IMEX America 2013: The biggest and best, yet!

IMEX Meetings at BoothWe’re back from the third annual IMEX America event in Las Vegas!

With 2,500 exhibitors and 3,000 buyers in attendance, and more than 59,000 scheduled meetings, this was the biggest and best IMEX America, yet!

The exhibition floor was all about showcasing the best of the global meetings, events and incentive travel industries. Numerous destinations were there displaying their best! Here’s a picture of Ireland’s booth during the “End of Expo” party. There was live music and dancing.

Ireland

There were plenty of educational and networking opportunities, as well. On Sunday, several Certified Incentive Specialist courses covered practices and tools for implementing incentive programs. “Smart Monday” was all about risk management, audience-driven meeting and event design, developing a successful social media strategy for meetings and events, and what you need to know for successful supplier negotiations.

The education continued Tuesday and Wednesday, with our Director of Marketing Cece Salomon-Lee presented on how to maximize content at PCMA’s booth. Our Director of Social Media & Digital Marketing, Justin Ramers, delivered a great talk \how to incorporate social media into meetings and events. On Thursday, Kevin Iwamoto, vice president of Industry Strategy, lead an educational panel on electronic RFP (eRFP) best practices. Panelists included Microsoft’s Therese Jardine, HRG Worldwide’s Larry Bonistalli and Marriott’s Doreen Burse. It was great to hear both supplier and corporate planners’ perspectives on eRFP processes!

In our booth, we were discussing the SMART EVENTS™ Cloud which, for the first time, enables corporate buyers to expand Strategic Meetings Management Programs (SMMPs) to the marketing event portions of their businesses. The SMART EVENTS Cloud is the industry’s first and only solution integrating SMM and event marketing technologies to bring “Big Data” to the meetings and events industry. Check out this video: http://youtu.be/L6cRVAiU_p4

Additionally, we announced availability of our Social Media Playbook comprising best practices, tips and tricks on topics ranging from creating a social media strategy, to determining the right platforms, to examples of how leading companies are successfully incorporating social media into their meetings and events programs. The Playbook is available as a free download from: http://bit.ly/19Aj3YK.

The industry’s top suppliers and association executives had the opportunity to meet at Monday’s Association Evening event, while 360 held its event that night at the Rockhouse Bar. Monday’s “Site Night North America” event afforded 1,000 site members and industry professionals the opportunity to network and raise funds for the Site International Foundation. Wednesday night was IMEX America Night at “Rendezvous” in Caesars Palace. This was a true “who’s who” of the industry … all the way until 1 a.m.!

It is always good to connect with long-time industry colleagues and meet new ones. We’re looking forward to IMEX 2014!