As the Covid virus took hold last year, and in-person event cancellations piled up through the spring and summer, “see you next year” seemed like a more-than-reasonable comment from organizers. Unfortunately, “next year” has arrived with its first big cancellation for a meetings industry conference: IMEX Frankfurt is off the calendar.
“When we were compelled to cancel IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America last year, we hoped 2021 would see the early recovery of the industry and the IMEX shows. We still believe wholeheartedly that a resurgence will come, but sadly we do not believe it will happen in time for us to deliver a strong and successful event in May,” wrote Ray Bloom and Carina Bauer, chairman and CEO, respectively, of IMEX Group. The meeting and incentive industry exhibition draws attendees from more than 150 countries; with international travel restrictions still in place, the organizers believe many exhibitors and attendees would be unable to confirm attendance early in the year for the May 25-27 event.
IMEX America in Las Vegas is the next show for IMEX Group. Its November 9-11 schedule is about month later than the event typically runs, which may prove fortunate as it provides more time for event industry recovery. “The vaccine roll-out and improvements in rapid testing programs give us great confidence for the prospects of our industry and of travel in general. We are very confident that we’ll be able to deliver a successful IMEX America in Las Vegas,” wrote Bloom and Bauer.
This will be the first year IMEX America will not be at the Sands Expo. The show’s new home is Mandalay Bay, where it is schedule through 2025.