HA business trip to US: Day 3 (by Lou Holland)

Lou Holland covers Holland Alexander’s business trip to the US in a daily blog¬†featuring IMEX America 2013 – 13th to 17th October

Day 3: Tuesday 15 October
First day at IMEX

IMEX 2013 Expo was opened by Ray Bloom, IMEX Chairman, based in Brighton and followed by an “energetic” key note speaker. Feeling pretty British, I sat and clapped whilst everyone else cartwheeled in their seats during the finale moment.

The 2,000 plus global exhibition opened with thousands of buyers pouring into the Sands Expo Halls. Early on, I worked out that stopping and asking delegates about why they were at the show was a non starter and too random to generate the contacts we wanted. Time for an approach review.

A quick visit to the London & Partners tourism stand for tips and support as a UK business with a London office provided some ideas. I staggered, however, at the high prices of hospitality tickets for their premier event at Tryst later that day, promoted by the stand manager to enable me to engage with US buyers.

Not persuaded that this was a good use of budget, I decided to review the 200 training sessions and attend the topics I thought our prospect buyers would go to. This worked and I was soon chatting to great contacts and gained some new insights on trends and interaction styles.

At one topic session for US companies wanting to host events overseas (perfect title!) I politely asked the presenter if he would mind if I listened in and then spoke to the attendees, giving out my biz cards to them at the end to which he replied, “You go ahead young lady, I don’t mind but the organisers will throw you out.”

Taking that as a no to my initiative I decided to leave the session and in the next hour met two great contacts looking to do international event and projects both in the UK and the US. I revelled that both conversations included talk on San Francisco, venues and places I could speak confidentially on, and having been there just 24 hours before I was loving the link of it.

The event day winds up and after emailing all new contacts about next steps and sending our portfolio to them I go out for a bit on the strip but back early to make most of tomorrow’s long day and events going on late.

Great vibe at the expo and even more excited about day 4 of the trip tomorrow, having seen what was made happen today by being strategic and creative.

Thanks for reading!

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Day 1
Day 2
Day 3