IMEX America 2018 is nearing the finish line, and in addition to the earlier announcement that it had broken previous records for exhibitors, at 3,500, the industry-leading event and exhibit shattered the buyer attendance record as well.

“Once again it’s been a record-breaking show; the largest show we’ve ever had,” said Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group. “We have record numbers of [buyers] at approximately 6,000.”

Bloom said that although still an unofficial tally, the total number of participants is expected to exceed 13,000, which would also be another record for one of the industry's largest events.

Due to its increased attendance, the 2018 edition of IMEX America expanded into an additional exhibit hall, with the 3,500 exhibitors representing more than 150 countries.

Other figures include the following:

  • Over 70,000 individual appointments took place during IMEX America 2018, which approached 74,000 when group appointments are figured in.
  • 70 percent of hosted buyers sent in RFPs before they had their scheduled meetings on-site.

The Executive Meetings Forum, made up of leaders from large companies such as Cisco and Wells Fargo, brought in 40 members while ASAE’s Association Leadership Program attracted 120 attendees.

Caty Tull, Chief Marketing Officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association, said IMEX America 2018 contributed $19 million to the local economy.

“IMEX has committed to Las Vegas through 2025,” Tull said, “and has seen incredible growth over the last eight years, and it underscores what a great place to get business done it is."

Tull said Las Vegas, the top tradeshow destination in the country, has $17 billion in tourism and meetings-related projects in the pipeline, including a massive expansion to its convention center.

The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion is scheduled to be completed in January 2021.

Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI, said its Smart Monday program featured 72 educational sessions and attracted 850 attendees, and 15 additional education sessions were offered at its booth on exhibit days.

“This is always a great week for MPI, and it has been the strongest year in our partnership with IMEX,” Van Deventer said.