GOING GREEN AT IMEX AMERICA

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Show organizers will have an opportunity to find even more answers to their questions about sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at this year’s IMEX America. The annual exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events industry is set for Oct. 10-12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian | The Palazzo in Las Vegas. From environmental best practices and making a business for green to pairing the right CSR activity with an event and eliminating waste at meetings, new CSR and environmentally focused learning sessions will grace the show’s Sustainability track, one of ten tracks covered by the more than 180 educational sessions at the show’s Inspiration Hub.

The return of this educational topic couldn’t be more timely for IMEX attendees and the events industry. Study revealed that 72 percent of event strategists have increased their environmental efforts in the last five years in an effort to put sustainability best practice into action, including 21 percent who said they have “significantly increased” their greening efforts. “As shown by our research, sustainability continues to be a key issue for meeting planners and venues alike,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. She continued, “Attendees at all events want to know that the organizers are planning those events in a responsible way – minimizing waste and the impact on both the local and global environment. We always seek to tackle the key industry issues through our education program, as well as providing innovative ideas and solutions.” On the green front, the show will be saving 20 metric tons of paper by no longer printing a show catalog, will be printing badges on paper rather than card (sans plastic covers), and will be using carpet in the aisles and in some of the booths made from 25 percent recycled materials that is 100 percent recyclable. These new developments will join the show’s already well-established sustainability and CSR programs and best practices including waste recycling and diversion of exhibitors’ unused materials; energy use; Clean the World hygiene kit-making; Waterwise Wednesday food and drink offerings; the Badge Back program and the green caffeine initiative that asks attendees to bring their own reusable travel mug for coffee refills at designated Sands Expo coffee stations. For exhibitors, IMEX produces a comprehensive Sustainable Exhibiting Guide, which offers tips on how to make small eco-friendly minded changes that can make a big difference.

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