IMEX America 2020 in Las Vegas Has Been Canceled

The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings and Events (IMEX) group today announced that the decision has been made to cancel this year’s IMEX America event, which was previously scheduled to take place at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas from September 15-17, 2020. This year’s event would have marked the IMEX America global event’s tenth anniversary.

In a letter of apology to the travel community at large, IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, and CEO, Carina Bauer, wrote: “We’re acutely aware that since lockdown began, IMEX America 2020 has come to represent a beacon of hope for the entire business events community. We assure you, no-one is more disappointed than the IMEX team that we can’t fulfill that expectation.”

The pair cited three main reasons why the organization ultimately decided to cancel IMEX America 2020.

Firstly, IMEX’s foremost responsibility to its exhibitors is to deliver a return on investments they make in the show by delivering, “a high quality, large-scale hosted buyer program.” But, with continued global restrictions and corporate travel bans still in force, the organization can provide no such guarantee.

Second, an exhibition on the scale of IMEX America takes plenty of time, planning and investment to make it happen. Realizing that exhibitors would need to start the process now, IMEX felt it important to make the decision now, while there’s still time to “reduce the risk and exposure for our exhibitors, partners and suppliers.”

Third, ongoing global travel restrictions and continued uncertainty about when those might be lifted make it impossible for over one-third of IMEX America’s 13,000-plus exhibitors, buyers and key industry professionals coming from outside North America to commit to attending. “And, whilst the global events industry is proudly distinct from the travel and tourism sector, nothing has demonstrated our interlinked fortunes and dependencies more keenly than the current crisis.”

Noting that many industry professionals participated in the PlanetIMEX presentations and activities in May of this year, Bloom and Bauer promised that IMEX would continue its work on this virtual platform in order to continue showcasing fresh innovations online. “We’ll do our very best to deliver our customary high-quality content, business connections plus a dash of fun through our online experience until we can all meet again,” they wrote.

“The IMEX Team will also be extremely busy planning forward confidently and with passion for IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America 2021, when we look forward to welcoming back the global business events community face to face,” they affirmed. “We’re optimistic that meeting face to face will play an important role in helping our economies and all the industries we serve to regenerate and recover.”

They concluded, “We’re certain that globally there’s a great deal of pent-up demand to come together for both business and for pleasure, once it is safe to do so.”

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