November 9, 2023   |   Jihan Donawa Gibson

IMEX 2023: We Came, We Saw, We Loved It

Hey y’all, Jihan here, Partnership Manager for Swoogo, and I am so excited to be bringing you a recap of 2023’s IMEX trade show.

IMEX is amazing. It’s always amazing, but this year was momentous for Swoogo, and we’ll talk about that in a hot second.

But first …

IMEX. Why do we go?

If you’re not familiar, IMEX is the events industry’s largest trade show annually. It’s one of those trade shows that not only lives up to the hype, but no matter how ready you think you are for it, it’s even better, bigger and more exciting than you could have imagined.

Listen, if you know, you know. It’s like Trinidad Carnival, you truly have to attend to really understand.

Let’s break down some numbers.

There were four ballrooms of trade show space totalling 861,231 square feet. 


And every single foot was full of event companies, event professionals, event tech vendors, event influencers, event speakers, event destinations. It is an event of event people. It is event-ception.

How many event people? More than 15,000 people on the huge show floor. If you needed literally any product to plan your event or location to host it, there was a booth for you.

Speaking of booths

We had the most amazing shared booth space with our newest partner: 

Zoom Events! And IMEX attendees were the first in-the-know, because we blasted the event world with our announcement, right there on the IMEX floor—it was sensational.

Look at this gorgeous booth— designed in-house, btw. (Shout out to true visionaries, Maggie and Ira.)

Swoogo and Zoom Events joint IMEX booth

This awesome booth was a beacon of hope in the sea of event tech confusion. IMEX attendees saw that beautiful banner, stopped in to ask questions, and left pumped for the integration to launch. Turns out it’s not just milkshakes that bring ‘em to the yard.

Friends old and new

We certainly weren’t the only fantastic company there. I got to meet up with so many new and old friends, and I dropped by the booths of several Swoogo partners. Some of whom you’ll see in just a second.

Special shoutout to Sessionboard, Xtag, Global DMC Partners, and ATS. My mama always says “show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.” I think we’re in good company.

Swoogo’s mission is to empower anyone to bring people together, and everyone at IMEX was feeling pretty powerful.

Hello Robin

Huge highlight for me, I sat down with Robin, Product Marketer of Zoom Events, who I’d met two times prior, including Zoomtopia, (which I attended last month, AND that ran on Swoogo and Zoom Events) Not only did we talk about the future and importance of hybrid, and what our partnership looks like, but also how our platforms worked for Zoomtopia. (You can check out our full fireside chat here!)

Incredible fact about Robin, she was Swoogo user #474 back in the day when she worked at The New York Times! When she moved to Zoom Events, she didn’t forget about Swoogo, and we were so happy to reconnect with her.

Right back where we started

I also managed a sit-down with Swoogo’s own CEO, Chris Sykes, and talked about what this new Swoogo + Zoom Events partnership means for Swoogo’s future. (Hint: More hybrid events, better hybrid events, and less time and headaches building those hybrid events. Go #EventProfs!)

The best part of the interview was Sykes telling the story of his first IMEX with our founder, Leonora Valvo, four years ago, before he became CEO. And now he’s here with us, announcing a partnership with Zoom Events, at the very same event. Just a really satisfying way to come full circle.

Here’s what you came for!

I won’t put it off any longer! Check out our fantastic recap video, with a huge shout out to Dustin Wise, photographer and videographer extraordinaire, and sure, I’m gonna call him an unofficial Swoog. Check out this absolute gorgeousness.

It was an absolutely magical IMEX, and you bet your boots that I am counting down the days to next year.

Thanks for everything, IMEX.