Rumours that IMEX America may move have been quashed by Ray Bloom, chairman of organisers Regent Exhibitions, who said the event industry trade show will stay in Las Vegas for the foreseeable future, with dates under discussion beyond 2020.
He paid tribute to both the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority and the venue for the show, The Sands Convention Center and adjoining hotels The Venetian and The Palazzo, in delivering the event when he spoke at the final press conference.
“We would not have been here without the support of the LVCVA and The Sands as our partners. This is the most incredible property and the service we receive here is fantastic. It is way beyond what is possibly noticeable. And I want to make it clear that despite rumours that we might move, there is longevity in the partnership in the sense that we intend to be staying here with dates beyond 2020 now under discussion.
Bloom said the 2012 hosted buyer programme brought in 2,400 people, 80 per cent from North America and the remainder from Europe, Latin America and Asia.
“Many of them stay for the entire three days so that makes a lot of difference to the volume of traffic on the floor. Non-hosted buyer attendees numbered 1,700 with additional benefits provided for them.”
But Bloom admitted there are issues with come corporate buyers who are not allowed to accepted invitations to be hosted because of compliance issues. He said: “Obviously that hasn’t held us back in building and growing the number of hosted buyers from 2,000 last year to 2,400 this year, not least because they can afford to pay their way to attend here and the education programme was strong enough to be a draw for those people. But we will expand the hosted buyer programme significantly next year."
Bloom also pointed to the success of 'Smart Monday', a full day educational programme masterminded by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) that delivered more than 1,000 of their delegates on the day before the trade show proper began.
Pictured: Ray Bloom