I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
The launch of IMEX America (America’s Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings & Events) was announced Wed. in Las Vegas, the host city for this show that will be part of the IMEX Group of exhibitions, which brings with it a proven track record of success.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> “I have long felt there was a need for a dedicated and business-focused show in the U.S. as there is a gap in the market and a need for a broadly-based show for corporate and association planners. IMEX America will benefit from the largest-scale hosted buyer program to be delivered in North America, where top meetings and incentives buyers from across the U.S. and the world, travel and stay free as our guests,” explains Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> IMEX America's competition will be the inaugural AIBTM (Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibitor) held June 21-23, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center by Reed Travel Exhibitions. These two shows mean trouble for The Motivation Show in Chicago that has been sputtering in recent years. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The inaugural IMEX America show will be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian and The Palazzo from October 11 to 13, 2011—roughly the same time as The Motivation Show, which is held in October in Chicago. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> IMEX America will host 1,500 buyers, 80 percent of whom will originate from within North America. Other travel and accommodations packages will be created to attract several thousand more key decision-makers from across the country. Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is planning to host some 600 buyers at AIBTM in 2011, 500 from North America, according to Vanessa Cotton, chair of RTE. She also is planning on some 2,000 trade visitors at AIBTM.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Industry organizations supporting Bloom's new show include Meeting Professionals International (MPI), which will be the Strategic Partner of IMEX America and will help with education as well as IMEX’s successful Future Leaders Forum. Incentive travel industry group Site will hold its 2011 Annual Conference immediately after IMEX America, on October 13-15, while ASAE will be holding an association-focused educational event the day preceding IMEX America.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Officials on hand for the press conference from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) where thrilled with the news of the exhibition. “IMEX America will help our efforts on the meeting side,’ says Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA’s president and CEO. “It once again stresses that Las Vegas is the place to do and conduct business. It will help us grow our international market that we would like to see grow by 20 percent.”<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> To support this new show, a new IMEX office is opening in Chicago, managed by IMEX America’s US-based president, Kimberly Meyer. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> “We are confident that Las Vegas will provide IMEX America with a truly outstanding, long-term home,” adds Chris Meyer, vice president of sales for the LVCVA.