This year’s IMEX America education program, an important adjunct to the show’s powerful business and networking engine, combines education, entertainment and clever new formats to appeal to seasoned veterans, industry first-timers and everyone in between.
As always, all IMEX professional education, including the show’s specialist events for association, corporate and agency planners, is provided free of charge.
Tahira Endean, Head of Programming at IMEX, says this year’s program has been designed with one eye on helping people navigate the future: “The demands on experience design are always evolving which means we approach each education program with a clean slate. IMEX America this October is no different. With an understanding that we all digest information in different ways, and we all want choice, IMEX has developed a ‘pick and mix’ of formats. Attendees can also stop by for a few minutes to listen in if they pass a session that takes their fancy. Above all, we’ve designed content that’s unexpected and prompts people to think about themselves, their roles and their talents differently – if they come away with three to five learnings they can immediately apply, then we’ve done our job!”
All IMEX America education is delivered within six tracks: Technology and innovation; Trends and research; People and planet; Business practices; Experience design and the increasingly popular Event marketing. Attendees can choose from over 150 sessions, many of them taking place on the show floor’s newly redesigned, multi-theater Inspiration Hub, sponsored by Webex.
Expect the unexpected
The Party Scientist – aka Jacques Martiquet – more than fits the description of ‘unexpected’. An ‘international joy facilitator’ for Fortune 500 companies and international events, his aim is to help corporate leaders apply the science of human connection. Jacques explains: “My mission is to give as many people as possible the greatest antidepressant: Joyful Human Connection. I do this by uniting and uplifting humans as a speaker, workshop facilitator, entertainer and… party crasher.”
Visitors can also expect the unexpected at EventProfs Unplugged – a series of interviews with senior industry leaders in a chat show format where anything can happen! “We’re experimenting with some new formats at the show, and this is one of them. We don’t know what’s going to happen and that’s what I love about it – it’s going to be dynamic and surprising,” says Tahira. “This is where education meets entertainment, which is vital in an age of soundbites, memes and TikTok trends,” she adds.
How can you use visuals to tell a story? This question sits at the heart of a series of daily filmmaker workshops. Creatives from around the world will share their own films and then lead a workshop unpacking how they approached various themes including identity and regenerative tourism.
Encore, Maritz Global Events, DRPG and PCMA are among the organizations sharing new – and often surprising – ways to use technology. Sessions cover AI, the metaverse and hybrid events, centering on real-world experiences and how these technologies are being applied. Tahira explains: “We’re focusing on the human implications of technology. For example, how AI can free up time – our most prized asset, surely? – allowing us all to be more creative.”
Google Xi’s new CoLaboratory
IMEX America 2023 also marks a new milestone in the development of the Google Xi CoLaboratory. With a focus on collaborative exploration, learning and growth, Google and various exhibiting partners and speakers have devised a special program of sessions and spaces focused on experience design and the principles of belonging.
Acclaimed disability advocate, Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow and part of IMEX AVoice4All – thought leadership - in association with Destination Toronto, will also be sharing her specialist knowledge: “We’ve seen a considerable shift since the pandemic – an acceleration of organizations’ awareness and understanding of accessibility. It’s a potent economic driver that brings benefits for everyone.”
In line with current trends and preferences, well-being activities will be embedded across the show and in various styles designed to offer life-hacks, learning, coaching, fitness, nutritional and mental health guidance.
All eligible education sessions throughout the show carry CMP and other accreditations.
IMEX America 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 16, followed by the three-day trade show October 17-19.