IMEX America chairman Ray Bloom announced this week that his organization has increased the number of qualified hosted buyers invited to its first show from 1,500 to 2,000, with 80 percent coming from North America. The first IMEX America will take place Oct. 11-13, 2011, at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas. In a release, Bloom said, "Our previous figures were confident but conservative. Recent discussions with our partners and other new business alliances make it clear that there is pent-up demand. I'm confident we will see 2,000 hosted buyers at IMEX America -- an increase of more than 30 percent on our previous announcement."