Fast-developing a reputation for being the ‘tradeshow with a difference’ for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry, IMEX America organizers revealed that 76 percent of the educational offerings will be industry accredited.
This adds further authority and value to the show’s free-to-attend education program, which surrounds the core appointment-driven tradeshow.
“This year we concentrated on adding elements for senior planners and providing a wider variety of learning formats. We’ve also adapted some of our education areas to increase capacity. Post-show and year-round feedback is incredibly useful in helping us formulate and plan the right tracks so that we deliver the education that people really want to receive and find most valuable,” stated Carina Bauer, CEO, The IMEX Group.
Having reviewed all 180 of the show’s education sessions, the Convention Industry Council has designated 76 percent as qualifying for continuing education hours. This means that all IMEX America participants can accrue points or clock hours toward CMP exams or CMP recertification while attending sessions on the preshow education day, Smart Monday – powered by MPI – or over the following three days of the tradeshow.
In addition, International Special Events Society (ISES), a relatively new education partner for the show, has also approved 34 of the show’s education sessions for its ISES Core Curriculum. ISES Approved is the new international education standard selected for the creative event professional, and has been developed to recognize specific content that has significance for the creative event industry.
The show’s strategic partner and education provider, MPI will also be offering a total of 43 education sessions during the show with 31 taking place on Smart Monday – powered by MPI. They include daily keynotes, four deep dives and MPI’s Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) course. Approximately 81 percent of the MPI sessions offered at IMEX America are eligible for clock hours.
“As an association focused on the professional development of meeting and event professionals, we look forward to presenting the keynotes and Smart Monday, powered by MPI, again this year. The education program we developed for IMEX America covers a variety of hot topics and trends – all of which will help the show’s attendees evolve with our changing industry,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO, MPI.
New tracks and new education areas
All education at the show will be delivered across 11 tracks this year, with ‘diversity’, ‘health & wellbeing’ and ‘senior planner’ all new for 2014.
Three new learning styles have also been added on the Inspiration Center on the show floor (sponsored by Business Events Sydney), which expands the number of formats available to participants. No booking is required as all classes are offered on a drop-in basis.
The new options include a Creative Zone, where the emphasis will be on facilitated ‘play’ as a tool for unlocking creativity and business innovation; Hot Topic Tables for peer-to-peer discussions about the latest industry issues and a Meet The Expert Clinics for one to one consultancies with industry experts and speakers. IMEX has also increased capacity by adding a second seminar theatre on the Inspiration Center. These complement the Tech Hub (sponsored by DoubleDutch), a specialized area for technology education as well as hands-on experimentation with new products, and the Sustainability Hub, powered by Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), which is home to all green meetings and events information and education on the show floor.
Supporting Meetings Mean Business Coalition
IMEX America is also working with the U.S. Travel Association to highlight the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). All three of the Coalition’s ‘Pillars’ – Personal Connections, Positive Business Outcomes and Building Strong Communities – are being actively promoted and supported through the show’s education program.
With 100-plus speakers presenting sessions over four days at IMEX America, the show is set to deliver educational value across all age groups and at all levels of seniority.
As usual, an Association Focus program (on Smart Monday) will also be delivering specially crafted education and networking for up to 200 association meeting planners and senior executives. There will also be a private event for corporate meetings executive and senior corporate event planners.
The Executive Meeting Forum takes place over two half-days and provides 30 or more corporate executives with a unique opportunity to update their industry knowledge and share learning with their peers, all under the guidance of experienced facilitators. Both groups then attend the trade show for at least one or two days afterwards.
Among the hundreds of education seminars, campfires and workshops taking place this year are:
• Making the Most of PCO Partnerships for Global Meetings by PCMA and IAPCO
• Hotel Contracts: Plan and Think Before You Ink by Meeting Sites Resources
• Change Your Destiny by Kirsty Spraggon
• Top 10 Apps When You Are OOO (Out of Office) by SPIN
• Smart Meeting Planners @ Work: Lose Your Assumptions When Hosting Abroad and Win Big by the German Convention Bureau
• You’re Hired – Powerful Interview Techniques to Get That Job by MCI
• The Zen of Meetings – Applied Mindfulness for Meetings Professionals by Sagatica
• 10 Predictions for Meetings in the Next 20 Years by the Meeting Design Institute
• Activate it! The Newest Buzz Word in Meetings Sponsorship by Play with a Purpose