As one of the largest shows held at Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, IMEX North America held its annual show in Las Vegas on October 16-18, hosting more than 7,000 attendees. IMEX North America features the largest hosted buyer program in North America and attracts thousands of buyers and exhibitors from around the world.
“We’ve hosted IMEX for the past 8 years and the show was launched here at Sands Expo,” said Jerelle Gordon, national tradeshow sales manager at Sands Expo. “We built a relationship with the executives from IMEX and it went from there. It’s probably quadrupled in size since the first show.”
The show draws meeting and event planners from all over the world, with this year’s group consisting of 4,000 buyers, event planners and various companies that specialize in trade shows, and 3,000 suppliers, representatives of the travel and hospitality industry. IMEX is a global tradeshow that attracts meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition (MICE) industry experts and leaders to come to one meeting place, networking and educating themselves on innovations in the MICE industry.
“The key to IMEX is that it ties into how our company was created with the focus on meetings and conventions,” Gordon said. “We are able to host a show that aligns with our core principle, the convention-based business. I think IMEX and other shows that we host year after year come to Sands Expo because we offer state-of-the-art facilities and we meet their objectives. We also have so many veteran employees that have been here 10 to 15 years that are experts that I think our large shows love coming back because of the experience and expertise we bring to the table with every show.”
Sands Expo also holds the largest buyer program in North America, placing almost 2,000 buyers through a qualification process, resulting in 60 to 70 buyers attending quality appointments throughout the duration of the show, generating 277 leads and millions of dollars. Another plus to hosting a show at Sands Expo is the offering of Green Meetings and Events. Gordon says that just by having an event at the property means planners are already having a sustainable event.
“The booths are becoming more multifaceted and I think the industry is moving forward, but it’s also because of Sands Expo’s capabilities,” Gordon said. “We put all hands on deck for our shows and our team is so good at navigating the entire process with our planners. For many of our sustainable events, we no longer have paper catalogues and we use apps to present the agenda. We also offer reusable carpet for booths, food and beverage offerings are all sustainable, and centerpieces and garnishes can all be eaten, donated or recycled. We have our own standards in place, but we have many planners that want to take it a step further. This is what sets us apart from the other resorts on the strip. We offer completely sustainable events and meetings and our clients are more than willing to take those extra steps in the right direction. With our large, experienced team, this really solidifies us as one of the best and resorts and meetings spaces in the world.”