|Building hygiene kits with support from Clean the World for Shade Tree - simple, fun and smile-creating!|
IMEX has always impressed me because of its "people first" thinking. Yes they are producing arguably one of the largest trade shows for meeting professionals from around the world, but from the beginning they have considered their impact. It began from the first show with a focus on sustainability, then CSR supporting Shade Tree and this year a focus on wellness was added, supported by thoughtful keynote presentations and a rather awesome meditation room and wellness was suggested as an inclusion on the floor and was brought to life through various booths with support from like-minded exhibitors.
IMEX has also always been technology forward thinking and this year the Pitch Presentations were a highlight, with Loopd taking the prize, awarded by judges who understand the industry. Once again QuickMobile built the app, and this is a tool I simply cannot imagine being without.
|Roger Haskett teaches education through play.|
|Thought leaders Corbin Ball and Martin Sirk|
IMEX once again brought the world together, and for me, that means friends from around the world are all in one place and it is a time we can catch up on lives personal and professional as the conversations range from outfits to meeting design, the coolest new toys in tech to how play fits into and enhances learning. The ability to connect like-minded thinkers is always fun to watch.
|Another at last IRL Cindy from @redvelvetevents|
It was fabulous to follow along with the Event Technology awards, and to be present for the awarding of this prize to CrowdMics. There are so many ways technology is changing how we interact at meetings and it is important we understand the benefits to our participants with so many to choose from. To have time to talk with the creators of these technologies and to hear first hand how they see positive impacts and why they are excited about what they are doing is one of the best reasons to be here.
On technology, I continue to be impressed with the IMEX Digital initiatives led by Miguel Neves. Supported by the IMEX Social Team with the constant of Gerrit Heijkoop, they have paid attention and evolved year over year to respond to the changing face of technology and how we - the participants - respond to various mediums. From production to curation, they find ways to continue to exceed expectations for how information is shared, and keep it fun, informative and relevant. An execllent collaboration.
The CIC Hall of Leaders inducted many worthy recipients this year (see list in the link), and it was pure joy to see Amy Spatrisano inducted for her many contributions to the industry - this is a woman who deserves it all! Produced with the MGM Events team and hosted by Laura Schwarz, it sparkled.
|Meeting Speaker Sue at last IRL - while doing art|
in the Play Room
For sheer fun at an event, Donny Neufuss is always a joy to see with his effervescent personality keeping it real... Fremont Street may never be the same! Glenn Thayer is so fun to walk the floor with as his knowledge of truly improving general sessions and the discussion that ensue continues to inspire me.
|Padraic pre-suitcase catching up!|
One of the true joys was walking the floor with Janet Elkins of Eventworks - this woman and her passion for events knows no bounds! A true surprise was @PenthouseLord Jason Scott who I met with Silvia Pellegrini - also IRL for the first time - her depth of curiosity about the industry is something I love. and what EventsUncovered is doing for sharing thought leadership is quite fabulous.
|My perennial favorite selfie... with @IMEXRichard|
Jessie States not only shared great information on the future of the industry but walked miles on a recently broken leg - impressive. Tyra Hilliard takes the dry and challenging topic of contracts and leaves people smiling and understanding more. Tracy Stuckrath and her knowledge of all things Food and Beverage truly delights audiences - and they too learn a TON. So from my perspective... if #IMEX16 is not on your radar - it should be! It is a place where business is done, and where conversations that enhance your professional knowledge are around every corner.