IMEX America is a great place to pick up new ideas and new spins on old favorites. As event planners, what's happening on the trade show floor is important but it is equally important to all we have to do is pay attention to the total guest experience. Inspiration is everywhere.
Here are a few of the great ideas that event planners picked up at IMEX America on and off the trade show floor.
Green Initiatives: Make it Easy for Guests to Go Green
Four Seasons Las Vegas uses this simple cube to encourage guests to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Throw the cube on the bed, and the sheets will be used for another day. Visual cues and simple reminders like these can encourage guests to "go green" at just about any event.
At the Alberta Rocks event last Sunday guests were served refreshments from a variety of bars including slider and taco bars. At the center of the room, the "Hangover Bar" provided tic-tac mints, mini energy drinks, Tums, Pepto Bismol and a range of other goodies to encourage guests to stay healthy during their time at IMEX America.
Food and Beverage
A Shot of Whiskey...a touch of Fun
Visit Ireland added a touch of fun and a new twist to wine tastings by offering interactive whiskey tastings.
Gourmet Cotton Candy
At Wednesday's VIP Reception on the rooftop at PURE nightclub, gourmet cotton candy by Spin-Spun delighted the guests. It was pure fun on a florescent, multi-colored stick that light up. It's gluten-free, fat and nut free and Kosher (pareve) with no artificial colors or preservatives. In fact, it was so sinfully delicious, it's hard to believe it's less than 100 calories per serving.
The Butler Did it
Elevate just about any break with china, crystal, silverware, and butlered service.
Healthy Calorie-Wise Option
Your favorite hors d'oeuvres just became more calorie-wise. Instead of serving smoked salmon and other meat on bread or crackers, arrange them attractively on thin slices of cucumber like Madame Tussaud did for the Fresh Reception. Fill lettuce with chicken, beef or vegetables to create calorie-wise tacos or wraps.
Educational Sessions: Go Big
For exhibits and educational events, participants benefit from hands-on experiences. Cvent put this into practice with large versions of apps that can be used for interactive demos.
Color Pops a Powerful Punch
Booths and Budgets Don't have to be big to make a big splash. A simple but dramatic color palette made this booth by Chicago based IVY hotel really pop and stand out on the trade show floor.
Take Guests Behind the Scenes
Sometimes it doesn't take much to add the "wow" factor. This was demonstrated in living color last Wednesday when I group of event planners were taken behind the scenes and given and up close view of how The Dream at Wynn comes together. It was magic,
Think backstage at theaters, chef's tables at restaurants and even behind the scenes at a hotel or theme park.
Flexible Spaces...Targeted Content
IMEX America delivered targeted content in a number of flexible spaces.
Guest Comfort and Amenities: A House Car for Everyone
Many hotels offer a complimentary house car for VIP or club level guests. At Four Seasons Las Vegas, ALL all guests can feel pampered as this special amenity is available on a first-come, first served basis.
Event and meeting planners can provide a similar service by providing "house cars" or on-demand shuttle busses for their guests.
Heating Lamps Re-purposed
I've seen these in equestrian center lounges and at bus shelters. As the group of eventprofs who gathered for dinner on a cool Las Vegas night discovered, Serendipity 3 kept guests warm and toasty on its patio with heating lamps.
Space to Connect
Spaces that allow attendees to connect face-to-face and online are increasingly important. Making it easier for participants to pick up email and connect through social media will reduce downtime and provide more opportunity for engagement.
Photo Credits: Executive Oasis International