IMEX America, America's new pioneering business events trade show, was created by the organisers of the award-winning IMEX in Frankfurt. It is a significant worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events and was attended by 2,000 of the world's top-spending meetings, incentives and association buyers. Eighty percent of buyers were from the USA, all of whom place business in both domestic and international markets. Fifty three percent of hosted buyer budgets exceed US$1milllion.
Tourism New Zealand joined Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) at the stand along with the Auckland, Rotorua and Queenstown convention bureaux, Air New Zealand, ID New Zealand, The Edge, Millennium Resorts and Hotels, and The Langham Auckland.
Tourism New Zealand General Manager Marketing Communications Justin Watson says showcasing New Zealand at the exhibition was an excellent opportunity to build on existing relationships. "With our industry partners we generated qualified leads, refreshed North American buyers on New Zealand products and services, and drove home targeted awareness of New Zealand as a world class business events destination."
A significant number of combined leads were obtained through RFID badging technology which allows each supplier access to the buyer database post tradeshow. Reinforcing current optimistic trends, IMEX America provided positive feedback that long-haul markets were on buyers' agenda. Technology, including the use of social media, destination apps, and mobile technology also continued to stake its claim on the sector.
ID New Zealand Director of Incentives Celeste Jones says New Zealand isn't always top of mind when clients ask Incentive Houses for somewhere different to go.
"Attendance at events such as IMEX means New Zealand gains a greater presence in the US market and will hopefully be thought of more and more in the future.
"It's positive that Tourism New Zealand is supporting business events activity like IMEX. There's now an opportunity for a team approach to the promotion of New Zealand as a great incentive destination," she says.