Value-added education program makes the second edition of IMEX America a hotter business ticket than ever

Value-added education program makes the second edition of IMEX America a hotter business ticket than ever

Over the past 12 months organizers of IMEX America, the biggest trade show in the US for the meetings, incentive travel and events industry, have focused on enhancing the winning formula of business-building, value, networking and education that saw the trade show launch to such positive effect last year.

As the second edition of the show nears opening at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, on Tuesday Oct 09, its extensive education program, which includes Smart Monday – Powered by MPI – on Oct 08, now comprises over 70 expert speakers. Together with speakers from the industry’s leading trade associations, they will deliver over 150 professional and personal development seminars, campfires and deep-dives thereby providing IMEX America participants with access to the equivalent of 12 days of professional education, most of which is accredited for continuing education or CMP points.

The trade show itself is also set to surpass last year on several important success measures including number of new booths, number of exhibiting companies and the number of US and international hosted buyers attending.

Strong line-up of daily keynotes in famous Venetian Showroom Theatre
In its role as strategic partner and premier education provider, MPI has produced a strong line-up of daily morning keynotes, starting with Debra Benton on Smart Monday at 8.30am. Benton specializes in helping people stay true to their authentic selves in the workplace and will share lessons in sharpening business thinking and behavior in order to be remembered at work for ‘all the right reasons’.

On Tuesday, Jeff Salz will take the stage to inspire and encourage his audience to embrace risk and “learn the secret of how to create the ultimate competitive advantage in times of change.”

Wednesday’s keynote will feature former bartender Doc Hendley telling his extraordinary story of how one man created a successful not-for-profit that “turns wine into water” (hear his pre-show podcast)

Rounding-off the MPI keynotes on Thursday will be Mike Maddock whose interactive presentation will be based on ideas from his business book, “Free the Idea Monkey.”

All keynotes will take place in the famous Venetian Showroom theatre – usually home to headliners such as Rita Rudner, David Spade and Tim Allen – and all keynote speakers will be available for book-signings during the show.

Smart Monday to feature new personal development deep-dives
The full Smart Monday program features a series of education sessions and networking breakouts which are open to all IMEX America participants (not just MPI members). Session choices include “Tech Tools for Productive Meeting Pros”; “Future Meetings: Flash Forward 2030” and “Design Participant-Driven Incentive Travel to Achieve Better Business Outcomes”, a session which will be jointly delivered by the Site Foundation and the Incentive Travel Council.

New for this year are three personal development deep-dives which have been crafted in response to attendee demand. Pre-registration is required for “Assertive Communication” and “Unleash Your Inner Leader”, all at 2pm on Monday Oct. 08.

Focus on positive impacts
Also taking place on Monday Oct. 08 is the IMEX America Association Focus – a day and evening of professional education and networking dedicated to the needs of association executives. Show organizers anticipate over 200 attendees. The event will also feature a new “Sustainability Safari” – delivered by the Green Meetings Industry Council – offering delegates the chance to go behind the scenes to see how IMEX works closely with The Venetian®|The Palazzo® and the Sands Expo to minimize waste and maximise sustainability efforts. A new opportunity to work with Clean the World® (sponsored by the Sands Expo) will also provide additional understanding about how seemingly small contributions to local legacy projects can have a positive impact.

Extensive education – hunger for technology advice
Elsewhere throughout the show, education delivery has been planned across 11 specific tracks, including community projects, health and wellbeing, HR and team work, marketing and communications, social media, research and personal development.

Other tracks include a new ‘Visionary Events’ series which will showcase recent events that have pushed the boundaries of planning, design or production. On Tuesday, for example, Think! Social Media presents “HyperLocal, HyperSocial and HyperConnected.” Midori Connolly, Chief AV Girl & President of Pulse Staging and Events and Jessica L. Levin, President & Chief Connector at Seven Degrees Communications will explain how they used SoMeT – the Social Media Tourism Symposium – in November 2011 as a “laboratory” for event technology and attendee engagement, blending high tech and high touch with great results.

IMEX America has also scheduled over 30 technology sessions in response to strong demand on this constantly-evolving topic. On the PSAV-sponsored App Bar, “Are You Taking Full Advantage of QR Codes?”, “Client Research Goes Mobile,” and “How to Truly Engage an Audience Using Mobile Apps” are likely to be highlights. Elsewhere, on the show floor’s Tech Pavilion “7 Steps to Designing Digital Games” and “Tools That Will Change Your Life – Productivity for Meeting Professionals” are set to be popular sessions among many others.

Sustainability is also an important track at IMEX America with education taking place chiefly at the Sustainability Hub – powered by GMIC (Green Meeting Industry Council). “Baby steps – The Key to a Smaller Footprint”, “Creating a Communication Plan for Sustainable Events” and “Gen X and Gen Y – the New Social Generation” are just three of the 22 free presentations offered.

New this year will also be mini education sessions on the IAEE and PCMA booths plus a Faculty Conclave where up to 12 academics will meet in private to discuss technology, funding and grant issues applicable to their students and also to future curriculum planning.

Another event that clearly identifies IMEX America as a trade show dedicated to driving the meetings industry forward, is the USTA Political Advocacy Forum (Tuesday Oct. 09) where Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman, and USTA CEO Roger Dow, will speak together with a panel including CEOs from various US destinations. A full schedule for every education session is available here.

Speaking about the extensive education offered during the second IMEX America, IMEX Group Chairman, Ray Bloom, said: “We are delighted to have produced a really exceptional education program for the show this year, and have done so with the help of many talented and knowledgeable association partners and individual experts. High-quality professional education continues to be an important part of the IMEX model and a great added-value opportunity for both buyers and suppliers attending the show. On top of this, the business side of the show is looking very strong indeed and I look forward to reporting on that fully once IMEX America is open.”

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