EVENT FOCUS: Much to Look Forward to at IMEX America 2013

Written by Tara Thomas

The Meeting Pool sat down (virtually) with Miguel Neves, Senior Online Community Manager from the IMEX Group to cover what’s hot and happening at the show.  miguelN

 Thanks for your time, Miguel.  What’s the new “big innovation” at IMEX 2013?

There are quite a few new innovations at IMEX America 2013. We have a brand new social hub where all the show’s social media activity will be monitored and where we will record short pieces of video content throughout the show. We have created a v2.0 of IMEXLive which will be the place for anyone who cannot be at IMEX America to take a peek into IMEX America from online. We’ve also made all our show floor educations sessions 30 min long so that participants can fit these into their busy schedules. Last but definitely not least we have created the Tech Hub.

What is the Tech Hub?

The Tech Hub is the new home for technology and social media education at IMEX America. The Tech Hub is sponsored by Double Dutch and we offer up to six daily sessions by top industry speakers on these topics. We created the Tech Hub based on the feedback and number of people participating in technology and social media educational sessions at IMEX America 2011 and 2012. We are confident that the Tech Hub will be very well attended throughout the show.

ImageGenWho is participating in IMEX this year?  Any interesting session formats on tap?

We have a number on industry speakers including Julius Solaris, Jessica Levin and Elizabeth Glau just to name a few. Our sponsors Double Dutch will also provide one daily educational session on the Tech Hub. The format is a small theater style setup with good audiovisual support. We encourage the speakers to be as interactive as possible in the delivery of their sessions.

At The Meeting Pool, we’re interested in the rapidly changing technology environment in the event space.  How do you think technology changes the game for event professionals?

I think technology is changing the game for all professionals and this impacts event professionals even more as participant behaviors have developed in part by the adoption of new technologies. In many ways event professionals must raise their game particularly when it comes to educational sessions and participant comfort. In terms of comfort, appropriate connectivity and power make all the difference. When it comes to session delivery speakers and event organizers must work hard to really engage participants as they battle with the disruptive elements of technology. Top down sessions are not popular and speakers must be engaging or the participants’ attention will go elsewhere. The use of technology can also be attractive to an audience and when, well designed and delivered, can have a hugely positive impact on the participant satisfaction.

ImageGen2What do events folks love about IMEX?

We receive excellent feedback from both our show and participants overwhelmingly see IMEX America as a place to get business done. It’s fun, lively and tiring, but most of all it’s a really useful show to network, learn, do research and get the deals that they need. Each participant really makes their own IMEX America experience, by selecting their appointments, educational sessions and RSVP’ing to reception invitations or any of the many side events taking place. The fact that there is no cost to attend, and buyers can have their flights and accommodation hosted is also very well received by all.

What industry trends and shifts are you following that you think are important?

Technology is always developing so we follow this carefully. In particular we look at technology integration and accepted user behavior. We also follow the development of different event styles and concepts such as TED, or more industry specific ones like the FRESH Conference. There will always be new communication delivery methods and ideas and we feel these are important to keep up to date on. Sustainability is also crucial for us. We follow the certification initiatives, industry legacy projects and we are very involved in many of these ourselves. In fact through our work with the Venetian & Palazzo we have had a significant impact on the properties policies and the sustainability initiatives that it offers all it’s clients. This in turn has set trends and helped boost Las Vegas’s sustainability credentials to the industry. It’s important for IMEX to be aware of all industry trends so we invest a significant amount of time into this on a continual basis.

Thanks for the insights into the show,  Miguel.  I think we can safely say that ‘lots of our Meeting Pool readers are excited to attend!

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Tara Thomas

CMO & Co-Founder at The Meeting Pool
Tara is CMO and Co-Founder of The Meeting Pool, and a round-the-clock marketeer who works with tech companies on marketing activities including branding, events, social media, public relations, communications, strategy, and operations. Her background in the marketing of technology applications and online services spans a broad set of technologies including software-as-a-service, B2B, enterprise, financial services, publishing, real estate, and automotive markets. She has over 15 years of expertise managing strategic event marketing programs for companies including The Television Bureau of Advertising, Oracle, IPIX and The Cobalt Group, a leader in the automotive marketing space. Most recently at Certain, Inc., Thomas oversaw a myriad of strategic marketing initiatives that were essential to Certain’s growth.