IMEX America’s fourth edition came to a close earlier today at the Sands Expo®, Las Vegas , with IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, declaring the trade show the biggest to date with growth in all key areas.

He confirmed that the number of exhibiting companies taking part had once again risen, going up from 2694 in 2013 to 2900 in 2014. This was reflected in a 13 percent increase in the size of the show floor.

In addition Bloom described the continued expansion of the hosted buyer program: “Numbers climbed from 2000 at launch to reach 2700 last year. This year we’ve hit over 2900 for the first time,” he said.

He also mentioned that total participants for IMEX America 2014 were 10,000 and that total downloads of the IMEX App had also risen by 22 percent to 5450 compared to last year. “I am delighted with the reception the upgraded IMEX app has received. It’s a valuable tool and a real asset to everyone who uses it,” he said.

As a result of this year’s all round growth, the number of one-to-one business appointments and booth presentations taking place at the show rose to 53,000, compared to 50,000 last year. Bloom also revealed that 1250 group appointments were attended by 10,600 hosted buyers, an increase of 12% on last year. He added that a higher proportion of hosted buyers are now coming into the show from further afield and staying in Las Vegas for longer to take full advantage of the show and other industry events.

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Speaking at the show’s closing press conference he talked about the huge number of co-located events and industry meetings now taking place around IMEX America, with 10 events completed even before the show opened on Tuesday morning. The IMEX Challenge, Site Young Leaders Conference and various industry fundraisers such as Site Nite, the first ever CEIR IMEX America Golf Classic, the CIC Hall of Leaders Gala plus the MPI Foundation Rendezvous were named as just some of the week’s highlights.

Bloom recapped on some of the key activities from the past few days which included the Executive Meeting Forum, a specially-tailored event for senior corporate executives which took place over two days. The event attracted its biggest group to date, with 50 buyers compared to 30 last year. It included high level representatives from Coca Cola, Microsoft, Toyota and Wells Fargo, all of whom also spent time on the show floor meeting exhibitors. “These executives are not typical trade show attendees. It is only because IMEX caters very specifically to their needs, and we run it as a high-value private event, that we are able to attract them to the show,” he said.

Referring to the live satellite interview with Global CEO of SAP, Bill McDermott, on Tuesday morning, Bloom expressed his delight that the meetings industry now had a charismatic new champion. “The fact that Bill accepted the challenge to become a spokesman and advocate for the power of meetings and live events to drive economic growth was a significant moment for us all,” he said.

Ray was joined on stage by show partner executives Cathy Tull, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the LVCVA; Chandra Allison, Vice President of Sales for The Venetian®/The Palazzo®; and Cindy D’Aoust, COO of MPI.

Concluding the press conference, Bloom then confirmed future dates for IMEX America. The 2015 show will take place 13 – 15 Oct; the 2016 edition from 18 – 20 October; and the 2017 show from 10 – 12, October.