by Lisa A. Grimaldi | November 01, 2013
IThe third annual IMEX America show, which took place Oct. 15-17 at the Las Vegas Sands Expo, showed significant growth from its 2012 edition.

According to Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group, the number of hosted buyer attendees increased by more than 12 percent, from 2,400 in 2012 to 2,700. In addition:

• Appointments between buyers and exhibitors grew by 27 percent, with 50,000 individual appointments.

• Exhibitor numbers increased by almost 12 percent, to 2,694 from 2,413 last year.

• General attendee numbers, not yet finalized at press time, were expected to be 1,700, similar to last year.

This year's show featured the inaugural IMEX and U.S. Travel Association Po­licymakers Forum, with lawmakers from key destinations, CEOs from destination marketing organizations and industry association heads who discussed industry challenges. Participants included Mayor Vincent Gray of Wasington, D.C. (via live video) and Mayor David Coss of Santa Fe, N.M.

Another highlight was the third Executive Meet­ings Forum, a two-day program for C-suite executives attended by 30 top corporate meeting planners from firms like Wells Fargo and Cisco.

More than 170 education sessions also were part of the agenda, including a full day of classes organized by Meeting Professionals International.