The first day of IMEX America, taking place September 10 – 12, was a business-powered day right from the very first appointments as Christoph Tessmar, director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, explains: “Our first appointment of the day ended with a confirmed congress into the second biggest venue in our city. Together with the Barcelona International Convention Centre we’re set to welcome 1,500 people in 2021 – it’s an annual congress and this will be their first time in the city. We couldn’t be more thrilled – what a great start to the show!”
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Mark Spivey from Maritim Hotels had similar success on day one: “We’re now negotiating a two-year contract for a total of 2,400 room nights in one of our Berlin properties – this is the result of our first appointment of the day.”
Shant Apelian from the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board commented: “IMEX America is the prime show for us to exhibit at – we have over 70 appointments scheduled and are looking forward to some great meetings! We have more partners with us this year and have invested in a significantly larger booth.”
“Each consecutive year at IMEX builds on the last and the brand exposure of being here is so important for us. 30 minute appointments are a good amount of time to build new relationships and reconnect with existing buyers – we’re optimistic that all our meetings at IMEX will be productive, said Shawn Boone from Explore Asheville CVB.
Striking out the word ‘no’
Four Day Weekend, an improv troupe, delivered an inspiring MPI daily keynote about developing a positive mindset based on “Yes, and…” – an improv concept that requires people to build on the suggestions of others. Noting that “we are all improvisers in our lives,” co-founder David Ahearn said, “the benefit of bringing ‘Yes, and…’ into the workplace is it generates better listening skills, more collaboration and greater creativity. We strike the word ‘no’ from our vocabulary because ‘no’ blocks progress and cuts off the conversation.” The audience discovered first-hand how to build on someone else’s suggestion by taking to the stage. A few of them worked with Four Day Weekend to discover how the feel-good, collaborative process provides the basis for a more positive interaction and – ultimately – better ideas.
Steven Detrick from event agency Cornerstone, said: “What an imaginative bunch – I can really see their philosophy coming into play when I’m preparing my sales presentations and working with my team.” Tracy Stuckrath, from Thrive! Meetings & Events, agrees: “Meeting planners often get told ‘No,’ – so the thought process that Four Day Weekend demonstrated of ‘Yes, and…’, is an opportunity for meeting planners to look at their jobs differently.”
The learning continued on the show floor at the Inspiration Hub, sponsored by Maritz Global Events, with PCMA and Marriott International bringing to life key trends from their future of events research. Five trends shaping the future of business events was a packed session, which is now repeated later on in the show due to popular demand.
Women and risk: rewriting the rules saw Dr. Mara Catherine Harvey from UBS Switzerland discussing the financial barriers to economic gender equality. “Women are missing out on the opportunity to capture the know-how that’s essential for their future”, she explained. This resounded with the audience as hosted buyer Nicole Laurette, from the Society for Protective Coatings, said: “I’ll certainly take Mara’s advice on board – she’s inspired me to be bolder.” Harvey was also the keynote at yesterday’s She Means Business, a joint event by IMEX and tw magazine, supported by MPI.
IMEX America continues until September 12 in Las Vegas.
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