Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group, couldn’t be happier thanks to record-breaking numbers during the largest meetings and events industry trade show in the United States that concluded Thursday in Las Vegas.
Cathy Tull, senior vice president of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, also is understandably giddy over the $8.5 million in direct spending her city experienced as a result of IMEX. And Michael Woody, chief operating officer for Meeting Professionals International (MPI), reported that his organization raised a record $335,000 for its foundation during the show, among other noteworthy figures.
“Every year the show grows,” Bloom said at the closing IMEX press conference. “We are delighted with the demand. This is an absolutely perfect venue.”
Held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, IMEX broke all kinds of records. Here’s a look at a few of the highlight:
–More than 10,600 people participated in the event.
–3,100 companies were represented on the showroom floor.
–Exhibitors were represented from 150 countries.
–More than 3,000 hosted buyers.
-Hosted buyers hailed from 54 countries.
-Show grew by 80 booths from 2014.
-66,000 business appointments, including 57,000 one-on-one appointments and booth presentations.
One exhibitor, Melia Hotels and Resorts, reported that 99 percent of appointments scheduled before the show began on Tuesday did indeed take place. Bloom applauded the seriousness of buyers and suppliers, all of whom helped make the fifth annual U.S. IMEX event a complete success. “Business is being conducted on the showroom floor,” Bloom said.
Las Vegas, which also hosted the first Democratic presidential debate this week, will have even greater international notoriety next year when IMEX takes place Oct. 18-20. The presidential debate is scheduled to be held in Las Vegas the same week.
“For us it’s a win-win,” Tull said. “It underlies that we are a serious place to do business.”
MPI had a huge presence during IMEX with more than 30 education sessions on Smart Monday, drawing 900 attendees before the trade show began. MPI also hosted four keynote sessions, which drew 1,200 during the three-day IMEX show.
One of the hottest tickets during IMEX was MPI’s Rendezvous fundraising party, which attracted 2,000 on Wednesday. It took place at Drai’s Beach Club, an incredible outdoor/indoor space on top of The Cromwell, a Caesars Entertainment property.
The rooftop venue offers spectacular views of The Strip and brought together meeting professionals, suppliers and planners for an evening that magnificently celebrated an industry that really does mean business.