As we start the week at IMEX America, Prevue Editor Barbara Scofidio reflects on the power of trade shows.
I remember when I started in this industry 30 years ago and traveled to my first major trade show, then known as EIBTM, in Geneva. I was introduced by my editor to a who’s who of industry names I’d only heard of until then. Whether we were visiting their booths or bumping into them after hours, we made hundreds of connections over that week.
Back then, we also had IT&ME stateside (which became the Motivation Show and was eventually replaced 10 years ago by a new show, IMEX). These two must-attend meeting and incentive industry shows, one in spring and one in fall, were then and still are a mix of information-sharing, idea gathering and dealmaking, all rolled into one—and a precious chance to unwind with industry friends from throughout the years.
Last year, due to COVID, IMEX went virtual, but the 2021 show has finally arrived—a powerful sign for the entire industry that we have made it through the past year and a half and can look into each other’s eyes, and start doing business, once again.
This industry is not like other ones, where trade shows are the main opportunity for people to touch, feel, hear or taste products. Sometimes, business is booked at our shows; other times, a seed is planted that will grow into something bigger months or years later. What they are is an incubator for innovation—the place to learn from the industry’s best minds and to experience inspiring speakers, creative meeting formats and much more.
I look forward to walking away with my head swimming with ideas to take back to Prevue’s magazine and events.
Welcome to the show!
Curator, Prevue Summits