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IMEX America Association Day Kicks Off With Powerful Business Focus

200 association meeting planners from across the US and 20 countries around the world came together yesterday for an afternoon and evening programme of learning and networking as part of the first ever IMEX America Association Day.

The event, which is unique to IMEX, was supported by the show’s headquarters hotels, The Venetian, The Palazzo and The Sands and Official AV suppliers, PSAV. The forum was co-organized and presented by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership and ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association).

The education day was dedicated exclusively to the everyday management, operational and professional development issues faced by association executives.

Yesterday’s programme, which took place as part of a mix of special education sessions called ‘Smart Monday’, was customized to allow association executives to share best practices and insights as well as learning from industry experts and leaders in a private setting.

All 200 association meeting planners have stayed on as part of the IMEX America hosted buyer programme to meet and do business with exhibitors over the next few days.

Hot topics that caught the attention of delegates and were widely debated throughout the day included long-term strategy planning, emerging market penetration challenges, new trends affecting the global association market and the changing nature of client, association management and member relations.

An alternative three-hour deep dive session was also a draw for IMEX America Association Day participants. "Associations at the Crossroads – The Shifting Landscape of Business Models and Membership in an Uncertain Future" offered a compelling conversation guided by speakers: Susan Robertson, CAE, EVP, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership; Jay Younger, Managing Partner and Chief Consultant at McKinley Marketing Inc. and Scott Steen, CAE, CEO of American Forests Association.

Although innovation was an important part of the day’s programme, it had a particularly strong focus during Fast Future Research’s 20-minute Power Briefing. In “Event Innovation - The Latest Examples from the Convention 2020 Study”, CEO Rohit Talwar took participants through short case studies on how associations and other event owners around the world are evolving the design and delivery of their events to keep in step with rapidly changing social, economic and technology trends.

Later in the evening, IMEX America Association Day attendees joined an informal evening reception, held in the Palazzo Ballroom and hosted by the Las Vegas Sands Corp. Buyers had the opportunity to socialize and network with hundreds of IMEX America exhibitors and other association partners and peers. The reception drew 700 meetings industry professionals.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, commented: "I’ve been delighted with the feedback we’ve received, which testified to a terrific day – and evening - jam-packed with value, learning and networking. It clearly left association meeting planners feeling energized and empowered. These hosted buyers -- especially being part of a newer attendee model for the US market-- also seemed to find great benefit in connecting with peers from different world markets, as well as across North America. This was an important part of our “Smart Monday” education day and a great kick-off for the inaugural IMEX America."