American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) staff just returned from IMEX America in Las Vegas. IMEX is America’s Worldwide Expo for Incentives Meetings & Events. The exhibitors consist of over 2,000 organizations across the spectrum of meeting and events. Independent Hotels, Hotels Chains, CVB’s, Country Tourism Bureaus, Technology Companies, Cruise Ships, DMC’s and Promotional Products Groups are just a few of the types of exhibitors showcasing their value to meeting planning organizations and their clients.
While IMEX provides many great educational sessions throughout the conference, the real value is on the trade show floor meeting face to face with the exhibitors to see firsthand the deals offered and new technologies they offer for the upcoming 2013 event season.
AMI was invited to be a hosted buyer by the Preferred Hotels Group. A Hosted Buyer is an organization that plans meeting both domestically and internationally. Hosted buyers attend with the hopes of placing current meetings needing a home and to get ideas they can take back to their clients to make their next programs stand out from others.
There were a few ideas that stood out to AMI that may be beneficial to your group’s next program:
Many countries offer additional incentives outside of VAT (Value Added Tax) refunds to help reduce the total costs of your meeting budgets. In many cases it pays, literally, to do your homework and go through a specific country’s tourism board or local CVB to get additional value. Just a few added values we heard about were some of the following:
- Personal tours and guides for your group to places where other groups may not have access
- Complimentary golf and spa packages for your attendees
- Complimentary airport transfers or transportation to dinners and activities
- Some countries offer public officials to come and personally meet with your group and discuss their countries history and culture
- Some countries offset the difference of the approved program budget and the actual cost of the program to assist you in selecting their location
- Complimentary rooms nights and site visits of their locations
- Greater the 50% discounts on promotional and high end retail items that may make a great incentive gift for your group
The list of benefits doesn’t end the savings and added value can be significant. If you would like additional information on ways you can enhance and save on your next program, contact AMI.