IMEX America Puts Its Best Foot Forward With Annual 5K Run and Walking Challenge

May 9, 2019

Admit it. You’re addicted to your Fitbit. Or perhaps the health app on your iPhone.

If you’re like anyone nowadays trying to juggle a career, a personal life and an exercise routine, tracking how many steps you take, how many miles you run or how many calories you burn can be the most gratifying way to satisfy your desire to stay healthy.

IMEX America 2018 in Las Vegas certainly encouraged attendees to get a move on. Two successful programs—one new and one tried and true—had participants ever-conscious of wellness and the importance of movement. 

Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health

Busy convention attendees traveling from meeting to meeting and booth to booth on a huge trade show floor can take an astronomical number of steps per day.

Why not inject some healthy competition?

This was Caesars Entertainment’s thought exactly when partnering with Heka Health and IMEX Group for the first annual Caesars Forum Walking Challenge at IMEX America.

“Health and wellness are core values for Caesars, so it definitely fits right in with our company philosophy,” said Reina Herschdorfer, director of marketing for national meetings and events at Caesars Entertainment.

She added that Caesars employees are required to get biometric health screenings annually and encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle, while the company always aims to incorporate wellness into meeting agendas.

“The Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health was a really fun, motivating way to add a bit of competitiveness for IMEX attendees and award some great prizes from Caesars,” Herschdorfer said, adding that the program was also the perfect opportunity to promote the 2020 debut of the new Caesars Forum.

The 550,000-square-foot conference center will feature a 100,000-square-foot outdoor plaza, perfect for wellness breaks, yoga sessions, group activities and walks, in addition to opening receptions and meals.

[Related Content: Changing Lives in the Be Well Lounge at IMEX America]

The Caesars Forum Walking Challenge by Heka Health at IMEX was a huge success.

“Making it a win-win for everyone involved, including the organizer, the sponsor and the participants is the goal,” said Tony Salah, CEO of Heka Health, a venture-backed startup based in Silicon Valley that uses software to power custom-branded, turnkey connected health solutions. “It’s all about creative ways to utilize mobile technology and gamification to promote healthy behavior.”

More than 400 people participated in the challenge at IMEX, taking more than 5.7 million total steps over the three-day program. Steps were tracked through a downloadable app and presented on a leaderboard at the challenge booth.

Prizes for reaching daily step goals of between 15,000 and 35,000 included experiences such as the High Roller at the LINQ Promenade and a Relaxation Day at the Qua Spa & Garden of the Gods Pool at Caesars Palace. Daily scan-in QR code prizes were also awarded. The top steppers were entered into a drawing for a VIP Las Vegas getaway at a Caesars Entertainment property.

IMEX Run—Annual 5K Along the Las Vegas Strip

Another way attendees stayed active was through one of the show’s most successful programs to date: the IMEX Run. The 5k run along the Las Vegas Strip takes place Wednesday morning at the show every year. Attendees—700 registered runners for the 2018 event—don’t seem to mind rising before dawn to take part in the excitement.

“The IMEX Run has always sold out since we launched it, and a great story is that one of our consultants who had never run before participated one year and has now become a dedicated runner,” said Dale Hudson, director of knowledge and events at IMEX. “By implementing these types of programs into events, we actually have the ability to change people’s lives.”

[Event Recap: Catch up on All-Things IMEX America]

The IMEX Run was developed and is produced annually by Events by tlc. The company recently merged with Case Imagine to become VOQIN’.

“We approached IMEX five years ago about creating a 5k run to balance the rest of the cocktails and parties, introducing a healthier way of connecting people—sweatworking,” said Miguel Assis, partner and CSO at VOQIN’. “People are getting more conscious of well-being, and it’s a way of getting energized for the second half of the show.”

This year, team sponsors included Hilton, LVCVA, Simpleview, Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau and GES.

[Read This Next: How to Plan and Organize a Marathon]

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About the author
Lori Tenny | Destinations Editor, Contributing Writer

Lori was formerly Director of Strategic Content at Meetings Today where she oversaw feature-related content for the brand, as well as custom publishing, content marketing initiatives and strategic digital projects.