When you go to your boss with a conference program in hand, you sell your attendance based on the content available which you promise to return to your organization with, bringing new tools and ideas to your work and your team.
For participation in an exhibition you are selling the possibilities of sales, at the show and in the future as the supplier. As the planner we like to attend because when we meet people face to face in dedicated B2B meetings we have the opportunity to exchange real information and to build trust in those who would deliver the event in our selected destinations and venues.
Why you return a second, third or in the case of IMEX a sixth time it is because of the connections you make. Through hosted and planned meetings to serendipitous aisle-way meet-ups to the many evening events that take place, both hosted and buy-in (often supporting a variety of initiatives), the people you meet and the conversations you have will always bring a new perspective.
It is also a friendly event, and this is important because most of us have some level of introspectiveness, some anxiety of meeting new people and some level of effort required to maintain momentum over a multi-day event of meeting new people, and when there is a friendliness inherent in the overall event - it makes it easier. This may sound trite, but it is not, and requires a conscious effort in the planning and community building which happens year-round. Don't underestimate "nice" - the world could use more of it!
It is a place of connecting
- In-session actionable learning with both general sessions and sector - specific sessions including corporate, association, future leaders, sustainability, and faculty (to name a few!) which is relevant, current and can be applied when you return.
- To destinations that understand meetings and incentives and can speak intelligently about how theirs fits your needs - and with 157 destinations on the floor this is truly the place to find where you could take your events.
- To the latest trends in all areas with knowledge gained in the Inspiration Hub, the Playroom, in group meetings in the various booths, in tours conducted to experience event technology and innovation, and even the fabulous meditation room. By seeing what is being shown and how it is being shown in ways that are useful to your clients we all take away new, actionable ideas.
- To sustainable thinking, the list of initiatives keeps growing and many of these ideas can be easily implemented at any event.
- To global thought leaders across all sectors. In the pictures above there are meeting planners, event producers, company owners, faculty, event tech leaders, sustainability experts, and those working in sales, procurement, venue management, hybrid events and creating learning environments. In all cases these are people I can turn to when I need key information on any subject related to our industry, and really these are just a few of the people I connected with over the course of IMEX16!
- To leaders and their successes. The Convention Industry Council Hall of Leaders and Pacesetters recipients were and are all amazing, hard-working, humble and kind. Leaders indeed.
- To business. Ultimately every investment of your resources must lead to this, and when you bring the world together, business happens.
As always, I return home full of ideas I can implement, and wrapped in the warmth of friends, collaborators and colleagues from around the world, looking forward to returning again to continue the growth.