Hosted buyers from India enjoy record-breaking Imex America in Las Vegas

The economic impact of trade show Imex America 2018 on Las Vegas was estimated to be US$19 million, according to Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor Authority. Tull revealed the astonishing figure at the final press conference of the show at the Sands Expo and it was only one of a series of eye-watering numbers present by UK event organisers, Brighton-based Regent Exhibitions.

It was the largest ever IMEX that had expanded into an additional hall and created space for more than 3,500 exhibitors representing 150 countries. A significant factor in this growth was the arrival of more than 60 new booths.

A record number of more than 13,000 participants took part in the event and among them were 6,000 plus attendees including more than 3,300 hosted buyers, including two groups from India. More than 70,000 appointments were claimed to have been made, including 64,000 individual appointments and booth presentations – an increase of 7 per cent.

Meeting Professionals International’s Paul Van Deventer revealed that 850 delegates attended 72 sessions at MPI’s Smart Monday event and with the highly successful Rendezvous party in the middle of the show, MPI Foundation raised a record US$400,000.

Imex group chairman Ray Bloom described the event as “a landmark week for our industry” due to the announcement of research estimating the value of the industry worldwide at US$1 trillion.

Mumbai-based Krish Chowdhry of Candid – a company that manages associations and provides DMC services – accompanied 13 people from Mumbai and New Delhi. He said: “Some of the products here are not at the Frankfurt show and therefore it is quite a different experience to be here.”

He said his group flew independently and all were owner-managers of intermediary agencies in India. He said he felt the USA is becoming more attractive for Indian organisers. He added: “The US embassy in New Delhi has been very receptive. I think the VISA issue has been a worry but so long as all the paperwork is properly completed early, there doesn’t seem to be a problem.”

Another participant was Amaresh Tiwari, MD of Meetings & Incentives World in New Delhi and also honorary secretary of the India Convention Promotion Bureau. His trip also included events his company are managing in London and Paris. His agency organises 12-15 HR and leadership programmes worldwide in addition to around 25 events in India. He said: “The show has been good for me with a lot of variety but Frankfurt offers a wider variety of suppliers as Eastern Europe are not here in the same numbers, for example.”