Megan Gell
Jun 27, 2018

"We’re exploring different aspects of legacy": IMEX CEO

What Asia Pacific planners can expect from IMEX America this year.

Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group, at IMEX America last year.
Carina Bauer, CEO, IMEX Group, at IMEX America last year.

IMEX America will take place October 16 to 18, 2018 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian | The Palazzo in Las Vegas, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October 15. CEI talks to IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer about what event professionals in Asia can get out of the show.

What does IMEX America offer APAC buyers?

It’s key to us that Asia-Pacific has strong representation at the show – both the buy and supply side. In their roles, buyers have the chance to see how the global market is shaping up and to see any fluctuations, new players and macro trends playing out.

The show gives buyers the opportunity to find real-life feedback, be it about new suppliers, new technologies, new issues or simply longer-term business and buying trends. It’s the ability to compare a regional or domestic market with the global one that’s often invaluable, especially with several industry reports showing that APAC business is so buoyant right now.

What event tech will be on show?

There will be a new start-up Technology Pavilion, created in response to buyer requests to explore more – and a greater variety of – tech at the show. The aim is to showcase what’s new and help buyers appreciate what technology can do for them and how the tech landscape has moved on from last year. We’re talking to experts in AI, VR, registration technologies and more.

What else will be new?

The attendee experience will be seamless and better than ever – all services will move to the main show floor for the first time. This means that the Inspiration Hub, home to the show’s education, the food court and the expanded Live Zone, will all be located on the show floor, resulting in an efficient – and fun – experience for attendees.

At IMEX, it’s our mission to educate, innovate and help all our clients make powerful connections with the right people, so we’re always on the lookout for creative, fun and efficient ways to make this happen.

We’ve partnered with C2 International, the ground-breaking leader in business events – they are set to share their innovative creative experiences and education by bringing their Learning Labs to IMEX America for the first time.

We really welcome buyer and exhibitor feedback and it forms a core part of ensuring our show evolves to meet current needs. We’re continually making small and large updates based on what we hear from exhibitors and buyers.

What key talking points in the industry will IMEX America 2018 be addressing?

There’s currently a growing awareness of the long-term impact we all make on the world both personally and professionally. In our industry, this means planning events which deliver longer-lasting and more meaningful impacts. We’re exploring different aspects of legacy, our talking point for this year, at IMEX America.

How will IMEX be incorporating its "legacy" theme?

Our programme of free education at the show will cover political, personal, environmental, CSR and social impact/knowledge legacy – all designed to help planners produce engaging, inspiring and enjoyable events with long-lasting positive outcomes.

We built a ‘Legacy Wall’ (made from recycled pallets) at IMEX in Frankfurt to showcase various success stories from our partners and exhibitors plus some of our own work to build legacies at our host destinations. Following great feedback, we’re now set to bring this to IMEX America too.

What can we expect at the show with regards to promoting diversity, gender equality and eradicating sexual harassment?

IMEX is a founding member of the industry coalition against sexual harassment and continues to be involved in the development of the programmes and initiatives coming out of this. It’s great to see the various industry organisations coming together to agree on best practices to combat this issue.

In addition, IMEX is one of 100 signatories of the Ascent CEO Promise to create more inclusive workplaces and events, which was unveiled at IMEX in Frankfurt in May by PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association). 

As Sheriff Karamat, our President and CEO said, “Greater inclusion will foster new voices to strengthen our leadership, our businesses, and our world.”

IMEX is considering how to bring this to life in a meaningful way at IMEX America, which will certainly include educational programmes. We’re acutely aware that tokenism won’t help anyone so it’s right that we take our time to get any ideas or activities right.

How does IMEX America differ from the Frankfurt show?

Although they may look similar on the surface, both shows have developed distinct personalities.  For example, our day of professional development before each show is now markedly different – Smart Monday taking place the day before IMEX America is very different in format and feel to EduMonday before IMEX in Frankfurt.

At IMEX America, our strategic partnership with MPI is incredibly important as we collaborate closely on delivering Smart Monday, as well as the MPI Keynotes each morning.

The two different city locations – Las Vegas and Frankfurt – also gives each show a distinctly different personality.


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