A meeting for all of us: IMEX America 2018 promises to once again be a mecca for the global meetings industry. An estimated 12,000 attendees from every part of the world will gather in Las Vegas for meetings with over 3,000 exhibitors (including us!) while also taking advantage of 250 educational sessions focused on raising the bar of live experiences. This exhibition also practices what its speakers preach with progressive experiences such as a 5K run, meditation room, and puppy-cuddling! With so much to see and do, we know the *FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) will be rampant.

If you plan on attending this 4-day buzz-filled, bustling marketplace, we want you to be prepared. We took a page out of our own book and tapped our fave event influencers for their best advice on preparing for such a mega experience. The response was overwhelming and we learned quite a bit!

From what you should pack, to how you could prepare and what should be on your radar: our advice is to heed their advice!

Carina Bauer

CEO, IMEX Group

Carina Bauer

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Comfortable shoes and a little capsule wardrobe that will allow you to transition from the tradeshow floor to evening events, without needing to go back and change.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: Well since I organize it I guess I ought to know everything about it before attending…one thing that always surprises me though is how fast it goes. I invariably get to the end and wonder how I managed not to see some people – good planning is essential!

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Creative experiences and new destinations and properties from around the world. There are some amazing suppliers exhibiting – make sure you really spend time going to all corners of the show floor and make a point of visiting at least 1 booth or booth presentation that you know nothing about – you may just surprise yourself!


Corbin Ball

Owner, Corbin Ball & Co.

Corbin Ball

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Comfortable, well broken in walking shoes. The walking distances are significant.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: Plan ahead. There is much happening Monday-Thursday. Download the app in advance, and check out the options.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: There is a bit of something for everyone. I am personally looking forward to the experiential element on the show floor and in the meeting rooms.


Tahira Endean

Chief Creator, TahiraCreates

Tahira Endean

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Comfortable, but still fabulous shoes.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: How awesome it would be to meet the world under one roof, and how much endurance and pacing is required. Lots of water and healthy snacks are essential.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: How technology and destinations are evolving their offerings to better meeting the needs of planners and participants and how you can take advantage of both to deliver more impactful experiences.


Mariska Kesteloo

Founder, Word of MICE

Mariska KestelooQ: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Super comfortable shoes 🙂

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: It will be my first IMEX in America…

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Influencer marketing!!!


Nick Borelli

President / Strategist, Borelli Strategies

Nick Borelli

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: A phone charger! You’ll need it to take lots of pictures of things that inspire you.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: I wish I knew somewhere to go after the exhibition to network. There are so many private events and it’s tough to know how to get invited and which ones have the people I would want to meet.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: With the shake-ups in hotel/planner compensation, I think it’s more important than ever for everyone to reevaluate what makes what you offer your clients value and invest further in perfecting your craft.


Miguel Neves

Head Chef, Social Media Chefs

Miguel NevesQ: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Fitness gear. I know, easier said than done, but the week of IMEX America is really intense. Comfortable shoes and drinking plenty of water are bare necessities. I highly recommend getting a little exercise, preferably outside. Watching the Vegas sunrise by taking a brisk walk on the strip is the perfect way to start each day. On the Wednesday of the show, you can even take part in the IMEXrun, for free. You will feel so much better for getting up and burning some calories.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: I wish I had a better understanding of all the different tribes that are present at IMEX America. There are so many associations, alumni groups and just collections of industry people that all network in the same space, but may not know each other. When you connect a piece of the puzzle that you were not aware of, it’s like peeking into a new universe. That is what makes IMEX America special for me.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: The legacy of events is a huge topic. We are very lucky in the events industry to be part of so many events, constantly creating memorable experiences. Most other industries are much more linear. I don’t think we are aware enough of the opportunities for change that each event generates. Legacy is a great way to think about these opportunities, to celebrate them and make the best use of them.


Dahlia El Gazzar

Idea Igniteur + Chief RuckusMaker, DAHLIA+ Agency

Dahlia El Gazzar

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Stylish shoes that can help you keep on going and never missing anything at IMEX! Phone chargers.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: How important it is to schedule meetings with those you want to meet with, as well as to just schedule ‘networking’ times to explore the amazing experiences like in the Innovation Hub!

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Take the tech tours, or take a tech tour on your own, and ask them these questions:

1. What is one thing that your successful clients are doing that you can share with me?
2. What are you doing with AI/machine learning and/or chatbots?
3. What’s one piece of advice can you give me when it comes to data analysis?


Rachel Wimberly

President Tarsus Media, TSNN.com

Rachel WimberlyQ: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Comfortable shoes!

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: Do your background research for all meetings.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Creating unique experiences at their own events.


Kate Patay

Chief Strategy Officer, Patay Consulting

Kate PatayQ: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Flat shoes! Be prepared to walk.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: I wish I had known to leave some gaps in my schedule for people I come across and click with so we could spend more genuine time together connecting and not rushing off to the next thing.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Everyone attending should be looking to raise the bar for their industry and their business….showing value and worth in what we do and finding our niche within that. Staying in your lane, if you will.


Adam Parry

Director and Editor, Event Industry News

Adam ParryQ: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: A reusable water bottle! Vegas is hot, lots of talking and lots of show floor walking makes for thirsty work. I will have my reusable water bottle with me as it’s the most sustainable way of staying hydrated. Dehydration affects your mood, reduces your cognitive and motor skills and affects your memory. All things we want to avoid at important business events.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: All the peripheral networking and meetup events that happen. It’s worth taking time to check these out and who out of your network is going to each. During my first visit to IMEX America, I met so many key connections that I am still in touch with today. The main event is just one of the many important events that happen over the week.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Anything to do with community building. Communities should be at the heart of every event and this for me is sometimes massively overlooked; attendees are viewed as just that. Events and festivals that have a core community thrive!


Will Curran

Founder, Endless Events

Will Curan

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Something to help you stand out in the crowd. Whether it’s lime green sneakers, a cowboy hat, etc. The weirder and the more unique the better! Helps you be memorable.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: There are so many people and everyone is really busy, so make sure you utilize everyone’s time very well. During social events and after hours are the best times to get long deep conversations in…

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: They should all stop by the IMEX Studio so they can watch the #EventIcons broadcast live from 2 PM to 4 PM! 🙂


KiKi L’Italien

CEO and Founder, Amplified Growth

Kiki L'ItalienQ: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Networking and building relationships are both very important. Technology-wise, I would be interested in finding out how all the different types of opportunities to communicate can work together. If you can find out how to make your event such a great experience for people that they feel cared about and engaged with what you’re trying to do, then you win! Learning as much as you can about event bots, or using voice-first technology like creating micro-content for smart speakers, so that you can not just promote your next event, but provide value on a regular basis for the people that you care about the most, the people that you’re sending your messages out to.

Experiential design is another thing that’s always important. It is hot, hot, hot right now: there are a lot of people learning and teaching more and more about it all the time. Do your best to figure out a little bit about all those things, and the next time we meet up we’ll have more to talk about over coffee or cocktails!


Elizabeth Glau, CMP

Product Marketing Manager, EventBots by Sciensio

Elizabeth Glau

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Flat shoes / extra shoes

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: Prioritize meetings and get them on the calendar – even if it is planning to meet a friend for lunch on the show floor or coffee in the morning.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Chatbots for events (EventBots).


Marie-Claire Andrews

COO, Event Tech Tribe

Marie-Claire Andrews

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Lip balm. Vegas is DRY.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: Get to as much content as possible. The show floor is great, but the presentations are unmissable. Everyone who knows anything about our industry is there, and you can get up close and talk with them after their presentations. Super cool.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: Something new. Literally anything. As long as its new. I’d like everyone to get out of their comfort zone and try something different. Let’s shake up this industry and be daring!


Rachel Stephan

snöballer-in-chief, snöball event influencer marketing

Rachel Stephan

Q: What’s one thing you think everyone should pack in their luggage to get the most out of their IMEX America experience? 

A: Comfortable shoes, a phone charger, and business cards.

Q: What’s something about attending IMEX America you wished you knew before you first attended?

A: My first time was last year when I flew in for 24h to present snöball as a finalist of the IMEXpitch. I wish I knew how immense this event is. My advice for first-timers, especially introverts like myself: connect with someone you know and tag along. It makes it easier to break into circles and meet up with new people.

Q: What should everyone who attends IMEX America be looking to learn more about this year?

A: I am most interested in learning about the latest technologies that help address meeting challenges like attendance building and attendee behaviour, and how it can all integrate together to translate into a richer experience for the attendee.


There you have it! You now have a very good idea of what kind of footwear to bring, and how to make the most of IMEX America in general thanks to the sage advice of our stellar event influencers. 

Heading to the show in Las Vegas? We want to meet you!

Snöballers Rachel Stephan and Nick Borelli will be at the IMEX America 2018 Tech Zone, Booth F264.