2,909 hosted buyers. Final figures have now been published following the successful conclusion of the fourth edition of IMEX America at the Sands Expo® in Las Vegas last month. The statistics, which are now available on the trade show’s website, illustrate that 2,909 hosted buyers attended IMEX America, travelling to Las Vegas from 52 countries in addition to the US and Canada. This represents an 8 percent increase on 2013. Of all hosted buyers 70 percent came from the US, 6 percent from Canada, 5 percent from Brazil and 3.5 percent from the UK. Chinese hosted buyers accounted for 2 percent of the total, as did buyers from Mexico.
The number of attendees who came to the show (independent of the hosted program) also increased. Their numbers rose by 4 percent to 1,919 with 85 percent of them coming from the US; 3 percent from Canada and a further 3.5 percent from Mexico. When analysed by nature of business, the statistics reveal that hosted buyers from incentive houses and agencies accounted for 64 percent of all those attending. A further 21.5 percent of hosted buyers were from the corporate sector with 8.5 percent being association buyers. The remaining buyers were classified as ‘independent planners’.
The statistics also confirm that IMEX America exhibitor numbers climbed this year. They increased by 8 percent, rising to 2900 exhibitors from 150 countries. Overall booth space also increased by 13 percent. Statistics based on pre- and at-show usage of the unique IMEX online appointment system, which allows buyers to make appointments with exhibitors of their own choice, reveal strong usage of a new function called the ‘appointment profile’. Trialled at IMEX in Frankfurt in May, this new online function allows buyers to create up to five short event profiles – mini RFPs – to provide exhibitors with a specification on budget, size, scope, theme and date for a particular meeting or event. 45 percent of all hosted buyers took advantage of the new appointment profile function. As a result exhibitors were able to prepare in advance for almost half of the one-to-one appointments based on knowledge of a specific piece of business the buyer was looking to place.
The statistics also reveal that 53,000 prescheduled appointments were made between buyers and exhibitors, a figure which comprises one-to-one appointments as well as booth presentations (also chosen by the buyers). IMEX introduced booth presentations last year as a way to allow individual buyers to acquire a general introduction to a new supplier by joining an open group, rather than making a personal 30-minute appointment.