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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

FODO ANUAL REPORT 2011 41WalesHelen Tilley, Chair of Optometry Wales, reportsIn 2009 Optometry Wales (OW) faced a brave new world with the recruitment of Sali Davis, OW Operations Manager, new offices and a new structure for the Executive Board and Local Health Boards. Utilising our greater resources, Sali has been key to promoting our profile throughout 2010/11. Optometry Wales has worked very hard to progress our ideal of securing a properly funded eye examination but because of the budget cuts in Wales we have not been able to secure a contract for optometry. We have though been successful in protecting the WECI/PEARS service - a huge achievement in this new age of austerity where services are being cut across healthcare.We have also experienced some great successes with the newly formed Local Health Boards (LHBs) which have reacted to the budget cuts by promoting and encouraging the re-direction of secondary care services into the community (our establishment and co-ordination of eye care pathway groups within the LHBs was key to achieving this).OW continues to lobby all political parties at their spring conferences and more importantly, with the Assembly Elections in May 2011, we are working hard to secure commitment from AMs and potential candidates to help us take forward the vision we have for optometry in Wales. This has been assisted by gaining membership on party health groups as well as cross party vision groups.In October 2010 we launched the OW manifesto. Endorsed by all four political parties in Wales, it sets out our main aims for 2011 and onwards. We also published a catalogue of Local Enhanced Services that has been used by the LHBs to identify services that would suit the needs of their populationsThe new structure of the OW Executive Board has also helped in raising the profile of optometry. The streamlined Executive has dedicated leads for Primary Care Development, Education and Communications and we have been able to divide workloads and enjoy the benefits of a more collaborative and inclusive approach to committee work.Joint working with orthoptists, ophthalmologists and other partners has ensured that 2010 was a year filled with challenges and opportunities. OW continues to progress good working relationships with all our partners and our commitment to developing and strengthening partnership working is embedded in our work programme going forward. This is my final year as OW Chair and I am pleased to report that we have risen to the challenges of budget cuts and governmental change, protecting necessary services such as PEARS and WECI and ensuring that every partner we work with is aware of the contribution that optometry can and does play in the lives of patients.I look forward to seeing the results of the groundwork of 2010 and watching with eager anticipation the fruits of our labour in 2011.Paul Morris is the FODO representative on Optometry Wales.Visit and fi nd a supplier in seconds!C+MW has added an online directory to its website to help you fi nd suppliers and venues.ORGANISING A CONFERENCEJUST GOT EASIERDo you want to reach meetings and conference organisers in buying mode? For details on how you can be listed in the online directory contact Andrew French on +44 (0)20 8971 8282.