Three U.S. meeting industry trade shows will be vying for your attention in 2011: the well-established Motivation Show in Chicago in October and two new ones—IMEX America, launching October 11–13, 2011, in Las Vegas, and AIBTM, The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition, debuting in Baltimore June 21–23, 2011. As the contest for attendees and exhibitors heats up, some industry shows are co-locating in an effort to boost attendance and energize their events. Here’s the latest:

IMEX America

Organizers announced in late May that incentive powerhouse Maritz will hold its annual senior-level customer event back-to-back with the new show. Attending the Maritz event will be 100 of the company’s clients from Fortune 500 corporations, as well as senior managers from Maritz, according to IMEX Chairman Ray Bloom. In addition, Site (formerly the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives) announced last fall that its 2011 Annual Conference would be held October 13–15 in Las Vegas, immediately following IMEX America.


The Professional Convention Management Association said in June that its 2011 Education Conference will be in Baltimore June 20–23, overlapping the dates of AIBTM. On June 23, PCMA attendees will have free time to visit the AIBTM trade show floor, and the two groups will share an evening event. “Our members will not only benefit from our conference but from doing business with leading U.S. and international suppliers at AIBTM,” said Deborah Sexton, president and CEO at PCMA. PCMA drew about 400 attendees at its 2010 Education Conference in Montréal. Neither its January annual meeting nor its June education conference has ever had a trade show or exhibit component. Also, AIBTM organizer Reed Travel Exhibitions has announced that the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders Gala will be held on June 21, during what it calls “America Meetings Week.”

PCMA–Virtual Edge

Another recently announced co-location is Virtual Edge Summit’s move to piggyback on PCMA’s Annual Meeting next year, which takes place January 9–12 in Las Vegas. The Virtual Edge Summit, a face-to-face event geared to meeting planners and marketers who plan, produce, and market virtual meetings, was held in Santa Clara, Calif., in 2009 and 2010. The 2011 conference will begin immediately after PCMA ends on Wednesday, January 12. PCMA members and attendees will have a chance to attend some Virtual Edge sessions for free on Wednesday afternoon, and PCMA has extended its discounted room rates for Wednesday night. There will also be opportunities to attend Virtual Edge sessions on Thursday, January 13.

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