by Lisa A. Grimaldi | October 13, 2017
IMEX chair Ray Bloom
The seventh edition of IMEX America attracted more than 12,000 total attendees, including about 3,200 hosted buyers and 3,300 exhibitors, to Las Vegas this past week. According to IMEX chair Ray Bloom, who called the 2017 show "the largest ever," 20 percent of returning exhibitors from 2016 booked larger spaces, while 64 new booths were added. Bloom also noted that more than 70,000 appointments between buyers and exhibitors were made.
 
The show's extensive education offerings included Smart Monday, powered by MPI, which attracted 1,000 event professionals; the Association Leadership Forum, a new special education program that brought together 85 association CEOs and executives; and the Executive Meeting Forum, which drew 30 senior corporate meetings executives.
 
New CSR and sustainability initiatives launched this year by the IMEX Group included using recyclable carpet in the aisles and some of the booths, and the absence of a printed show catalog.
 
Another highlight of this year's IMEX America was the gathering of industry leaders this past Tuesday to express their support of #VegasStrong, in response to the tragic shooting that took place in the city less than 2 weeks ago.
 
At yesterday's closing press conference, Bloom said, "This has been a week when the positive outlook of everyone has ensured that doing business -- planning meetings and events -- continues to be a powerful way to regenerate and drive economies forward."