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IMEX America calls on industry help for next IMEX Challenge in 2014

IMEX America calls on industry help for next IMEX Challenge in 2014 ( At a press conference held yesterday during IMEX America at the Sands Expo® and The Venetian® | The Palazzo® Congress Center in Las Vegas, Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO, announced details of the next IMEX Challenge, designed by the IMEX Group to create a positive and long-lasting legacy in a local community.

The next IMEX Challenge will be completed in 2014, thanks to the financial and in-kind support of Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of the Sands Expo, The Venetian® and The Palazzo®, and Global Events Specialists, GES.

“This IMEX Challenge will call on members of the meetings and events industry to help with the landscaping and construction of a new healing garden and children’s play area for The Shade Tree shelter for women, children and their pets in Las Vegas,” she announced.

Bauer explained that the 2014 Challenge would be the third in the company’s history, with previous challenges having taken place in Slovenia and Poland.

The Challenge itself will take place over the weekend prior to IMEX America 2014 which will take place October 14 - 16. Prospective volunteers are being asked to sign up on the IMEX America booth #1464 during the current show. Each volunteer will be asked to pledge just four - five hours of their time to help bring the new healing garden to life.

The Shade Tree is one of two local Las Vegas charities — the other being Opportunity Village — with which IMEX America has an ongoing and actively supportive relationship. IMEX America also works with hotel soap and toiletries recycling not-for-profit, Clean the World. Both organizations are also playing their part in supporting the 2014 Challenge. During the current show, Opportunity Village is inviting attendees to enjoy a huge piece of artwork that will be donated as a mural for the indoor children’s room at The Shade Tree. Clean the World is also operating a working station at the current show where meetings professionals can donate their time to create recycled hygiene kits that contain a personal message for each recipient. All of the hygiene kits will all be donated to The Shade Tree for use by families throughout the coming year.

Bauer paid tribute to the generosity of the 2014 IMEX Challenge’s two host sponsors, Global Events Specialists, GES and Sands Cares, the charitable arm of the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Said Bauer: “They have been extraordinary in their willingness to jump right in and offer help. Sands Cares have pulled together an amazing team, and their expertise and passion is going to transform what is currently a dusty backyard into a thoughtfully designed, living garden which will provide a wonderful healing space for the families to enjoy. In turn, GES are providing invaluable storage sheds for all the gardening, play equipment and pet care items that the shelter will need to keep the gardens in good shape in the future.”

Bauer explained that the original idea for the IMEX Challenge came about in 2004 when a handful of IMEX staff climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. After that the company began to express its sustainability values more consistently, through a focused approach to sustainability incorporating numerous operational changes, as well as industry promotion for this issue; and then through the launch of the bi-annual IMEX Challenge.

Representing The Shade Tree, DeAndre Esteen, Director of Development, attended the press conference with Napoleon McCallum, Director of Community Development for the Las Vegas Sands Corp. explaining how the project fits into the company’s community development remit. Dana Beatty, Director, Horticulture and Kent Bagnell, Director of Floral and Horticulture for The Venetian and The Palazzo (resorts owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.) also presented the plans for the new garden and described the types of plants and landscaping techniques that would be used.

Commenting on their sponsorship support of the IMEX Challenge 2014, Andy Abboud, Senior VP of Government Relations&Community Development for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation later said:

“It is great synergy when IMEX, its exhibitors and Las Vegas Sands Corp., can create a legacy community project for The Shade Tree. We hope our support through Sands Cares will be a catalyst to encourage others to contribute to this innovative endeavour.”

Sand Cares is the charitable arm of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. The organization supports endeavours that assist youth, promote health, aid wounded veterans, and expand educational opportunities within local communities.

Global Event Specialists (GES) is a global events company that creates unique experiences for marketing organizations, exhibitor organizers and event attendees.

IMEX America show attendees are invited and encouraged to sign up to help with The IMEX America Challenge 2014 at Booth #1464.


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