Conference & Meetings World Issue 102 - Page 26

IMEX America Place your bets on IMEX in Vegas NOOK PODS, LAUGHTER YOGA AND CRISIS TRAINING: IMEX AMERICA TO REFLECT THE CHANGING FACE OF EVENTS Working on trust CEO of the IMEX Group, Carina Bauer, talks to CMW about an ever evolving Vegas experience: s IMEX America returns to Las Vegas this September, organisers say an expanded show floor at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® will be home to around 3,500 suppliers from 150 countries. Organisers are predicting 4,000 qualified buyers will attend this year’s show. Attendees can dive into all things experiential at a new Discovery Zone, dedicated to experimentation and immersive activities. This forms part of the show’s focus on Imagination, IMEX’s Talking Point this year. Planners can also get stuck into practical hands-on workshops and experience immersive role play with surprise sensory components. opportunities over the entire show this year – all free of charge and designed for meetings and events industry professionals at all levels, both buyers and exhibitors. Education sessions cover 10 tracks including Business Skills, Creative Learning, Personal Development, Technology and Trends & Research. She Means Business is one of the key Smart Monday sessions and is designed to drive the diversity debate at IMEX America 2019. The show keynote will be delivered by Dr Mara Harvey, Head Global UHNW Germany, Austria, Italy of UBS Switzerland. The talk is titled, Gender equality: less words and more action? Dr Harvey will explore the root causes of the gender pay gap and include stories and tools for tackling the glass ceiling. The agenda will also include TED-style mini presentations about women in business. Laughter the best medicine One immersive activity will be laughter yoga at the new Laughter Lab. Part of the Inspiration Hub, home to all show floor education, the Laughter Lab hosts several sessions on the power of laughter by Sarah Routman from Laugh for the Health of It, LLC. Laughter yoga encourages creative play with prolonged voluntary giggles that start intentionally and becomes spontaneous, providing plenty of positive health benefits. Opportunities to relax and revive during busy days at the show start with the Be Well Lounge, while delegates can rise early and run, jog or walk down the Strip on the IMEXrun. Attendees can learn how to weave wellbeing into their own events by following the education track and trying out new ‘Nook Pods’. No doubt of interest to many introverts, these pods provide a private space to recharge or simply to concentrate. There are more than 180 learning 26 / CONFERENCE & MEETINGS WORLD Below: Four Day Weekend, a Fort Worth-based comedy Troupe will bring the power of improvisation in the workplace to the MPI keynote at IMEX America. Their set ‘Yes, and’ aims to embody all things you’d want a business What has been the response to bringing the date forward for the 2019 show? It’s business as usual. We announced the September dates for 2019 and 2020 in good time to allow people to plan. We know that the autumn is a busy period. Although the date on the calendar is changing, the value of the show remains the same (well, bigger actually). to have: improved teamwork, morale, creativity, productivity, problem-solving and adaptability. The guys say success in improv is all about listening: “We know that our corporate clients are looking to utilise our skills for a different end result, but the process remains the same: support, listening and IMEX America takes place 10-12 ‘Yes, and’,” is the September 2019, with Smart Monday word from Four Day powered by MPI on 9 September. Weekend.. The reason for the date change and for the move to Mandalay Bay from 2021? Our move away from the Sands is because we weren’t able to lock in the future dates we felt would work best for our exhibitors. In particular, because of the complexity of many of the stand designs, remembering that we don’t allow pipe and drape which is ‘the norm’ in North America, we need more build-up time than other shows. Next year will mark 10 years of working and enjoying a fantastic relationship with the Las Vegas Sands team. We look forward to having a really successful working partnership with the Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts International teams. It’s the end of an era but also an exciting time. Your appointment system coped with 74,000 meetings last year; what has been tweaked in that technology for this year and the hosted buyer obligations? We’re actually in the process of a major technology overall but we’re not ready to go to market with that yet. In terms of obligations, you might be surprised to hear me say ‘THERE AREN’T ANY’. When we first launched, we did insist on a certain number of appointments per day because we didn’t know if people would honour the business imperative of the show. It turns out in America planners / ISSUE 102