As the shock, joy or horror—take your pick—of the election begins to fade, and America settles (or struggles) into its new “normal,” there’s one thing on which we can all agree. These days, the denizens of these glorious states don’t seem so very united. Not in spirit, anyway.

But there is good news for everyone, especially those of you who work in any capacity of the meetings, events and travel industry. The power of the people still resides in our Constitutional right to physically, peacefully assemble.

While the Internet provides an easy, planetary platform for discussion, odds are you witnessed firsthand how harmful those online forums can be. But sitting beside someone, making eye contact and speaking respectfully to an in-the-flesh entity?

That adds a whole other layer of humanity.

Are you ready to raise the bar on the face-to-face exchanges of ideas and solutions that just might save our nation—and better connect us with the population of the surrounding world?

Our client, IMEX America, proves that corporal congress is not just alive and well—it’s thriving!

With 12,227 total participants this past October 2016, a 14% increase over the prior year, IMEX America remains the largest meetings industry event in the U.S., gathering “ambassadors” from 139 countries.

Yet “Innovation” continues to be one of this international phenomenon’s key pillars. And oddly enough…

It’s technology that will improve the way you’ll bring people together.

While strolling overflowing aisles and halls, we kept observing how progress will be vital to the industry—beginning with IMEX America’s advancements to its own appointment scheduling system.

Of the system’s success, IMEX Group Chairman Ray Bloom noted, “This is an important innovation enabling both buyers and exhibitors to be better prepared for their meetings. It has made a great impact on the appointments taking place on the show floor.”

We watched the Exhibition and Meetings Safety and Security Initiative (EMSSI) launch there, plus the many other new initiatives demonstrated at the show. Zenvoy business networking software was introduced, and in turn, helped generate over 3,000 introductions and counting between participants.

Another highly evolved enhancement to the buyer experience included DoubleDutch, the global leading provider of event apps. Its Live Engagement Platform enables attendees to engage in real-time conversations via its digital channel.

Grip, the tech start-up that created the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) event networking solution, wowed the judges and crowd to win the #IMEXpitch competition.

We saw the theme in play in an astounding range of education sessions, like the German Convention Bureau’s “Research and Innovation: See the Future of Meetings Today.” There, attendees discovered trends in knowledge sharing, tech and meeting design. The Future Meeting Space, a multi-year, collaborative project debuted, led by a team that included Claudia the avatar.

In the TECHknowledge Area, planners sampled the latest solutions for event planning, budgeting and sourcing. Experts were on hand to deliver targeted sessions—TECHbytes—answering questions on hot topics such as Snapchat, Slack, OneNote and wearable technology, and guiding visitors through the latest developments in the Gadget Lab.

The list goes on and on, but I suppose world-renowned hacker Pablos Holman summed it up best in the very name of his keynote address: “Innovate or Die Trying.”

What does the future hold for you?

We should have our own heart-to-heart. Email me at or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.

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