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Show previewJuly 2011 Conference+Meetings World 17IMEX Group is to replicate its European meetings exhibition stateside and this year sees the launch of IMEX America. In partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the event will take place between 11 and 13 October at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in the Venetian Palazzo Hotel.The new show is expected to welcome 1,500 exhibitors and host over 2,000 hosted buyers: 80 per cent from the US market and 20 per cent of international buyers with a strong interest in placing business internationally.IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom told CMW: "The US meetings and events market is the biggest in the world with the CIC's Economic Impact Study estimating its contribution to US GDP at US$106bn, and a total economic output of US$907bn. We know the MICE industry has gone through some tough times in recent years, but April 2011 data from the MPI Business Barometer confirms a solid recovery has been underway for over a year with attendance and spending surging during that time.iMeX does vegasLas Vegas is gearing up to host the inaugural IMEX America this October. Vikki Carley reports on what visitors can expect from the show.IMEX America host venue IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom (left)

Show preview"So even when you are talking about securing small percentages of business from US buyers, this translates into huge dollar sums, which is why people want to come to IMEX America."Among confirmed destination exhibitors for the show are Dubai and South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, China, Korea, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Europe will also have a strong presence at the show with Croatia, Failte Ireland, Greece, France, Spain, Denmark and Turkey all signed up. Forty one hotel groups have also confirmed their exhibiting attendance.There are a series of partners for the show and these include; the US Travel Association, CIC, IAEE and ACTE. These are in addition to those associations that will be co-locating major events at the show such as PCMA International Summit, Site's Annual International Conference, Sote North America and USTA Advocacy Forum. "In total we have association partnerships that allow us to be in regular touch with over 100,000 individual meetings industry professionals around the world," said Bloom.In addition to the lure of a recovering US meetings and events market, Bloom attributes the growth of interest in IMEX America to "powerful" educational offerings led by MPI, which include the MPI Meet Different Day of Education and Innovation and MPI Foundation Rendezvous.MPI will be creating educational programmes to run alongside the tradeshow with power keynotes each morning before the show starts together with a dedicated day of innovative meet different education the day before the exhibition opens. Other initiatives include co-development of the IMEX mobile app, a series of six expert webinars, and personal wellness activities such as fun-runs and yoga each morning of the show.MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan told CMW: "Our objective is to provide relevant, credible education in an environment and a way that encourages innovation, creativity and passion. We want the IMEX America audience to feel a sense of performance empowerment, as well as an aura of inspired action when they listen to each of our content presenters." The Sands Expo and Convention Center consists of more than 173msqm of combined meeting and event space and is the third largest in the country. It can host events for 20 people to 20,000.The venue Las Vegas Fast Facts18 Conference+Meetings World July 2011n Las Vegas means 'The Meadows' in Spanish n Las Vegas' average temperature is 27 farenheit with an average of 320 days of sunshine annually and 10cm of rain n Every 24-hours, 365 days a year, another two acres of Las Vegas land are developed for commercial or residential use n In 2002, more than 35m visitors passed through McCarran International Airportn Almost 50,000 people relocate to Las Vegas annually n Currently, more than 26 airlines provide non-stop services to more than 70 domestic and international destinations from Vegasn Nearly 900 daily scheduled flights operate in and out of McCarran Airport.Las Vegas' meeting credentials n Las Vegas hosts over 20,000 meetings, conventions and exhibitions per yearn There are 140,000 hotel rooms in the city, many of which are 4/5 star n Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) research shows that events that move to the city experience an increase in attendance of approx 14 per centn LVCVA research also shows that visitors to exhibitions in the city spend 2.5 to five hours longer on the show floor than at exhibitions in other USA destinations.Vegas hosts over 20,000 events a year