Big come back: Sustainability, belonging and ...
Big come back

Sustainability, belonging and freedom of choice

Photo: IMEX America

Speaking in the show's closing press conference at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, IMEX chairman, Ray Bloom, announced an overall participation of 12,000 people, of whom over 4,000 were buyers. Nearly 3,300 of these attended on the show's hallmark hosted buyer programme. Bloom explained that the IMEX America 2022 edition (October 11 to 13, 2022) was 45% bigger than last year due to an easing of travel restrictions plus 40% of returning exhibitors taking more booth space.

Bloom continued, "The size of this year's show is obviously a function of many in the industry being able to travel and plan meetings again and to do so with certainty. IMEX felt like the big come-back we've all been waiting for - that's not to deny that challenges remain." Some of the big themes percolating: service levels, contracts, wellbeing and mental health; the pros and cons of distributed workforces; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI+B) and sustainability, both personal and environmental.
„We're all invited to understand that events, and event designs, have excluded too many people for too long“
Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO
Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, explained that, aside from being awarded MeetGreen's Visionary status and the TSE (Trade Show Executive) Grand Award for Most Commendable Green Initiatives for the 2021 show, IMEX America has achieved the Events Industry Council's Sustainable Event Standards Platinum Certification. "From our A Voice for All programme on Smart Monday, to Google Experience Institute's NEU Project, we're all invited to understand that events, and event designs, have excluded too many people for too long", Carina said.

She added: "Two concepts I take from this week are belonging and freedom of choice. The first is about making sure everyone feels welcomed. The second is a call for planners to let go. We need to put people first, give them more choice and pay more attention to what makes us all human."