-hosted buyers, and exhibitors) in Smart Monday education delivered by MPI. Leveraging their MeetDifferent style of professional development for the day of innovation and education, MPI education received strong satisfaction results. Additionally, hundreds of highly satisfied attendees enjoyed dynamic MPI keynote speakers in general sessions each morning of the show. MPI experience and expertise also led the development of the IMEX America mobile app, which had thousands of users interacting with education and data daily through their smartphones and tablets.

“I love it when a plan comes together. Seeing this exceptional event come to life after two years of collaboration was an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI. “We look forward to even greater collaboration in 2012 and into the future to assure that we continue to deliver exceptional professional development and business opportunities at IMEX America.”

And to round-out the strategic partnership, IMEX America hosted their official party in conjunction with Pure Rendezvous, a fundraiser for the MPI Foundation that yielded more than $23,000 that the MPI Foundation reinvested in education and research for the industry.

With these business performance figures in hand, IMEX chairman, Ray Bloom, declared: “IMEX America has succeeded in bringing the US and global industry the business, education and networking benefits we planned for. Our fresh new business model, centered on a strategic partnership with MPI and strong partnerships with the other leading industry associations, meant that IMEX America truly provided a global marketplace on American soil. We are now looking forward to developing several aspects of the show over the next few months in order to sustain that debut success and to build on the market momentum we’ve established.”

About IMEX America
IMEX America is the new trade show for the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry. The second edition will take place Oct. 9 – 11 2012 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, (which is connected to the show's Headquarters Hotel, The Venetian®|The Palazzo®).

The show's strategic partner and premier educational provider is MPI, whose MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation takes place on the day before the trade show opens, known as "Smart Monday".

IMEX also has an exclusive partnership with the US Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion US travel industry; is endorsed by DMAI and Site and has an Industry Partnership with PCMA. Other supporting associations include: ACTE Global, ADME, AIPC, AMCI, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, Association Forum of Chicagoland, CALSAE, CIC, CSAE, ECM, FICP, GMIC, IACC, IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, ISES, JMIC, NYSAE, PATA, SKAL and Spin. A list of industry and media partners can be found online.