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IMEX US PreviewISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 15Viva las IMEX AmericaAhEAd of thE InAUgUrAl IMEX AMErICA MEEtIngS And InCEntIvES trAdEShoW In lAS vEgAS, CMW fIndS oUt If thErE'S MorE to MEEtIngS In SIn CIty as Vegas is a notorious convention destination often described by delegates as a guilty pleasure. The town was rejected in force by corporates during the global financial crisis when companies, as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Programme, deemed the 'resort' subject to event restrictions. Despite its perception as a jolly haven, Las Vegas is still an international meetings heavyweight with a ream of impressive statistics. Last year alone it welcomed over four million delegates, who attended 18,004 conventions. Recent research by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) found events that move to the city experience an increase in attendance of 14 per cent. Exhibition visitors also spend 2.5 to hours longer on a Vegas show floor. In terms of hotel occupancy, the city stood at 80 per cent in 2010 with its 148,000 rooms, compared to the US average of 58 per cent. The LVCVA said the city saw a double-digit growth in overseas visitors last year. "International visitors are one of the key growth markets," said LVCVA President and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter. "Our goal is to increase the international market share to 30 per cent over the next 10 years."With these healthy statistics in mind you can see why IMEX Group's Chairman, Ray Bloom chose Las Vegas when he decided to bring his successful Frankfurt-based meetings tradeshow to debut in the US. IMEX America is expecting to welcome 1,500 exhibitors, over 2,000 hosted buyers and thousands more visitors when doors open on 11 October at the Sands Expo. In terms of the make up of hosted buyers, 80 per cent will be American. The remaining will be international buyers with an interest in North American markets. The show lasts three days but, when combined with co-located events, it will last for a week. WordS Sarah O'DOnnell PICtUrES laS VeGaS neWS BUreaUAbove: The iconic Las Vegas stripLWe are looking forward to delivering a truly international show for the US marketIMeX GrOUp'S ChaIrMan, ray BlOOM

IMEX US Preview16 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 65US hosted buyers who also place business internationally IMEx group80%The week will start with 'Smart Monday', which will be dedicated solely to professional education, followed by the show and 14 major co-located industry events. These include the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation; an ACTE Power Talk; the PCMA International Summit; Site's Annual International Conference; plus customer-only events by partners such as Maritz Travel and Carlson Marketing. These events give attendees access to the equivalent of 12 days of education. Many sessions will offer Continuing Education Unit/CMP credits.Industry partnerships for the show include MPI and the US Travel Association plus endorsements by Destination Marketing Association International and Site. "The association partnerships allow us to be in regular touch with 100,000 professionals, giving the show exceptional networking and business power," said Bloom. "All of these different industry 'tribes' coming together will make for an extraordinary event." IMEX America will also present an Association Day, held one day prior to the show. It will be presented by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and will be followed by analysis of Fast Future's Conventions 2020 Global Market Research Study. Exhibiting powerAmong the 1,500 exhibitors there will be many US destinations including California and Hawaii. Latin America has also shown a strong appetite for space with Mexico, Argentina, Panama and Costa Rica all confirmed. Among the European exhibitors will be Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, England, Spain and Turkey. Dubai and South Africa are confirmed plus a strong showing from the Asia Pacific including Japan, New Zealand, China, Korea, and Malaysia. Almost 50 hotel groups have signed up including Starwood, IHG, Marriott, Leading Hotels of the World, Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental."The demand has been outstanding and we are looking forward to delivering a truly international show for the US market come October," said Bloom. IMEX America will take place 11-13 October 2011. right: IMEX America's host, The Venetian5 reasons to attend: 1. Business - volume and qualityThe show will have 1,500 exhibitors representing 100 international and national destinations and an online appointment system that maximises time on show floor 2. Education programmes14 co-located events with over 50 educational sessions (all free of charge) 3. Networking opportunitiesMajor associations, corporates and third parties are together in one place, providing opportunities to meet senior decision makers, suppliers and buyers. Plus hundreds of cocktail receptions on show floor stands4. It's freeNo registration fees and IMEX and MPI education sessions are entirely free of charge5. It's in VegasThe city is know for its capacity to host large-scale business events as well as offering lots of fun for delegates. Buyers can stay at The Venetian/Palazzo for US$129 per night and Delta and Star Alliance offer flight discounts