The MICE industry got back to business at IMEX America 2021.
The show, which ran November 9-11, 2021 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, saw strong exhibitor participation and equally strong buyer attendance.
Speaking at the closing day press conference, Ray Bloom, IMEX chairman, reported that more than 3,300 buyers attended, the vast majority of which were hosted buyers. “We also had over 2,200 exhibiting companies representing 200-plus countries,” he said. “Appointments were around 50,000 and feedback shows they produced strong business for exhibitors. Also notable was the quality of business and RFPs coming from walk-up appointments by attendee buyers.”
Carina Bauer, IMEX’s CEO, expanded upon the business demand demonstrated during the week. “It’s been heart-warming and joyful to hear so many come-back stories. London & Partners, our friends here today, the LVCVA, and dozens more, including hotel groups such as Mandarin Oriental, have all reported strong business pipelines right through Q3 next year and into 2025. This IMEX week has given us all reason to believe the industry’s future is bright,” she said.
IMEX America 2021 was the 10th edition of the show and the first since 2019. IMEX America 2022 is confirmed for October 11-13, 2022, with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on October 10.
Innovation and initiative
As always, IMEX America offered a wealth of initiatives and opportunities in addition to face-to-face business. The event’s offerings included more than 200 education sessions; new education tracks; a new People & Planet Village with a “misfit” fruit and vegetable juice bar plus sustainability sessions; a Tech Therapy Area; and a daily well-being program that featured the traditional #IMEXrun on Wednesday morning.
World-class experts and speakers, specialist education for corporate, association and agency executives together with workshops and programs for students and faculty topped off a busy reunion week.
Bauer summed up, “Like so many of you, our team worked long and hard to make IMEX America 2021 come to fruition. We were buoyed up knowing you were watching, waiting and willing it into life because it means so much for our global industry. We couldn’t have done it without you. More importantly, we do it for you because we believe so strongly in the economic value and positive impact of this industry all over the world. This week has signaled that – collectively – we’re back, and we’re back in business. Even if you weren’t in the room, we know you felt it from afar.”