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Sustainability at IMEX America helps bring imagination to reality

Published 28th June 2019


Today’s solutions to complex sustainability challenges trace their origins directly to imagination. Paths forward require not only being clear about where things are in the present state, but more importantly, where we believe they can lead in the future.

The IMEX Group recognises the direct link between imagination and innovation and embed this understanding in the design of its annual exhibition. As hosted buyers, attendees, and exhibitors walk through the Sands Expo, IMEX America invites them to observe initiatives designed to help catalyse a healthier, thriving, more sustainable world, and then in turn imagine the impacts of incorporating them in their own event or organisation.

One critically important area our planning team revisits each year is envisioning a world without single-use plastic. Single-use plastics occur in many event applications, including some lesser-known places such as the nylon fabric found in our name badge lanyards. As result, for the first time in 2019, IMEX America will be sourcing a bamboo, PET-free, lanyard for all attendees.

While there are many items IMEX America can control in terms of sourcing and procurement, a challenge remains for how to enroll our 3,500 exhibitors from 150 countries in these efforts as well. A second new initiative we are excited to share in 2019 is the Sustainable Exhibiting Pledge, where exhibitors commit to participating in at least three green actions at their stand to help minimise their impact at the show.

Another central sustainability effort, entering its second year, which helps tie both single-use plastic reduction and exhibitor impact together is called the Refill Movement. IMEX America imagines a world without disposable water bottles by encouraging exhibitors to sponsor a water station at their stand that is available to all attendees. The results of its initial rollout in 2018 were extremely promising with several exhibitors even linking their promotional water bottle giveaways to it.

Lastly, IMEX America continues its work to align and connect its efforts to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), first launched in 2015, which serve as a blueprint for achieving a more sustainable future for all.

Many exciting sustainability developments at IMEX America 2019 await. We hope they will inspire your imagination in new ways for what is possible for both an event and an entire industry. Imagine that!

MeetGreen works with progressive global organisations integrating sustainable practices and producing conferences and events that deliver targeted business results. MeetGreen has coordinated green initiatives at IMEX America since 2011. Please read the 2018 IMEX Sustainability Report here.