Las Vegas Lands New Trade ShowBy
IMEX, a major international exhibition for meetings and incentive travel professionals, will have a version in Las Vegas in 2011.
The inaugural IMEX America is planned at the Sands Expo Center Oct. 11-13, 2011, and is expected to draw leaders in the U.S. meetings industry as well as representatives from convention centers and large hotels from across the country.
“I have long felt that there was a need for a new dedicated and business-focused show in the United States,” said Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group. “Earlier this year, we began conversations with the industry about the level of interest.”
The show is important to Las Vegas because meetings planners from all over the country are expected to attend. While cities, hotels and convention authorities also will be present to offer proposals to those planners, Las Vegas and its resort community will have the advantage of being able to show and tell with tours of their facilities.
IMEX is collaborating with Dallas-based Meeting Professionals International and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to stage the new trade show.
The main IMEX show has been conducted for seven years in Frankfurt, and the LVCVA and several Las Vegas properties have attended annually to pitch the city and its hotels to convention, trade show and meetings planners.
Chris Meyer, vice president of convention sales for the LVCVA, introduced Bloom at a press conference at the Venetian announcing the new show on Wednesday.
Meyer said IMEX America is a major breakthrough for Las Vegas, which has seen much of its convention traffic evaporate during the economic downturn. Through August, 2009 convention visitation is down 30.2 percent from last year to 3.2 million visitors, according to the LVCVA.
Meyer said he expects the LVCVA and local properties to step up their marketing efforts in advance of the inaugural IMEX show with presentations at the Frankfurt show May 25-27.