A First-timer’s Guide To Navigating IMEX America 2023
IMEX America is a renowned conference and trade show in the meetings and events industry, held annually in Las Vegas. It offers a plethora of opportunities for networking, learning, and exploring the vibrant city. If you plan to attend IMEX America 2023 for the first time, here are some tips to help you navigate the conference and maximize your experience.
1. Set Expectations and Goals
Before heading to IMEX America, setting clear expectations and goals for what you want to achieve during the conference is crucial. Whether you want to network with industry professionals, learn about the latest trends, or explore new business opportunities, having a clear vision will help you prioritize your time and focus on activities that align with your objectives.
2. Set Up Your IMEX Account and Enroll for the Show
Initiate your IMEX experience by creating your account and registering for the show here.
Additionally, consider joining the Navigating IMEX for the First Time webinar on Wednesday, October 4. This session provides a platform to interact with other newcomers, engage in discussions, and pose any queries you might have. Before attending, ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated and your contact details are current, paving the way for seamless networking opportunities.
3. Book Meetings and Networking Opportunities in Advance
IMEX America is teeming with opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and potential business partners. In 2022, there were 62,000 meetings, and IMEX says meetings are “the lifeblood of our show.”
Every buyer schedules meetings, regardless of whether they are a hosted buyer or a buyer attendee. After receiving your welcome email, you’ll gain access to your IMEX account and can browse our Exhibitor Directory and directly arrange 30-minute meetings.
Additionally, buyers can schedule meetings through the product search, attendee list, and by sending messages (exclusively with exhibitor team members). It’s important to note that meetings are conducted solely between buyers and exhibitors and can only be initiated by the buyers.
Also, IMEX America hosts various social events and receptions. Attend these gatherings to meet industry peers in a more relaxed setting and to build relationships that could lead to future collaborations.
4. Make Space for Free Time and Self-Care
While the conference can be exhilarating, it can also be overwhelming. It’s essential to allocate some free time to decompress and practice self-care. Take short breaks between sessions, stay hydrated, and ensure you get enough rest. Balancing your schedule will help you stay energized and focused throughout the conference.
5. Take the First-Timers Tour
If you are new to this colossal event, consider joining the IMEX America first-timers tour. This 30-minute tour will introduce you to the conference layout, helping you familiarize yourself with the venue and the various sections, making navigating the space easier and finding your way around.
6. Don’t Forget To Explore Las Vegas
IMEX America’s host city, Las Vegas, is a destination with entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences. Take some time to leave the conference and explore the city’s iconic attractions, world-class restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Experiencing the local culture will enrich your overall conference experience and provide a refreshing break from the bustling event atmosphere.
Note: Las Vegas offers many entertainment and dining options, and it’s easy to overspend. Set a daily budget for meals, transportation, and entertainment to manage your expenses effectively.
7. Attend Free Education Sessions
IMEX America offers more than 150 free education sessions covering a wide range of topics related to the meetings and events industry. These sessions are valuable opportunities to gain insights, learn about the latest trends, and enhance your industry knowledge. Book time in your schedule to attend these informative sessions and participate in discussions.
8. Plan Your Schedule Wisely
With a myriad of sessions, meetings, and activities happening simultaneously, it’s essential to plan your schedule wisely. Use the IMEX America app to create a personalized agenda, keeping track of your appointments, sessions, and networking events. This will help you manage your time effectively and ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
Don’t forget to explore the various exhibits at IMEX America. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover new products, services, and innovations in the meetings and events industry.
9. Pack (Comfortable) Essentials
Remember to pack all the essentials for the conference, including comfortable shoes, plenty of charging cables and backup batteries, a water bottle, and a notebook. These items will help you stay organized, comfortable, and ready to make the most out of every opportunity.
Don’t forget: Although maintaining a professional appearance is important, comfort is critical when navigating a large conference. Wear comfortable attire and shoes, as you’ll likely spend most of your time on your feet.
10. Reflect and Follow Up
After the conference — and maybe a week or so later — take some time to reflect on your experiences, the people you’ve met, and the knowledge you’ve gained. Follow up with the contacts you’ve made and explore opportunities for collaboration, learning, and growth. Consider sharing key takeaways with your LinkedIn audience or on your company’s blog to keep the conversation going.
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By following these tips, you can easily navigate IMEX America and make your first visit a rewarding and memorable experience.
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Whether you are there to learn, network, or explore, IMEX America has something to offer for everyone in the meetings and events industry. We can’t wait to see you there!