My first experience at IMEX America met all my expectations! Aside from my extensive preparation, I also included light snacks and a water container to keep my energy levels up throughout the busy 3 day adventure at Sands Expo. My first thought was “Whoa! How did they get all these amazing booths within an equally large space?” It must have taken time, logistics, and production management to pull this off. Needless to say, I was impressed!
I knew I wasn’t alone in my first time experience. As the Group Leader for MCIntl Hosted Buyer Group, my job was to find qualified meeting planners that would benefit greatly from attending. Out of a group of 10 hosted buyers, we had 3 meeting planners experiencing IMEX America for the first time! Overall, it was an amazing group of professionals we work with on a weekly basis at MCIntl and it was even better to put a face to the name.
IMEX America is more than a tradeshow. It is a culmination of educative seminars and networking functions. There’s much to share from my IMEX America 2018 experience. The week kicked off with the Smart Monday sessions where I attended 6 sessions in total including the Giving Back booth! One session that stood out was Legacy; Power of events led by Julius Solaris. Some of the takeaways were event planning leaves an impact and can change lives, sustainability is a community effort and brands can inspire loyalty by finding what unites others through a common purpose. The sessions were interactive and educative.
Another major highlight for me was meeting our clients! From the Association Evening event on Monday where I met Cathrine and Tia from Copenhagen and Verena and Judith from Vienna. It was a golden opportunity to speak with them before the hectic days of appointments that were to follow. One of my first stops on Tuesday morning was to meet all our clients at their respective booths. Meeting Steen and Karina at the efficiently designed Dubai booth was a treat, a quick hello with Katja from Berlin Convention Office who invited our hosted buyers and I for a happy hour the following day, Caroline from Switzerland’s bustling booth was busy the entire day and the happy hour kept the crowd rolling in. In the Asia zone, was the beautiful and colorful booth by Korea Tourism Organization where I met with our client Vivian.
Last but not the least, 2 of our newest clients! I was especially looking forward to meeting Angeline and Alan from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. I was gifted handmade bags and skirt wrap by Angeline. Both gifts tell a story of the vibrant culture in Malaysia! Next up was the Colombian booth which captured the Sambrosura spirit of Colombia! I met Medellin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Andrea. Freshly brewed Colombian coffee wafted through the air and I also met Debora, Lady of La Guajira tribe who gifted me a handmade bracelet. For the first time, I indulged in a cup of genuine Colombian Caramel latte.
For my 3 days at IMEX, I clocked in a total of 15 miles! Every opportunity to sit and observe the atmosphere was a welcomed relief. To add to their mission of sustainability, IMEX placed water refill stations throughout the arena. From the check-in booth to the friendly team members that directed me to my respective sessions (Gwen & Tim especially), the IMEX America staff were truly exceptional! There must have been thousands of people in attendance but the space was beyond accommodating. In short, my first experience is definitely one for the books!
To top it all off, working with Sarah Arnold from IMEX who was beyond accessible made the process seamless! I urge you to attend IMEX America—for your professional and personal growth, I learned quite a lot!
Don’t forget IMEX America returns to Vegas September 2019!