Data mining, new green meetings ideas, leadership success and social media integration among hottest topics

Organizers of IMEX America have now published full details of the show’s professional education program, which runs over four days at the Sands Expo® in Las Vegas. The program starts on Smart Monday, powered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Oct 14, and continues through the tradeshow, Oct. 15- 17.

(Check out our review of the Palazzo in Las Vegas)

Every year IMEX America works with a variety of leading industry partners and partner associations to deliver an extensive and free education program to complement the strong business focus of its three-day trade show. The majority of the education earns CMP/ clock hours or other accreditation.

The 2013 program will kick off with Smart Monday, Oct. 14, powered by strategic partner and premier education provider MPI, and also including specialist education from a variety of additional association partners. This unique pre-show day of education allows all participants including buyers, exhibitors and trade attendees to take part in valuable professional development sessions before the show even opens.

Once the show is underway, the education focus shifts to daily morning keynotes taking place before the start of business, followed by regular sessions at various locations on the show floor for maximum convenience and easy accessibility in between exhibitor appointments.

The clever way to start – Smart Monday As the show’s strategic partner, MPI runs its own full day program of education, which is open to both MPI members and all other show attendees. It is free of charge.

Also taking place on Smart Monday will be the IAEE CEM Program on ‘Security, Risk and Crisis Management’ plus expert seminars delivered by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the International Special Events Society (ISES) and Site for the first time.

New this year are a number of Smart Monday deep-dive education sessions. These 3.5 hour sessions will be led by Paul Bridle, CEO of the Bridle Group, who will present “Leadership Starts from Within” and David Bancroft-Turner, Director of Training Solutions, Matrix TC, who will advise on “Using ‘Personality DNA’ to Influence, Sell and Communicate More Effectively”.  A sustainable event planning deep-dive will also be presented by Paul Salinger, VP of Marketing Oracle; Shawna McKinley of MeetGreen; Gina Broel, Senior Planner for Microsoft and Johanna Walsh.

A new set of deep-dives has also been developed especially for meeting industry professionals with over 15 years’ experience. These sessions will address: “The 10 biggest mistakes to avoid when owning a business”; “The Seven Deadly Sins of Managing People” and “Strategic Marketing”.

Also taking place on Smart Monday, powered by MPI, will be IMEX America’s Association Focus. Now in its third year, this special, invitation-only event concentrates on the education and networking needs of around 200 association executives with sessions designed and delivered by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership; ICCA and PCMA.

Once IMEX America is underway (Oct 15), a nine-track education program will take place at five show floor locations including the IMEX-CIC Inspiration Center, a new Networking Hub (sponsored by Turkish Airlines), Tech Hub (sponsored by DoubleDutch) and App Bar (sponsored by QuickMobile). Formats will include informal campfires and drop-in workshops, 30-minute seminars plus 20-minute Lightening Learning Labs aimed specifically at suppliers and destinations.

Data is Hot Topic for 2013 Several industry hot topics are set to dominate the schedule this year, with data mining top of mind for many. Addressing current data practices and challenges will be: DoubleDutch’s “Become a Data-Driven Event Organizer: Tips and Tricks from the Veterans” session, “Event ROI”, delivered by ISES and Aimia’s “Customer-Centric Data, Big Loyalty”.

Example sessions in the Marketing and Communications track include: “Aligning Marketing Strategies with Changing Demographics” by IAEE; “How to Get More People, More of the Time to Buy From You” by Matrix Training & Coaching and a Seven Degrees Communications campfire on “Integrating Social Media into Your Business Development Plan.”

Another hot topic will be technology and apps where a dedicated track will include sessions on “Why Hybrid Meetings Built Long-Term Engagement” by a team from Aimia; “Evernote Should Be Called Eventnote: An Event Teams’ Best Friend,” by DAHLIA and The Meeting Pool, and SongDivision’s “How Spotify and other Music Subscription Services Can Bring Soul To Your Event.”

ISES Partnership Develops In a development of its IMEX partnership ISES will be running a series of educational sessions throughout the show. These include “Quick Thinking Solutions to Last Minute Events with Limited Resources”, “Incorporating Design into Your Event” and “Leveraging Creativity to Produce Innovative New Ideas.”

Among the many expert speakers likely to draw a big audience are Debi Scholar, Director of Managed Meetings Strategies for American Express who presents “Mind the Gap: Risk Mitigation in Meetings & Events”; Chief Confidence Officer, Alyssa Dver, who will deliver a campfire on “Need to Know Marketing: Are You Getting The Biggest Bang For Your Marketing Buck?” and motivational speaker and trainer, Robb Braun, who will urge his campfire attendees to understand that “Success (In any Endeavor) is in Your Mind.”

Speaking about the strength of the education program as part of the trade show’s format, Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, explained: “In addition to the 2012 show’s strong business performance, our feedback survey canvassed views on the variety and quality of education on offer. It showed that 39% of hosted buyers rated our education program ‘very important’. Of course, it’s essential for us to achieve a balance between business opportunities – the primary focus for buyers and exhibitors – and providing a range of other added-value services and education for our attendees. I believe this year’s program hits the right mark with its excellent quality and diversity.”