Operating two of the largest MICE tradeshows on two continents—in Las Vegas and Frankfurt, Germany—the IMEX Group has reshaped the meetings landscape in the last decade, constantly evolving its product to reflect the needs of all of its constituents.
Beyond its events, however, its corporate social responsibility programs have bridged the gap between the destinations in which its attendees meet and the locals in need.
Leading the charge is Dale Hudson, knowledge and events director for IMEX Group.
“This is my favorite part of my job,” Hudson said, adding that the IMEX charity efforts end up providing benefits for more than just the recipients, but also to those who participate. “Join in. Be a part of it and know that we’re doing a good thing for the community. And for a delegate there’s nothing nicer than feeling like you’re doing something good.”
IMEX efforts in Las Vegas, home to the annual IMEX America exhibition held in October at Sands Expo, included partnering with Sands to design and build a garden at the Shade Tree shelter for women, children and their pets.
“When the women and children come in, they’re usually in quite an emotional way,” Hudson said. “When they get there they’re often destroyed, really, for various reasons, so the Healing Garden is where they conduct interviews when they come in. It’s nice to see that people get something from what you do—it’s a wonderful feeling.”
IMEX has also assisted Shade Tree with activities such as assembling hygiene kits at the Clean the World booth on the exhibition floor and helping build a recycling station.
In 2016 IMEX managed a Garbage Grabbers program that involved cleaning up Sunset Park in Las Vegas.
For this year’s event, it worked with Spread the Word Nevada, a nonprofit dedicated to literacy. Attendees were invited to bring a book to IMEX America to donate to the charity, which will in turn pass them on to children and adults throughout southern Nevada. IMEX also enlisted Song Division two years ago to provide a music CSR program for the children.
A continuing CSR effort is IMEX’s Badge Back program, for which attendees drop their name badges into a box as they exit the event on closing day. Each badge triggers a cash donation from IMEX that is shared between Shade Tree and Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit that aids people with intellectual disabilities.
“We try to keep our social activities local to the area where we have our exhibitions,” Hudson said. “We’re going there and we want to give back while we’re there.”
On that note, IMEX Group gives to charity during its annual Frankfurt event via donating food to Sister Siegfried, who runs a homeless shelter for ShoutOutLoud.
Paying it Forward
Here are some organizations making a difference:
In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center donated hotel linens to victims in Texas. The hotel gathered sheets and towels and filled a truck headed for South Texas with hundreds of bagged premium linens. www.oakbrookhillsresort.com
The Caesars Foundation donated its 60th delivery vehicle to Meals on Wheels America, which helps 10 million seniors struggling with hunger and millions more living in isolation. These vehicles are essential for meal delivery to older individuals unable to leave their homes. Since 2002, the foundation has contributed a total of 60 vehicles to Meals on Wheels America members across the country and these donations represent more than $5 million in gifts. www.caesarsfoundation.com