Event Overview Report – Revealing the Exhibition and GP Team’s Strategy!
I’m Matsumoto and I’ve been suffering from a lot of shoulder stiffness lately. Recently, Ogawa, Murakami, and I have been to the trade show called IMEX America and we will share the overview of our participation in IMEX America 2023, the exhibition highlights, and the GP team’s activities. If you’re interested in participating in overseas exhibitions, please read througly!
Overview of IMEX America
IMEX America is the largest exhibition in the United States held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Suppliers and buyers from various sectors of the event industry come together at IMEX for a potential collaboration.
IMEX America 2023
This time, we participated in the GP exhibition at IMEX America 2023! It felt like the Olympics of networking, and we were honored to represent Tokyo on this international stage.
GP Team Sales Strategy
To maximize the number of appointment requests at the Tokyo booth, we sent messages to prospective meeting attendees in advance and followed up with emails for those who had not booked meetings. During business card exchanges, we made sure to note the client, buyer, and agency information on the cards, took notes, and categorized them meticulously to ensure we could follow up effectively.
Innovations and Actions at the Exhibition
After each meeting, we scheduled Zoom meetings, and if that wasn’t feasible, we sent follow-up emails. Since the Tokyo booth was not very flashy and located far from the entrance compared to other countries’ booths, Ogawa wore a kimono, and I dressed up as a Sailor Moon Mars to draw attention.
Furthermore, we will report on the GP team’s schedule and activities for each day below!
IMEX America 2023 GP Team Exhibition Highlights
10/16(Monday)：Booth Setup and Exhibition Preparation
There were still many areas where the booth setup wasn’t complete, and heavy machinery was operating, creating a chaotic scene. Monitors were installed at the booth to display GP’s achievements. We also placed QR code signs for quick access to the GP English website. Additionally, we conducted final checks on how to proceed with meetings the next day and practiced booth presentations.
10/17(Tuesday)to 10/19(Thursday)：Business Meeting Sessions
The business meeting sessions were the main event of the exhibition, with sessions running from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM on the first two days and from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM on the third day. Meeting volunteers booked their meetings with booths of interest through the IMEX official website, visited the booth, and engaged in 30-minute discussions. During these sessions, the GP booth secured a total of approximately 23 meetings over the three days, which was said to be the highest among Tokyo booths (probably!). We will work hard to convert these high-quality leads into actual projects!
This client event aimed at networking and information exchange was attended by local meeting planners and Tokyo-based businesses involved in MICE attraction and hosting. It was a collaborative promotion with Nagoya, a sister city of Tokyo, to promote Tokyo’s attractiveness. The participants included 11 Tokyo-based MICE businesses and approximately 10-20 meeting planners and clients (about 20 people in total). This event allocated the most time for networking, allowing us to exchange business cards with many attendees and learn about their clients and the types of events they handle, both B2B and B2C. Through this client event, we were able to gain insight into the preferences of overseas event professionals and what they are looking for in Japan.
Us GP has conducted a 30-minute booth presentation. The presentations were conducted in silent sessions, with presenters using lapel microphones while seated attendees could listen with their headphones. During the presentations, we addressed the questions and needs that overseas clients and agencies may have had about GP, one by one. Through this presentation, we gained a clearer understanding of GP’s potential for hosting events overseas and areas that need further improvement.
After the business meeting sessions, networking events were held at booths from various countries, allowing us to engage in business discussions with attendees who visited the Tokyo booth. Sushi was served at the Tokyo booth, and it was a great success.
10/19(Thursday)：Final Exhibition Day and Dinner/Networking with Clients
As we received many inquiries from Mexican companies during the business meeting sessions, we focused on sales visits to the Mexico booth on the final day. After the exhibition, the team held a reflection meeting and organized the “To Do” list after returning to Japan. On this day, we also had dinner with attendees we met during the business meeting sessions. We hope to maintain these friendships for years to come, not just in business.
We learned a lot and identified areas for improvement through IMEX America 2023. We will work diligently as a team to apply this experience effectively at the upcoming IBTM Barcelona!
Bonus Section: Favorite Booths at IMEX
Encore Avatar Booth
We had the opportunity to experience a system that turned your face into an avatar!
As the “Music City,” the booth featured musical notes and local shops.
・Los Angeles Booth
Inspired by the “Walk of Fame” in Hollywood.
Lavishly Decorated Booths
Featured a spherical decoration suspended from trusses.
・LOS CABOS Booth
Had a deep LED box where presentations could be made while standing.
IMEX Idea Exchange Booth
Created an ethereal atmosphere with semi-transparent curtains.
Other Idea Exchange/Creative Booths
・Empathy Map Booth
Expanded ideas in a mind map format using sticky notes on the booth’s walls.
・Google XI Booth
Featured diagrams on tables with displays of sticky notes for note-taking.
Included QR codes on origami cranes.