“Being here gives me the advantage of being on top of my game and being able to better service to my clients.” Hosted buyer Linda Lawson, from Achieve Incentives & Meetings in Ohio, sums up two compelling business benefits powering the latest edition of IMEX America, currently taking place in Las Vegas.
The show floor has been the setting for exciting business opportunities as Andrew Swanston, Head of Sales, Conferences & Events at ExCel London, explains: “We had a great day yesterday. A client we have been building a relationship with for over 10 years chose IMEX America as the place to confirm a 6,000 delegate event for an international medical association in 2022 – the show was the ideal opportunity to meet face to face and sign the deal.”
Hosted buyer Thomas Holland, from the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance in South Carolina, adds: “I’m planning incentive groups for the next few years to destinations in Europe and Dubai and am hoping to sign a deal during my time here for a river cruise in Europe.”
The show’s comprehensive program of education (200 + sessions) is also a huge draw as hosted buyer Frank Gainer, from the American Occupational Therapy Assocation, explains: “Education is my passion and I manage the learning opportunities at my events. We’re currently reimagining how we run education at our events, which range from small events to larger annual conferences, and I’ve been inspired by the format of the show’s Inspiration Hub.”
From ‘flawsome’ to flexibility
The learning at the show was kickstarted by a dynamic keynote who encouraged the audience to be ‘flawsome’. In Digital leadership: The five habits to success and happiness in an ever-changing world bestselling author and motivational speaker Erik Qualman talked about how flexibility has become one of ‘the new superpowers’, particularly in the past couple of years: “Be firm in your destination, but flexible in your path”, he advised. The digital guru also talked about how to tackle ‘data, distraction and disruption’ to plan a digital strategy for an event that delivers true engagement: “Start with a smile. Think about what will produce a smile for your client and work your way back from there.”
Driving event engagement by ditching demographics was discussed in Let’s end demographic discrimination, a session by David Allison, founder of Valuegraphics, the first global dataset created specifically to help organizations predict and influence behavior using the values we share. “Demographics describe what people are, but not how to engage them,” he says. In all areas of the world the top values people care most about are Family, Belonging, Relationships, Friendships and Community – David shared how to tap into these vital values to communicate key messages.
Held at the Inspiration Hub, home to the show floor education, Human nature – three perspectives saw experts from Dear World, Human Biography and TLC Lions lead a group discussion on exploring human nature and the powerful impact of storytelling to excite and engage. “Storytelling doesn’t make us less professional, it makes us more human. If we can invoke empathy as a critical skill, the more we can create an inclusive place to work,” Gian Power from TLC Lions explains.
The Relaxation Reef provided a peaceful space away from the show floor to relax and recharge in between meetings and education sessions. Holly Duckworth from Leadership Solutions International is leading a program of mindfulness and meditation sessions.
IMEX America is currently taking place at Mandalay Bay until November 11.