The varied landscape of the new business reality was evident across the show floor on the first day of IMEX America, currently taking place at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
On one side of the supply chain, Craig Jarrett from Royal Caribbean International observed: “Both planners and suppliers are hugely busy with event pipelines stretching up to six years ahead. We’ve met buyers today to finalize events in 2028.”
Confirming the upswing in business, Brad Dean, CEO Discover Puerto Rico said: “First thing this morning, one of our partners booked a substantial piece of business.”
At a morning press conference, the theme of business regeneration continued when Jamaica Tourist Board shared good news. Since reopening in June 2020 it has earned 5.7 billion US dollars as a destination and welcomed over 5 million visitors. “The announcement follows the destination’s strong tourism recovery efforts that resulted in our best summer ever.” said Donovan White, director of tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board.
On the other side, some of the 200+ education sessions explored the challenges planners are currently facing. In Venue contracts for today’s unruly environment, Tyra Warner, Chair of the Dept. of Hospitality Tourism and Culinary Arts, College of Coastal Georgia, opened by declaring the ‘old rules are out of the window’. “We’re in the relationship business and traditionally contract negotiations reflected that. Increasingly, however, there’s less collaboration or room for negotiation. Many of you are not getting the outcomes you want from your conversations with suppliers and that’s why you’re here.” With many in the audience agreeing that it is currently a seller’s market, Tyra shared her advice: “In a negotiation, the name of the game – for both parties – is to minimize risk. Figure out what your event’s strengths are and trade on those.”
Courtney Lohmann and Lynn Wirch shared tactics on how a diverse approach to the supply chain can create a bigger impact. “The RFP is our best friend and worst enemy at the same time! However, we now have more scope to add in specifics around our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) goals and objectives, and use those to engage with suppliers to better understand their business model and what they can bring to an event,” explained Courtney. As part of the session Creating impact with a diversified supply chain, Lynn Wirch discussed the many business benefits of DEI including employee recruitment and retention: “A new colleague told me that if they’d known the extent to which we make DEI a priority, they wouldn’t have applied anywhere else.”
Alongside the IMEX EIC People and Planet Village’s workshops, community activities and case studies is the Planet Plenty Juice Bar sponsored by World Wildlife Fund (WWF). WWF is expanding its Hotel Kitchen program, which was first set up to address food waste in the hospitality industry. With eyes on extending its reach into the meetings and events sector, the program chose IMEX America as its launch platform.
IMEX America continues until October 13.
Notes to editors
IMEX America 2022 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 10, followed by the three-day trade show October 11-13. www.imexamerica.com
On-site Press Center, sponsored by Arizona - https://imexamerica.com/press-and-media
Recent industry awards and accolades include:
• AEO Best International Trade Show, Americas
• TSE Grand Award for Most Commendable Green Initiatives
• TSE Gold 100
• EIC Sustainable Event Standards Platinum Certificate
Press information, please contact Emma Blake: [email protected]