IMEX America to spark imagination with educational offerings designed to engage, inspire and bring more creativity

Smart Monday kicks off with keynote from TED Talk speaker, Phil Hansen

IMEX America, the largest meetings industry trade show in the U.S., will be bigger than ever, September 10 – 12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas. IMEX America will bring together around 3,500 suppliers and 4,000 qualified buyers to plan and book everything from high-level incentives to huge association conventions as well as to make important new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and seal critical deals. 

What’s new
So far, 21 new exhibitors have already signed up this year including Tourism Trinidad, Visit Spokane, Visit San Antonio, Destination Cleveland and Rocco Forte Hotels. To date, more than 30 current exhibitors have expanded their presence at the show, including Live National Special Events, Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau, Discover Palm Beaches, Utah and the Canadian Tourism Commission.

Smart Monday helps make you smarter
IMEX America kicks off with a full day of free education on Monday, September 9 with Smart Monday, powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). The day of cutting-edge professional development launches with an inspirational keynote address by artist and TED Talk speaker, Phil Hansen. Having developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand, Hansen decided to “seize the limitation.” “Embrace The Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities” will outline how limitations – for meeting planners, that can be reduced budget, limited resources, rushed timelines, etc. – can be an impetus for creativity and imagination, which ties to this year’s Talking Point.

His keynote breaks down resistance to limitations by recognizing their role in driving – not stifling – creativity. More news on all keynotes will be announced by MPI in July.

Hansen’s keynote is part of more than 180 education events over the entire show designed for meetings and events industry professionals at all levels – both buyers and exhibitors. The learning opportunities – deep dives, one to one sessions and hot topic tables – provide fresh thinking on how to make meetings more engaging, embrace new ways of thinking, consider the big issues, and explore innovation and creativity.

Jessica Pettitt, who combines stand-up comedy with diversity training at Good Enough Now, will lead a discussion “Inclusion: beyond the law for meeting professionals,” to learn how to keep attendees feeling safe and welcomes. It also includes how to implement elements to foster inclusive environments. Lynn Wellish, an award-winning hospitality industry trainer and speaker, will discuss how to put lead generation in your comfort zone by offering tips and tricks to overcome sales call reluctance.

Inspiring imagination
The show is especially important as a source for new ideas and for unleashing attendees imagination, which ties to the Talking Point for this year’s show. The IMEX Group is championing imagination through encouraging meeting and event professionals to consider how they can collaborate with other organizations and the benefits this can bring. Through its Talking Point, IMEX celebrates diversity and also focuses on best practice in event sustainability, including offering education sessions designed to encourage exhibitors and buyers to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation. EventMB, an online resource for event professionals, will present research on imagination in events.

“We’re working to bring the power of imagination to everything we’re doing at IMEX America,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “Absolutely everything – and everyone – is connected or capable of becoming connected and the driving force behind all the positive changes we’re witnessing is the power of the human imagination – a uniquely human quality. So, we’re exploring and celebrating this aspect of being human – one that we frequently take for granted. Think of it as a human superpower; our instinct to ask, without judgement or limitation, ‘What if…’”

IMEX America takes place September 10 – 12, 2019, with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on September 9. Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all who work in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry.

# IMEX19

‘Get stuck into some serious business’

IMEX in Frankfurt brings together global suppliers, world-renowned speakers and the latest learnings

“IMEX in Frankfurt is truly a global gathering of the MICE industry – bringing together 14,000 senior industry professionals each May to meet, do business and advance the sector. The show is a melting pot of ideas, connections and shared experiences that can only happen when meeting face to face.  IMEX constantly seeks to innovate and deliver fresh and surprising content at each show – and this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt is no exception,” Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

With 3,500 exhibitors from over 150 countries, buyers can get stuck into some serious business. New exhibitors confirmed so far include Mallorca Tourist Board, Associated Luxury Hotels, the Faroe Islands, Pacific World Congresses & Exhibitions and Nobu Hotels. Jordan Tourism Board, Hilton International, Evintra, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Azerbaijan and H-Hotels are among the exhibitors who have an increased presence at the show this year.

Exhibitor announcements

New Leonardo hotel openings in Frankfurt and Zurich, the launch of a new tall ship for Sea Cloud Cruises, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s Economic Impact Study results, Peninsula Hotels’ new Global Art Programme plus the launch of new exclusive experiences for Eurostar clients are just a few of the updates buyers will hear when talking business with exhibitors. More than 10 organisations also plan to make news announcements during IMEX including: SITE, Airport Authority Hong Kong, European Cities Marketing and Thailand.

New Discovery Zone – powered by imagination

Imagination is IMEX’s Talking Point for this year and the theme informs content throughout the show, bringing with it a range of exciting new experiences, exhibitors and educational events. Imagination powers the show’s new Discovery Zone, which is set to showcase the latest in experiential concepts and event technology. This specially curated area will be packed with education and experiences to fire up the imagination of event planners and exhibitors alike, helping them to question the conventional and explore fresh approaches.

A talking robot, holographic show and 360degree photography booth plus an interactive art mural are among some of the surprises in store. Attendees can explore the great outdoors while dining indoors at the show’s food court, they can also kick back with table football, table tennis and other games for some purposeful rest and relaxation.

EduMonday launches with keynote

Learning opportunities are core to IMEX in Frankfurt, beginning with EduMonday, an afternoon of free professional education taking place the day before the show on Monday 20 May. Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-founder & Managing Director of ReDI School of Digital Integration, launches EduMonday with her keynote at She Means Business, a conference created in partnership with tw tagungswirtschaft. After this attendees can stay and be part of She Means Business, celebrating the role of women in the events industry or mix and match from a programme of 20 general sessions designed around professional or personal development.

For the first time, MPI (Meeting Professionals International, Strategic Partners to IMEX America) will also be offering high level education sessions during EduMonday: event marketing; risk management and inclusivity. Erwin Steijlen, who was a huge hit at MPI’s recent European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) with also bring his show-stopping presentation on “The Power of Music” to IMEX.

Event professionals from all sectors and all levels can explore topics and trends via a number of dedicated events during EduMonday, all specifically curated for various audiences. Association professionals from around the world are invited to Association Day & Evening, to share best practice and connect with peers. ASAE, ICCA and MCI have all collaborated with IMEX to create a topical and interactive programme, delivering three Learning Labs covering Leadership, Imagination and Knowledge. The Agency Directors Forum is a strategic exchange for small to mid-size meetings and events agencies focusing on People & Talent Management, Keeping your Leadership Skills Smart, Technology for your Business and Diversity, Collaboration, Transformation. There’s also education and networking exclusively for corporate/in-house meeting and event executives at Exclusively Corporate which includes speakers from the International Olympic Committee, Barclays, Cisco, Microsoft and KPMG.

Young planners learn ‘how to put the roar into their career’

Young professionals will learn ‘how to put the roar into their career’ in Living life with a purpose, a session that’s part of Rising Talent, personal development education designed for planners under 35 years. Other sessions focus on how to develop leadership qualities, networking and career advancement strategies, and also The impact of associations and their conferences on destinations detailing the importance of legacy.

Explore social learning, food waste & emotional engagement

With over 250 complimentary learning sessions in both English and German taking place on EduMonday and throughout the three days of the show, there’s no shortage of opportunities to update industry knowledge and contacts. Sessions focus on hot topics and are designed across 10 tracks, including business skills, creative learning, research and trends, sustainability and health and wellbeing.

New for this year is the Red Lab where experts from outside the events sector will deliver fresh and imaginative perspectives in sessions such as Social learning: Connect. Share. Learn from game based learning platform and What a waste! Finding solutions for world problems using co-creation – a session delivered by Laure Berment fromToo Good To Go, the world’s number one app for fighting food waste.

The importance of mindfulness in talent management will be presented by Jan Esswein, one-time monk and now Germany’s most widely-read author on the subject of mindfulness. Emotional engagement in event design is explored by experts including James Morgan, Founder of Event Tech Lab. There’s also a brand new Event Innovation Lab, by – an immersive event planning training workshop aimed at high-performance agencies and corporate event teams.

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 21 -23 May 2019. Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all who work in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry. EduMonday, 20 May, is available to all industry professionals who attend IMEX.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Connects With The Community For #Connect2Earth!

The Centre celebrates Earth Hour 2019 by ‘Dining in the Dark’ with team members

Over 440 of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) team members and their families recently celebrated the venue’s ninth consecutive Earth Hour participation. The Centre joined millions of people and organisations worldwide to switch off its lights, on 30 March from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, in solidarity for the planet and to raise the awareness about the importance of nature.

Back by popular demand was the Centre’s ‘Dining in the Dark’ experience for participants, as well as a screening of ‘The Jungle Book’ and fun environmentally-friendly games to build awareness of the importance of a sustainable environment and Earth Hour initiative.

Speaking at the gathering, the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor shared, “It was great to see so many team members and their families coming together to #Connect2Earth. This annual event provides the perfect platform for us to reflect on our own personal commitment to the environment and unite as a global community to protect our planet.”

He continued, “Our participation in Earth Hour is a cornerstone of our annual corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. We have a commitment to being a convention centre that operates its business in a responsible and sustainable manner, contributing to both the environment and our community.”

The Centre joined other AEG Facilities-affiliated stadiums, arenas, theatres, clubs and convention centres to celebrate their commitment to the environment under the AEG 1EARTH programme’s mission to reduce the organisation’s environmental impact and drive business value through sustainability.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

IMEX America returns this September, powered by imagination

Hello September! Registration is now live for IMEX America taking place September 10 – 12, 2019 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo®. With the show hitting the Strip a whole month earlier than previous editions, planners and exhibitors alike are encouraged to prepare for three days of premium business, learning and networking opportunities. IMEX America is again preceded by the popular Smart Monday, a dedicated day of learning powered by Meeting Professionals International, on September 9.

Imagination, IMEX’s Talking Point for this year, underpins the show, informing its content and education, and delivering fresh and surprising experiences along the way.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “Our experience of delivering the show year after year shows that the magic happens in between the cracks – an unexpected business connection, piece of advice or new supplier that’s truly a result of meeting face to face. IMEX America allows planners to dive into the heart of the events industry, do business, update their skillset and make new discoveries along the way.”

Seeking bold, brilliant speakers 

Expert speakers and presenters from around the world are now invited to apply to present an education session at IMEX America. The IMEX team uses a stringent blind-review process to ensure that all sessions that make the cut are relevant, relatable and deliver actionable insights.

This year the team is particularly interested in submissions relating to diversity & inclusion, imagination & curiosity, negotiating skills & difficult conversations, crisis management & contingency planning, networking and technology including Artificial Intelligence. 

For more details and to see the speaker application criteria, see here. The deadline for applications is Monday, June 3. 

IMEX America takes place September 10 – 12, 2019. Registration for the show is free of charge and open to all who work in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry.


Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) Grows Due to Market Demand

Touted as the country’s largest trade and exhibition space that has catered to over 180 business events since its inception in 2017, the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre’s (MITEC) has made a strategic move to expand its meeting spaces.

The confex and meeting segments are big contributors to the Malaysian business events economy and MITEC has been the venue of choice in enabling the country to host international expos at a world class level. “It makes perfect sense for us to leverage on our current capacity and abilities to further expand our meetings and conferences business,” said Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer of MITEC.

By September, professional conference and meetings planners will be able to add more meeting rooms to their list as MITEC completes two additional rooms. The rooms will be located on Level 1A of the building, showcases the flexibility of theatre and banquet style seating. The theatre style arrangement accommodates up to 1,200 pax while banquet seating is up to 650 pax. In a slightly smaller set-up, the other room can accommodate up to 400 pax for theatre style and 240 pax for banquet arrangements. These rooms have the flexibility to be used as smaller exhibition spaces closer to the other conference rooms.

Speaking on its positioning in the market, Beissel elaborated, “As a premier Venue business partner, MITEC’s facilities are continuously upgraded to stay ahead of its market demand through offering higher value customised client solutions and in-house expertise.”

Upon completion of these meeting spaces, the business readiness of the Centre will encompass 11 exhibitions halls, one ballroom, 13 meetings rooms, two outdoor amphitheatres and two new multipurpose rooms.

To receive first-hand information of the facility, visit or get in touch by calling 03-6206 0100. MITEC is also actively connected on Social Media including channels such as Facebook (@Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre), Instagram (@mitec_my) and LinkedIn (Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre).


MicroTek, a global leader in corporate meeting and training facilities and services, is proud to announce that its Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. locations have received IACC Venue Certification.

In order to receive this certification, IACC member venues must demonstrate commitment to the highest standards in facility design, capabilities, and services, as well as technology and sustainability. IACC member properties are designed and operated to ensure that clients have access to the most productive professional environments and are supported by an outstanding on-site staff. Above all else, certified facilities demonstrate an outcome-focused commitment to corporate clients and their core business and event objectives.

In attaining this prestigious status, MicroTek further solidifies its commitment to continued enhancement and growth of its comprehensive portfolio of all-inclusive meeting spaces and services.

“We are proud to receive the IACC member venue designation. It speaks to the incredible dedication of our planning, corporate, and onsite teams to always provide the highest quality product and level of service that we have come to be known for,” says Don Slivensky, CEO of MicroTek.

Located in the heart of 9 major metropolitan business hubs across the country, MicroTek’s premier meeting facilities offer flexible meeting spaces paired with a full suite of all-inclusive meeting services.

To learn more about MicroTek’s premier meeting venues, visit

Since 1991, MicroTek has been an industry-leading, single-source provider of corporate meeting and training facilities, learning and event technology solutions, and comprehensive support services. With an expert team and network of more than 3,000 facilities worldwide, MicroTek has the resources and expertise to execute the most effective corporate meeting and training events for any client, anywhere in the world.

Ray Bloom honoured with Exhibition News Pioneer Award at EN Awards

Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group has been honoured by Exhibition News with its Pioneer Award.

The Award was presented by Julian Agostini, Managing Director of Mash Media at the EN Awards held in Battersea Evolution, London on 22 March 2019.

Before the announcement, Nicola Macdonald explained the criteria for the Pioneer Award. She said that the exhibition industry is full of inspiring entrepreneurs, individuals who are innovative, risky and brave, who trust their intuition, possess incredible foresight, exude self-belief and most of all, have a will to succeed. 

She continued, saying that as the winner of the Exhibition News Pioneer Award, Ray Bloom has displayed all these qualities and opened the door to tomorrow’s world, while growing the industry to the benefit of all. He has innovated and inspired throughout a long career in the exhibition industry. She added that he was a visionary, creating events for events people and pioneering the hosted buyer programme which is now widely used in the industry. 

Nicola Macdonald concluded “Ray is a true pioneer of the exhibition industry, growing truly global, trailblazing events while still remaining the approachable, personable and passionate face of the brand. We were thrilled to recognise him for his lifelong contribution to the industry at the 13th EN Awards.”

After the presentation of the Award Ray Bloom said; “This is totally unexpected. It means an enormous amount. When you’ve been working in the industry for 30 years to be recognised by your peers is very gratifying. I feel greatly honoured tonight. I’d like to thank Exhibition News very much, and the IMEX team and all our industry partners, friends and colleagues for their tremendous support over many years.”

Award Winning Musicians, Legend and Paisley, Set to Entertain Attendees at 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, Columbus.

2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy multi award winning musical performances, first by John Legend at the ASAE Foundation The Classic, and Brad Paisley at the Closing Celebration. From August 10–13, ASAE is expecting more than 5,000 association professionals and industry partners to come together in Columbus.

“This will be the first time the ASAE Annual Meeting is being held in Columbus and we couldn’t be more excited. As a Strategic Partner, Experience Columbus has long supported the association community, and as hosts they have planned a memorable experience for our attendees by signing John Legend and Brad Paisley as entertainment,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.                                                                                        

Ohio native John Legend will perform during the ASAE Foundation’s The Classic. The  event will take place on Monday, August 12 at the Nationwide Arena.  “We are thrilled to have John Legend perform at The Classic,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, EVP, ASAE/President, ASAE Foundation. “An intimate performance by one of today’s top musical stars paired with the knowledge that attendees are helping The Foundation advance the association industry makes this event a must.”

Country superstar and spokesperson for Columbus based Nationwide, Brad Paisley, will help us celebrate under the stars for a closing concert on Tuesday, August 13. The event will take place at Express Live!, the first indoor – outdoor convertible venue. “The city of Columbus cannot wait to welcome 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting attendees,” said Brian Ross, President & CEO, Experience Columbus. “It is our hope that in addition to our diverse and creative city, these top performers will make Columbus an unforgettable meeting.”

Early bird registration ends May 10. Please note, admission to evening events is limited to meeting attendees and their pre-registered guests. To learn more about all of the education opportunities, registration, hotels, and events, visit the ASAE Annual Meeting website.

NOTE: Members of the press receive complimentary registration to attend the event. Please contact the ASAE Public Relations department to request your complimentary pass.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners

Atlanta CVB

Canada Business Events

Choose Chicago

Experience Columbus

Community Brands
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Naylor Association Solutions
Discover Puerto Rico

Corporate Partners

Visit Austin
Visit Baltimore

Caesars Entertainment
Destination Cleveland

Visit Dallas

DelCor Technology Solutions



Louisville Tourism

Visit Omaha
Travel Portland

Visit Salt Lake
Visit San Jose

Event Partners

IMIS by Advanced Solutions International

The Broadmoor


Higher Logic


Discover the Palm Beaches

MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Precker, CAE, 202-626-2735.

About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer, and better every day. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at

The Points Guy Ranks Delta Best U.S. Airline

The aviation and travel site ranked 10 U.S. airlines in 11 categories, tabulated the results and concluded: ‘Delta was the big winner.’

Each year the website The Points Guy comprehensively examines U.S. airlines, crunching data in everything from on-board amenities to route network, on-time performance to value of frequent flier programs and more.

The verdict: Delta is No. 1.

In a special report this week, TPG ranked 10 U.S. airlines on 11 criteria, drawing scores from hard metrics such as canceled flights, customer satisfaction and percentage of customers involuntarily bumped.

Concluded TPG: “Delta was the big winner, with 92.7% of planes arriving on time, the largest network of lounges and cities served, and several other strong suits.”

Delta beat out Alaska Airlines for the top spot, with Southwest No. 3.

Scott Mayerowitz, Executive Editorial Director at The Points Guy, told Forbes, which covered TPG’s report:  “Delta was ahead of its competitors in some key investments, and that is reflected in our rankings.” 

Read the article​, including a rundown of TPG’s categories and scoring.


Nearly $200 Million Project Exceeds City’s Target of 30 Percent Minority and Women Business Participation

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland was joined by the Memphis Convention Center Board of Commissioners, its construction committee, Memphis Tourism leadership and members of the hospitality industry to formally kick-off the renovation of the Memphis Convention Center.

Memphis Convention Center Project Overview Video: 

The work over the next two years will make Memphis competitive in the meetings and conventions market, while complementing the already strong leisure market segment. The vital civic project will transform the city’s convention center into a modern showplace that will not only preserve its status as a major economic engine for our city, but grow it.

“This renovation is another prime example of the momentum we are gaining in Memphis, and we are incredibly proud of the significant inclusion of small, minority and women owned businesses who will participate in this project,” said Mayor Jim Strickland. “This will allow us to go out and recruit more conferences, events, and ultimately more people coming to our city and spending money with our local businesses and hotels.”

Scheduled to be completed by the Fall of 2020, this game changing project for the tourism industry is being funded through the hotel/motel tax and Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) funds. W.G. Yates and Sons submitted the lowest bid in November 2018 and will serve as the contractor for the nearly $200 million project,  the largest civic project since FedExForum was constructed when Memphis secured an NBA franchise. Approximately $44.5 million will be spent with minority and women business enterprises – or MWBE’s, according to City of Memphis estimates. That surpasses the city’s MWBE goal of 30 percent, coming in at almost 33 percent.

LRK of Memphis and tvsdesign partnered to develop a design plan that utilizes and enhances the existing city owned facility. When complete, the Memphis Convention Center will feature a column free 118,000-square-foot main exhibit hall, a new exterior concourse and pre-function space, 46 breakout rooms, a secondary flex space that easily converts to a 67,500-square-foot ballroom, the largest in the region, and a 28,000-square foot ballroom to host smaller events. The renovation will also include public art, and digital wayfinding, and additional loading docks for easier load in and load out for a show.

“We’re remodeling this facility with meeting planners and their delegates in mind. When complete, we’ll have modern enhancements throughout the redesigned Memphis Convention Center, including a grand new entrance, high-end finishes, more breakout meeting rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows that treat visitors to natural light and stunning river views,” said Kevin Kane, President and CEO of Memphis Tourism, the official destination marketing organization for Memphis & Shelby County that also operates and manages the facility through Memphis Management Group, a subsidiary of Memphis Tourism.

Conveniently located on the Main Street trolley line within walking distance of restaurants, hotels, shops, entertainment venues and businesses, the Memphis Convention Center easily connects with the Pinch District, Downtown Core, South Main Arts District and Beale Street. With a reimagined convention center on the horizon, Memphis is currently seeing a significant amount of new hotel development with 13 hotels under construction or in planning the planning phase, putting an additional 2,000 new hotel rooms in the pipeline for the downtown central business district, according to the Downtown Memphis Commission. A total of $4 billion in new office, retail, hotel and residential development is currently planned all across downtown Memphis.

The Memphis Convention Center and the adjoining 2,100 seat Cannon Center will continue to host events and be open for business during the renovation. Visit for more information on the Memphis Convention Center, explore future floor plans, an architectural rendering gallery and a video virtual tour of the renovated facility.

For an animated architectural rendering of the renovated Memphis Convention Center or other digital assets, please visit this link to the Memphis Tourism photo and video library