Hosted buyer numbers (2012: 2400), which will not be announced until the last day, are also on target for an increase.
Compared to 2012, the number of pre-arranged business appointments between exhibitors and buyers has also leapt up, with almost 50,000 one-to-one appointments made prior to the show’s doors opening this morning. This compares to just over 38,000 on 2012’s opening day and marks a 27% increase. In addition to one-to-one appointments, over 1,000 group appointments and stand presentations will also be taking place throughout the show.
Among the other key statistics demonstrating the US market’s appetite for IMEX America and its unique ‘added-value’ trade show model, is a 17% increase in the size of the show. This growth is a result of increased demand for booth space from previous exhibitors together with 80 new booths joining the exhibitor line-up for 2013.
Of returning exhibitors, 37% (86 exhibitors) increased their booth sizes, with a third of those (26 in total) doubling, or more than doubling, the size of their booths.
Commenting on the figures, Ray Bloom, Chairman of the IMEX Group, said: “I’m delighted with the excellent growth we’ve achieved this year across all areas of the show. After three years of IMEX America we’re now at the stage where the US market, especially hosted buyers and buyer attendees, know how to get the very best return from the show. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into communicating with buyers to make sure they understand the full value and convenience of our online appointment system. The ability to pre-schedule your own meetings with your own choice of exhibitors and take full advantage of a show built around doing business efficiently and face to face is fundamental to the IMEX experience.
“On the supplier side, we conducted 20 exhibitor training webinars over the summer with over 50% of our exhibitors taking part to improve their understanding and use of our online scheduling tools plus our numerous marketing and buyer-targeting tools. This improvement in expertise and knowledge of how to use those for maximum sales return is already showing through in today’s figures,” concluded Bloom.
Another triumph, prior to the show’s opening day, was Smart Monday – powered by MPI. The pre-show day of free, professional education was attended by over 1200 participants.