IMEX is one of the only trade shows that comes with a long-standing history in the meetings and events industry. The first edition was hosted way back in 2002, in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2011, IMEX America came into the picture. You only have to look at the staggering numbers on their event website to see how valuable IMEX can be for exhibitors. 3,420 buyers, 2,200 exhibiting companies, and 50,000+ appointments—these numbers are pretty impressive.
Even better is that they’ve signed on big names, like Tahira Endean, to oversee their event program. Their What’s on page lists over 235 sessions, with topics ranging from sustainability and social impact at events to designing emotionally safe experiences. They also offer a wide range of activities, like meditations, tours, and of course, the very popular IMEX Run, to help you network with colleagues and start your day with an endorphin rush.
4 things you should absolutely try at IMEX 2022
Whether you’re arriving at IMEX as an attendee, hosted buyer, or exhibitor (like those of us at Zoho Backstage), here are some tips to help you make the most of your IMEX experience.
Go a day early
While the official event dates are October 11 - 13, 2022, the IMEX team has organized a series of pre-show programs, with workshops by organizations like Meetings Professionals International (MPI) and She Means Business, on October 10.
You can find the entire program here. Keep in mind, you’ll have to register separately for these activities, and some of them may be at a different venue, so make sure you check out all the details before planning your day.
Participate in IMEX’s sustainability initiatives
IMEX has always been big on sustainability and at The Green Room, we have always loved reading their event sustainability reports (like this one from 2019). For our part, we’ve ensured that all our swag this year is eco-friendly—drop by the Zoho Backstage booth (C4561 at the Tech Pavilion) to check it out!
Now to you—here are some ways attendees can contribute towards IMEX’s sustainability goals:
Choose a hotel close to the event venue. The IMEX website suggests the following places based on walking distance: Four Seasons (10 minutes), Mandalay Bay Resort (10 minutes), Delano (15 minutes), Luxor (15 minutes), and New York New York (30 minutes).
Take a reusable water bottle with you. You can fill it at one of the water coolers or refilling stations at the exhibitor booths or around the venue.
Drop your badges and lanyards in one of the badge back bins after the event so they can be recycled.
Choose food that’s water-wise and emission friendly. For example, the meatless burgers sold at IMEX 2021 used 89% less emissions and 97% less water than the average meat burger.
You can also take IMEX's sustainability pledge. All you have to do is perform any four of the actions mentioned on this form. Then, you can collect a green ribbon from the IMEX-EIC People & Planet Village or Info Zone to show that you’ve taken the pledge.
Check out the wellness activities
Wellness activities are a huge trend at events these days, and IMEX even has a whole track of activities — Be well at IMEX — dedicated to wellness. They’ve got everything from guided meditations and HIIT workouts to Dojo.
You can use the filter “Be Well Meditation” on their Education program page to view a full list of their wellness activities. And of course, be sure to take part in the ever-popular IMEX Run that we mentioned earlier in the article.
Quite a few exhibitors and partners have incorporated wellness into their booth experiences. One example is Together by Hyatt (E2343), which will be offering self-guided meditation pods and a chef demonstration area. You can also check out the Professional 1:1 coaching sessions by The Listening Collective, and book an appointment here.
If you’re feeling low on energy, you can always drop by the Zoho Backstage booth (C4561 at the Tech Pavilion) and pick up a few energy bars to recharge on the go.
Grow your network
The best part of attending in-person events is building a stronger and more lasting relationship with the connections you’ve made online. Make a list of people who you’d like to talk to at the event and schedule meetings with them beforehand. You can also follow the #IMEX22 hashtag on Twitter to see who’s attending and make some new friends before the event starts.
If you're looking to meet new people, IMEX hosts some networking activities that you can participate in. At $100 USD per person, the MPI Foundation Rendezvous—where you can “mingle with the industry’s best and brightest while enjoying spectacular views over the Strip, a multi-sensory dance floor and open bar”— is a pretty awesome place to start.
If you’re an academic teaching about the events and hospitality industries, then the free, two-day Faculty Engagement Program, run in partnership with IAEE, is something you should definitely check out. Other networking activities include the LGBT MPA Opening Night Networking Reception and SITE Nite North America.
5 things to do before you attend IMEX
As an event planner, you’re probably not new to checklists. You may even love them! So we thought we’d make a quick checklist for attendees to help you plan your trip better.
Set a goal: You might attend IMEX for any number of reasons—education, networking, visiting exhibits, or something else. So figure out you main goal and plan your trip accordingly.
Plan your agenda: With over a hundred sessions and activities running—many of them simultaneously—it helps to make a list of your favorites before the event. That way, you don’t regret missing something later on.
Print your badge: The IMEX team advises that you print your own badges, though they will provide the lanyards. So don’t forget to print yours before the event.
Carry a water bottle: We mentioned this before, but we’d like to say it again. Take a reusable water bottle with you to the event. You can also add in a coffee cup and straw, if possible.
Download the app: The IMEX America app will be available one week before the show. Be sure to download it to stay updated on event news, preview the exhibits, and more.
Here’s to a great time at IMEX America 2022! We hope to meet you there in person—be sure to drop by our booth (C4561 at the Tech Pavilion). Also, whether you’re a first-time or repeat attendee, let us know what you’re looking forward to most at the event. Tag @ZohoBackstage in your tweet or leave a comment below.