IMEX America, the largest meetings industry trade show in the U.S., will be bigger than ever September 10-12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas. IMEX America will bring together around 3,500 suppliers and 4,000 qualified buyers to plan and book everything from high-level incentives, meetings and conventions as well as to make important new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and seal critical deals.
IMEX America kicks off with a full day of free education September 9 with Smart Monday, powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). The day of cutting-edge professional development launches with an inspirational keynote address by artist and TED Talk speaker, Phil Hansen. Having developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand, Hansen decided to “seize the limitation.” His keynote, “Embrace The Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities” will outline how limitations for meeting planners — which can be reduced budgets, limited resources, rushed timelines, etc. — can be an impetus for creativity and imagination, which ties to this year’s Talking Point. He breaks down resistance to limitations by recognizing their role in driving — not stifling — creativity.
Hansen’s keynote is part of more than 180 educational sessions over the entire show designed for meetings and events industry professionals at all levels — both buyers and exhibitors. The learning opportunities — deep dives, one-to-one sessions and hot topic tables — provide fresh thinking on how to make meetings more engaging, embrace new ways of thinking, consider the big issues and explore innovation and creativity.
The show is especially important as a source for new ideas and for unleashing attendees’ imaginations, which ties to the Talking Point for this year’s show. The IMEX Group is championing imagination through encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate with other organizations and the benefits this can bring. Through its Talking Point, IMEX celebrates diversity and focuses on best practices in event sustainability, including offering education sessions designed to encourage exhibitors and buyers to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation. EventMB, an online resource for event professionals, will present research on imagination in events.
“We’re working to bring the power of imagination to everything we’re doing at IMEX America,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “Absolutely everything and everyone is connected or capable of becoming connected, and the driving force behind all the positive changes we’re witnessing is the power of the human imagination — a uniquely human quality. So, we’re exploring and celebrating this aspect of being human — one that we frequently take for granted. Think of it as a human superpower; our instinct to ask, without judgment or limitation, ‘What if … ?’”C&IT