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IMEX America’s 2011 debut show helps drive $2.8 billion in business

IMEX AmericaAn exit survey of IMEX America hosted buyers has revealed that total orders placed onsite amounted to $281 million with an expected $1.9 billion worth of orders to be placed with exhibitors in the next nine months or so. The average value of orders placed by hosted buyers during the show was $496,000 each, with post-show average orders expected to be worth $1 million each. This means that IMEX America hosted buyers have – or will – generate a total of $2.2 billion in business with IMEX America exhibitors.

About 2,000 hosted buyers attended the first ever IMEX America at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas in October. Around 75 percent were from the USA; 5 percent were from Canada and the remainder 34 percent were from other countries with Brazil, the UK, Germany, Mexico, India and Australia accounting for significant numbers. Around 700 of the show’s 2000 hosted buyers answered the survey (a representative 35 percent sample).

Of the 2,000 hosted buyers attending, 65 percent came from the incentive, agency or third party industry sector; 25 percent were corporate buyers and 11 percent were from the all-important association sector. Of all hosted buyers at the new Las Vegas tradeshow, 53 percent were responsible for budgets in excess of $1 million.

A total of 1,867 companies exhibited at IMEX America representing 147 countries. With U.S. destinations accounting for 27 percent of all booths, these results bode well for U.S. suppliers as well as those international exhibitors who attended in order to capture new business from U.S. buyers.

“We’re actually conducting and transacting business (on the booth) and that’s unique these days at a tradeshow,” said Kaaren Hamilton, VP global sales for Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Likewise an exit survey was also conducted among IMEX America non-hosted buyers (known as buyer attendees). This buyer group placed business in the region of $89 million with exhibitors during the show, and expects to place $538 million of orders within the next 10 months. These figures support the feedback from many hundreds of exhibitors who testified that both hosted and non-hosted buyers came to the show with business in hand and ready to be contracted.

Exhibitor feedback also supports the survey’s findings, with praise for the quality of buyers from all parts of the globe, and especially from North America.

“IMEX America is wonderful and we’ve had many one-on-one appointments. I haven’t seen a booth this busy in North America for years and years,” said Michelle Saran, executive director of the Canadian Tourism Commission. “Our team pre-planned appointments, but we’ve also had a lot of people walking on to the stand for ad-hoc meetings. Everyone is happy. The buzz has worked and it’s the place to be. You’d be conspicuous in absence if you haven’t attended IMEX America.”

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the partner and premier education provider for IMEX America, and joint efforts yielded more than 1,100 participants (both hosted and non-hosted buyers, and exhibitors) in Smart Monday education delivered by MPI.  Leveraging their MeetDifferent style of professional development for the day of innovation and education, MPI education received strong satisfaction results.

Additionally, hundreds of highly satisfied attendees enjoyed dynamic MPI keynote speakers in general sessions each morning of the show. MPI experience and expertise also led the development of the IMEX America mobile app, which had thousands of users interacting with education and data daily through their smartphones and tablets.

“I love it when a plan comes together. Seeing this exceptional event come to life after two years of collaboration was an incredibly rewarding experience,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of MPI. “We look forward to even greater collaboration in 2012 and into the future to assure that we continue to deliver exceptional professional development and business opportunities at IMEX America.”

And to round-out the strategic partnership, IMEX America hosted their official party in conjunction with Pure Rendezvous, a fundraiser for the MPI Foundation that yielded more than $23,000, which the MPI Foundation reinvested in education and research for the industry.

“IMEX America has succeeded in bringing the US and global industry the business, education and networking benefits we planned for,” said Ray Bloom, IMEX Chairman. “Our fresh new business model, centered on a strategic partnership with MPI and strong partnerships with the other leading industry associations, meant that IMEX America truly provided a global marketplace on American soil. We are now looking forward to developing several aspects of the show over the next few months in order to sustain that debut success and to build on the market momentum we’ve established.”

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