Thanks to increased interest from buyers and exhibitors alike, the second IMEX America trade show — taking place Oct. 9-11 in Las Vegas — will be "significantly bigger" than the first, the IMEX Group announced yesterday.
Of contracts received so far, show organizers said, 20 percent of those who exhibited last year are returning with bigger booths. Of those, 50 percent have more than doubled their booth space. Chief among them: hotel and resort groups, including Loews, Mandarin Oriental, Peabody, Rosen and Wynn Las Vegas, among others.
In addition, the show so far has booked nearly 40 new booths — many of them from hoteliers and U.S. destinations. New hoteliers, for example, are Trump Hotels, KSL Resorts and Peninsula. New U.S. destinations, meanwhile, include Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Long Beach, Calif.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Nashville; Seattle; Sedona, Ariz.; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Finally, the IMEX Group said, this year's hosted buyer program also will be larger, with well over 2,000 buyers expected thanks in part to new hosted buyer groups from the likes of Carnival Corp., Loews Hotels, the MGM Group, the Religious Convention Management Association (RCMA) and Sofitel Luxury Hotels, among others.
"We were delighted with the positive response we received after last year's debut IMEX America; it was clear the show produced the business results both exhibitors and buyers were looking for," said IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom. "It is gratifying to see that feedback now being converted into increased participation on both sides, which bodes well for an even stronger IMEX America this October … and we've still got three months to go."