Attending the IMEX America Show: Exhausting Yet Energizing

October 23, 2018 Kevin Edmunds

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Okay, so I’m posting this blog a bit late because last week was a blur. Why? Well, along with more than 13,000 other buyers and suppliers in the meeting, convention and incentive business, I attended the eighth annual IMEX America conference and exhibition in Las Vegas.

My show experience consisted of three days of meeting with group clients and prospects at the Hard Rock and Nobu Hotel booths, plus sitting in on a few educational sessions to learn the latest trends and best practices related to business events, plus chatting with people from around the world at evening receptions. In fact, AIC Hotel Group held its own reception one evening for about 200 people so that we could spend a little more quality time with folks who use our properties as well as those who are thinking about using our properties for their meeting and incentive groups.

The only thing I can say about IMEX America is that the days are long, but as the final hour of the show winds down on day three, you sit back and think to yourself, “Wow, that went fast.” Our property reps and I prepare a good amount for our interactions with clients and prospects, but the time seems to go by much too quickly for us to talk about all the interesting things we have going on at our properties on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Mexico and in the Dominican Republic. The good news is that we continue our conversations with these folks via phone or email, and customize our follow-up information to their needs.

As for the educational sessions at IMEX America, the one I found most interesting was called “Understanding Gen Z.” Just when you’ve gotten used to the learning styles and social preferences of the Millennials, here comes the first wave of Gen Z entering the working world with their own styles and preferences. And if you think you have plenty of time to figure them out, you’re wrong. In two years, Gen Z will make up 20 percent of the workforce. What’s more, 62 percent of them say they anticipate having some problem working with the older generations because of differences in perspectives. And we haven’t even talked about the fact that they are the first generation of “tech natives.” In other words, they don’t know what life was like without the internet and mobile phones!

I’m glad I attended that session, because it now motivates me to learn more about what our next generation of business and leisure travelers will expect from our properties. And if that helps us work better with meeting and incentive planners to meet their goals, then the lack of sleep I experienced at IMEX America was certainly worthwhile.

 


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