IMEX America 2023 Set to Be a Blockbuster Show

Skift Take

Next week's IMEX America 2023 is set to be the largest yet. More exhibitors and buyers than ever will gather in Las Vegas for four days of business, education and networking.

One week before the 2023 edition of IMEX America in Las Vegas, the IMEX group is in good spirits. It has already confirmed more than 4,000 hosted and visitor buyers who have booked more than 60,000 meetings. All estimates point to this show being the largest ever, likely to surpass the estimated 14,000 that took part in 2019.

IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer is naturally delighted. She sees the show’s success as an excellent sign for the industry. “In an era marked by so much uncertainty, these are good indicators that the global events sector is not only healthy but also more robust than many thought,” she said.

IMEX says it has negotiated extra hotel room blocks, additional hosted buyer buses, and more show-floor catering services. It has also expanded the hosted buyer lounge and added nearly 200 extra seats. Education is also proving popular, with specialist education programs being oversubscribed.

IMEX will be hoping that the recent cyberattacks on MGM and Caesars properties do not disrupt the show. Meanwhile, the possibility of a citywide strike is also lingering.

Skift Meetings at IMEX America

The Skift Meetings team will be covering the show on site. It will also be delivering two key educational sessions. The Skift Meetings Innovation Lab takes place on Monday, October 16 (2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The event is sponsored by Nth Degree and Discover Puerto Rico. It is an interactive event addressing key industry topics through facilitated peer-to-peer discussions. A team of expert facilitators will lead optical conversations. Registration is open, and all event professionals are welcome.

On Wednesday (11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.), Skift Meetings will discuss diversity and inclusion in a session at the Inspiration Hub. In “Driving Success Through Inclusive Meetings,” we will explore how to create gatherings catering to different people from different backgrounds and capabilities. No registration is needed, and all IMEX America participants are welcome. The session is based on the recently released Diversity Meeting Planning: A Guide to Creating Equitable and Inclusive Event Experiences. The report was created in partnership with IMEX, sponsored by Destination Toronto, Discover Puerto Rico, and Nth Degree with the support of the Events Industry Council.

An Evolving Trade Show

IMEX reports that the show’s scope is broader than in recent years, with cruise lines, technology, hotels, and incentive travel expanding their footprint. New brands, including the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales) in Newport, UK, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will use the show as a launch pad.

New event technology partner ExpoPlatform will be scrutinized as North American exhibitors use the new system for the first time. The company recently signed a three-year agreement with IMEX. Updates for this show include the ability for buyers to book meetings directly from the interactive floor plan on the app. This may sound like a small detail, but in practice, it will allow buyers to book meetings close to each other. This will make navigating the large show floor easier for planners with full schedules.

Wellness is also evolving at this year’s show, which IMEX sees as the foundation for a productive, more enjoyable business and networking experience. “Wellbeing is no longer a luxury or peripheral to doing business. It’s core to each person’s enjoyment and desired ROI from a large networking event like this,” said Bauer.

Wellness and wellbeing are on offer across the show. Twenty session choices include daily mindfulness and wellbeing drop-ins, grounding and drumming sessions, and even cardio workouts. A Pop-Up Wellness Clinic will be led by a familiar face, Carmen Boscolo, previously with EventMB (now Skift Meetings).

For those looking to explore Vegas beyond the show floor, IMEX is offering a selection of tours for Monday afternoon. They include a tour of Sphere Las Vegas (sold out), Area 15, a Fontainebleau Las Vegas Hard Hat Site Tour, a Mystery Trip, and two different Lip-Smacking Foodie Tours.

Photo credit: Unknown / IMEX America