IMEX America Returns: Bringing Business, Learning & Connections


Event Africa Contributor 08/09/2021 Industry Events

In what has been billed as a ‘homecoming’ for the global business events industry IMEX America will take place 9 – 11 November in Las Vegas. The 10th edition of the show has a new home, Mandalay Bay, and is set to deliver business opportunities, an inspiring learning programme and sensational social events, all in an environment that’s safe but not sterile.

The milestone show has, as always, business at its core and buyers can meet with suppliers spanning all sectors of the industry. These include destinations Australia, Korea, Singapore, Dubai, Italy, Boston, Atlanta, Hawaii, Switzerland and Panama as well as hotel groups Radisson, Wyndham Hotel Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Associated Luxury Hotels International. Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, Detroit, Memphis, Baltimore and Loews Hotels are among the exhibitors who have expanded their presence at the show.

Diversity, dance & dedicated sector education

The inspiring, free learning programme running throughout the show is not to be missed, and begins on Smart Monday, powered by MPI, taking place on 8 November, the day before IMEX America begins. Dr Shimi Kang from the University of British Columbia will deliver the Smart Monday keynote, showcasing the latest research-based methods for adaptability, innovation, collaboration and lasting business success.

Dedicated sessions for various industry groups allow attendees to personalise their Smart Monday experience. There’s education and networking exclusively for corporate executives at the Executive Meeting Forum – designed for senior-level corporate executives from Fortune 2000 companies – and the new Corporate Focus – open to all planners from corporations at all levels. Participants can expect in-depth discussions on topics such as meeting design, effective communication with remote team workers, and mental health and wellness.

Association leaders can connect and learn with their peers at the Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE. In a new workshop format for 2021, the Forum takes a direct look at the changed business climate in which associations now operate. The Forum will explore how to tackle the fundamental changes accelerated by the pandemic, namely higher member expectations, increased member diversity, differing generational values and accelerated advances in technology.

There has never been a better time to champion diversity in the business events industry and She Means Business does just that. The joint event by IMEX and TW magazine, supported by MPI, brings together a panel of female leaders from within and outside the industry to share their stories and advice. Ambition, action and accountability: Strategic goal setting for women in events is a practical session with tips on how to achieve a ‘big vision’, delivered by Juliet Tripp, Deputy Head of Global Events, Chemical Watch. Michelle Mason, President and CEO, ASAE and consultant Courtney Stanley, Courtney Stanley Consulting invite two men to join the diversity dialogue in Diversity and Gender Equality – Women Seek Conversations with Men.

Each day begins with an MPI keynote. Movers and shakers from outside the business events industry will each bring their unique world view to the show – expect an award-winning Harvard-trained doctor, one of the ‘most likeable authors in the world’ plus the founder of a global dance movement and community. 

The Inspiration Hub is once again home to show floor education, delivering a packed scheduled of learning opportunities addressing the business needs of late 2021. Sessions cover Creativity in communication; Diversity and accessibility; Innovation and tech; Business recovery, Contract negotiations, Personal branding and Sustainability. 

Social events deliver sizzle and surprise

While the show remains the hub of business and learning, there are also many opportunities to connect outside of the show floor. The Lip-Smacking Foodie tour provides the lowdown on Las Vegas along with some of the finest food on the Strip. Other tours offer the inside track on two iconic venues: Caesar’s Palace and Mandalay Bay.

Mystery Trip is a surprise evening of unique experiences, cool locations, fantastic food and great company. “It’s a case of destination unknown. People are kept in the dark until the very last moment – and that’s where the magic happens!” explains Chief Mysterious Officer Dave Green. There’s also the chance celebrate at glamorous industry events SITE Nite North America and MPI Foundation Rendezvous.

“We can’t wait to see the return of IMEX America and bring together our business events community. For many in the industry, the show plays a key part in their business recovery and represents a unique opportunity to meet with colleagues and partners who they have not seen in almost two years,” explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

“We’ve carefully crafted a show that has business at its heart as well as ensuring we offer the market an event experience that’s fit for the times we’re all working in. Attendees can be confident that we’ve created a safe show that meets the latest health and safety requirements, working closely with our host city and new venue Mandalay Bay.”