IMEX Firsts: Meditation, Mindfulness—and a 5k

IMEX, Rio CVB, special event
Runners pause for a photo opp at the IMEXRun.

As new theme at this year’s IMEX, held October 18 to 20 in Las Vegas, was “Be Well at IMEX America” (#IMEXwellbeing). A meditation room provided a space for quiet and relaxation away from the show floor, and many exhibitors offered energy snacks, smoothies, stress balls and other giveaways at their booths. For example, at the South Africa booth, they were featuring rooibos tea, a traditional beverage of the native Khoi people with numerous health benefits, while at Monaco, attendees could relax with a 10 minute-foot massage.

Another highlight was the first-ever 5k IMEXrun, sponsored by the Rio CVB and Embratur, which drew a crowd of 500 people bright and early on the third day of the show, eager to get their heart rates up.

The wellness theme filtered into the education as well, with keynote Lee Papa speaking on How to Live and Lead Mindfully. Papa, an accomplished transformational advisor, mindfulness instructor and intuitive healing practitioner, also works as a corporate trainer in this area. She began her career in the hospitality industry, as a sales manager for Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.