A number of fruitful meetings took place on Tuesday and the feedback from attendees underscores the successful first day of IMEX America: “I received a walk-up inquiry for a sales kick off meeting for 2025 – and that was before I’d even finished my first cup of coffee!“, says Andrew Farrelly-Swanston, Head of Sales – Conferences & Events at ExCeL London. “I also bumped into a contact at the hotel check-in and we’ve arranged to meet on the show floor to sign a contract for a medical association event in 2026 – talk about serendipity!”. Silke Koehnecke, Southwest Airlines Managing director specialty sales, reports that she had multiple unscheduled visitors representing some very high-volume meetings within the first thirty minutes of the show opening.
150 sessions covering hot topics
A 150-session strong learning program has been designed to enhance the thousands of meetings taking place. MPI previewed their latest Meetings Outlook survey, sharing the sheer scale of the sector: out of the 336,000 jobs created in the US last month, 96,000 were in leisure and hospitality. The survey revealed the current challenges faced by meeting professionals, which include budgeting, staffing and talent, and client expectations, with cost management topping the list.
Managing costs was another topic at many of the show’s learning sessions and leaders of in-person, virtual and hybrid events delivered their newest interactive, event-design experience. Maya Jaguar, Transformation Coach and Interfaith Reverend, led a morning session with an experiential ritual featuring drummers for an audience of 70+ people. “Rituals are a practice that are 70,000 years old but have real relevancy today. They’re a gateway to the creative side of the mind as they fire up all the senses,” she said.
IMEX America 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opened with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 16, followed by the three-day trade show October 17 -19.