Monthly Archives: November 2022

IMEX Round Up & Future Leaders

The 11th edition of IMEX America held in Las Vegas recently saw an overall participation of 12,000 attendees, of whom over 4,000 were buyers and 2,500 were suppliers representing 150 countries. Between the easing of travel restrictions and 40% of returning exhibitors taking more booth space, this year’s version was 45% larger than last year’s. And, IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom was very proud of the fact that “hundreds of students, our future leaders, have been here learning and experiencing the industry first hand and in full color.”  

Each year, proudly hosts buyers at IMEX. This year we were fortunate to include a number of student interns from the University of Las Vegas at our stand. As future meeting and event planners, the experience provided ULV students with an overview of the marketplace and current meeting planning priorities.    

The traditional excitement, business and sheer energy that are hallmarks of IMEX were combined with a program attuned to addressing today’s realities.  Along with the themes of sustainability, diversity and service levels, those of wellbeing and mental health were factored in as important considerations. Demonstrating these topics were several of the innovative engagement strategies positioned throughout the exhibit hall. 

One sponsor brought in trained dogs for attendees to pet and scratch for stress relief between educational sessions and show-booth interactions. Taiwan used an inflatable room complete with a faux campfire and a video screen providing over stimulated planners with a cozy presentation space. And CoralTree Hospitality won friends and influenced buyers with a foot massaging station complete with your choice of an essential oil to take away for an aromatherapy jolt to be applied when energy was bound to flag!

IMEX America offers an incomparable opportunity to make connections in the meetings, events and incentive industry. Mark your calendar and see you next year for IMEX America #12 – to be held October 16-19, 2023 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Relief for Airline Passenger Inconveniences Has Arrived!

Along with the myriad of challenges today’s meeting participants must overcome in deciding whether or not to attend an event, air travel (and its repercussions) presents one of the more formidable issues to consider. 

TSA screened 8.76 million air travelers over Labor Day weekend beating out 2019’s pre-pandemic number by 2%!

Whereby statistics like this were normally used to describe a holiday weekend, an ordinary mid-week, off peak time to fly now has passengers experiencing a significantly increased number of fellow flyers. Along with this higher traffic volume comes more delays and/or outright cancellations. Historically, deciphering obscure rules as described in the Contract of Carriage relating to restitution due passengers has been the norm when an airline failed to provide the service paid for through no action or fault of the consumer.

However, help is on the way! In late August, the Transportation Department introduced an Airline Customer Service Dashboard which allows passengers to see what each carrier is committed to doing for them in cases of “controllable” (meaning their fault) cancellations or significant delays.

Re-accommodation can range from handing out food vouchers in case of long delays, providing a hotel in case of an overnight cancellation/delay to rebooking you on the same airline at no additional cost, or even on a competitor’s flight. However, not all airlines will offer the same levels of re-accommodation with the ultra-low-cost carriers less amenable to some of the above mentioned entitlements.

Now passengers can consult this simple dashboard rather than trying to read through the excruciatingly small print of the aforementioned Contract of Carriage on an individual airline’s website to find out what they are entitled to – or not. What the Transportation Department is saying now is that more focus in dealing with the aftermath of delays and cancellations is long overdue and they are laying down the law.

Hopefully this will help to eliminate the attendee’s question of “should I or should I not rely on an airline to get me to my meeting, event or convention on time and unstressed?” 

Submitted by Maureen Pickell