IMEX Group to Serve Up Plenty of Green Education at Upcoming IMEX America
Show organizers will have an opportunity to find even more answers to their questions about sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at this year’s IMEX America.
The annual exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events industry is set for Oct. 10-12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian | The Palazzo in Las Vegas.
From environmental best practices and making a business for green to pairing the right CSR activity with an event and eliminating waste at meetings, new CSR and environmentally focused learning sessions will grace the show’s Sustainability track, one of ten tracks covered by the more than 180 educational sessions at the show’s Inspiration Hub.
The return of this educational topic couldn’t be more timely for IMEX attendees and the events industry. Recent research by the IMEX Group and Meeting Professionals International revealed that 72 percent of event strategists have increased their environmental efforts in the last five years in an effort to put sustainability best practice into action, including 21 percent who said they have “significantly increased” their greening efforts.
“As shown by our research, sustainability continues to be a key issue for meeting planners and venues alike,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
She continued, “Attendees at all events want to know that the organizers are planning those events in a responsible way – minimizing waste and the impact on both the local and global environment. We always seek to tackle the key industry issues through our education program, as well as providing innovative ideas and solutions.”
From Smart Monday, which precedes IMEX America on Oct. 9, until the last afternoon of the show, industry experts will be leading more than a dozen workshops and campfires on various aspects of this key topic and will also be available for one-to-one consultations.
During a Smart Monday session organized by MPI, attendees will have opportunities to benchmark their event activities against others through The Global Destinations Sustainability Index, as well as take a back-of-house tour of The Venetian | The Palazzo and the Sands Expo to get a behind-the-scenes look of how the hotel and venue minimize waste and maximize recycling.
In keeping with its annual efforts to accelerate and reinforce its commitment to CSR and sustainability, the show will be introducing new efforts and initiatives this year.
For the first time, IMEX America will partner with “Spread the Word Nevada,” a literacy non-profit organization that donates books to children and adults across Southern Nevada. Attendees are invited to donate by bringing their favorite books to the show.
On the green front, the show will be saving 20 metric tons of paper by no longer printing a show catalog, will be printing badges on paper rather than card (sans plastic covers), and will be using carpet in the aisles and in some of the booths made from 25 percent recycled materials that is 100 percent recyclable.
These new developments will join the show’s already well-established sustainability and CSR programs and best practices including waste recycling and diversion of exhibitors’ unused materials; energy use; Clean the World hygiene kit-making; Waterwise Wednesday food and drink offerings; the Badge Back program and the #greencaffeine initiative that asks attendees to bring their own reusable travel mug for coffee refills at designated Sands Expo coffee stations.
All of these social and environmentally friendly activities will be brought together at the show’s CSR and Sustainability Showcase, sponsored by Costa Rica and supported by AlliedPRA and GES, which will be located beside the entrance to the show floor starting Oct. 10.
“We have always been committed to sustainability, not only in sharing knowledge and encouraging best practice within the industry but also demonstrating our commitment through our own activities,” said Bauer.
She continued, “We work closely with our partners including GMIC, MeetGreen and The Venetian | The Palazzo and the Sands Expo to comply with APEX/ASTM standards as far as possible and with their help, make good progress each year. The Venetian | The Palazzo and the Sands Expo have a program to donate unserved food from conventions to local food banks. In October, it is expected to reach a substantial milestone: 300,000 meals donated since the program began – a terrific achievement.”
For exhibitors, IMEX produces a comprehensive Sustainable Exhibiting Guide, which offers tips on how to make small eco-friendly minded changes that can make a big difference.
“If every exhibitor and every attendee at IMEX America takes just one more practical step to help reduce waste or operate more sustainably at our show, then the entire industry’s contribution to greater sustainability, its legacy, will increase immensely,” Bauer added.