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OFFICIAL UPDATE: IMEX America 2023 Obliterates Attendance Records

Photo of crowd on exhibition floor of IMEX America 2023.
Photo of Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group.
Carina Bauer. Credit: IMEX.

Editor's note: The original story has been updated with the official final statistics registered at IMEX America 2023.

IMEX America celebrated its 12th year in style, posting an all-time record for attendance for any of its shows, with partner MPI also setting records for its Smart Monday educational program and revenue for the MPI Foundation for its Rendezvous event.

The October 17-19 exhibition portion of the program posted a 9% increase over 2022 numbers, with 360 in total, and the amount of exhibitor space increased 20%.

"Undoubtedly, this is the largest show we've ever put on, by quite a distance," said IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom. "But the important thing is not just the numbers, but the quality of the people who attend.

"The recovery is here and there is a lot of business being done," he added.

IMEX America by the Numbers

Last year's IMEX America drawed approximately 12,800 attendees, according to IMEX CEO Carina Bauer, and IMEX Frankfurt 2023 had about 12,500 attendees.

Following are the statistics from the 2023 edition of IMEX America, held at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay:

  • The event attracted approximately 15,000 attendees, with 5,000 buyers (4,200 of which were hosted), one-fifth of which were corporate planners. 
  • There were approximately 80,000 prescheduled appointments, with 73,000 being one-on-one.
  • This is the first year buyers were given the ability to book meetings on the fly, with 3,000 taking advantage of the feature on the new IMEX America app.
  • There were more than 124,000 badge scans for leads.
  • There were more than 2,000 attendees who participated in educational sessions at the exhibit floor Inspiration Hub.
  • The 2023 event marked a new initiative from IMEX Group to increase its efforts at accessibility and inclusion, unveiling a Accessibility Guide for the event.
  • MPI's Smart Monday featured 1,200 attendees across 30 sessions.
  • MPI offered18 educational sessions experienced by 400 attendees in its booth over three days.
  • MPI's daily keynotes attracted 1,000 attendees.
  • MPI's Rendezvous event, benefitting MPI Foundation, sold out with 2,500 attendees and produced a record haul of $320,000 for the Foundation's research, charity and other efforts.

"Every single thing we did as far as an MPI activation was a record, including Smart Monday," said Drew Holmgreen chief brand officer for MPI. "Everything we did was a new watermark for MPI."

Photo of key participants at IMEX America 2023 press conference.
Key stakeholders at IMEX America 2023 press conference. Credit: Tyler Davidson.

The exhibition portion of the program grew as well, with news that the number of exhibitor booths posted a 9% increase over 2022 numbers, with 360 in total, and the amount of exhibitor space has increased 20%.

IMEX Group said the positive exhibitor numbers have resulted in making the 2023 edition the largest in the event’s history in terms of exhibitors.

[Related: Speaking and Bling: See What Meetings Today Is Up to at IMEX America!]

“The global business events industry never fails to surprise in its ability to recover quickly from a set-back,” said IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer in a prepared statement, adding that the increases point to an underlying robustness in a market that many thought would take three years or more to return to form post-pandemic. “These figures are good news for the market and bode well for short-term business and, importantly, long-term positive economic impact. In a world experiencing so much turmoil, it’s incumbent upon us to focus on the underlying impact of our industry–bringing people together for deeper human connections and mutual benefit. We’ll keep that front of mind as we do business here this week.”

IMEX Group said it expects over 70,000 meetings planned between more than 4,000 buyers and 3,400 exhibiting companies at the event held in Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

[Related: Here’s What to Expect at IMEX America 2023]

Exhibitor Increase Details

IMEX Group released the following details about the increase of exhibitor booths:

  • Nearly half of all exhibiting companies have increased their booth sizes and every sector of the market has grown, the majority by double digits.
  • Asia Pacific and Africa dominate in terms of increased floor space by country or region. 
  • Morocco has doubled its exhibit in size, while Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is exhibiting for the first time and bringing partners. 
  • Both the Japan and Hong Kong Tourism Board booths are at least twice as big as 2022. 
  • U.S. and Canadian exhibitors have expanded 19% on 2022.
  • The hotel sector expanded by 23%, including increases by Hilton and IHG.  
  • Among the 65 new booths for 2023 are Mexican Caribbean, Santa Clara (California), Greenville (South Carolina), Jio World Convention Centre (India), Explori, Meow Wolf and AREA15.

See all of our IMEX America 2023 coverage in one place

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About the author
Tyler Davidson | Editor, Vice President & Chief Content Director

Tyler Davidson has covered the travel trade for nearly 30 years. In his current role with Meetings Today, Tyler leads the editorial team on its mission to provide the best meetings content in the industry.