by By Lisa Grimaldi | October 29, 2009

The Imex Group will launch IMEX America, a hosted-buyer trade show for the meetings, incentives and events industry, Oct. 11-13, 2011, at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. The show has the support of major industry associations, including Meeting Professionals International (which Ray Bloom, chairman of the Imex Group, called a "strategic partner"), Site (which will hold its 2011 annual conference in Las Vegas Oct. 13-15, immediately following IMEX America), Destination Management Association International and the American Society of Association Executives, which will hold an education day for association planners on Oct. 10. Bloom told M&C  that show dates for 2012 and 2013 have been set, again for the Sands Center. Initially, he anticipates the show will host 1,500 buyers, with 80 percent coming from North America. His organization launched IMEX-Frankfurt, the European version of the show held each spring in Germany, in 2003. The move comes just weeks after Reed Travel Exhibitions announced it would hold its first North American hosted-buyer trade show in Baltimore, June  21-23, 2011 (after having pushed the date back twice from its original targeted debut of June 2009). The IMEX Group and Reed have been fiercely competitive in Europe: Reed acquired the hosted buyer trade show EIBTM, held in December in Barcelona since 2004, from Bloom before he set up IMEX-Frankfurt once his noncompete clause expired. Bloom's announcement also comes on the heels of the news that the Chicago-based Motivation Show, which had been the U.S. largest meetings industry trade show, would be scaling back its exhibition from three days to two beginning next year.