The trade organization representing the video and computer game industry’s category-leading retail companies, the IEMA (Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association), today announced that the 2004 IEMA Executive Summit – the association’s annual conference – has sold-out for the fifth straight year. Additionally, the retail and publisher attendee numbers and overall participation from industry leaders too is at an all-time high for the three-day event.
The Summit was moved from its previous location at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, California which it had outgrown last year, to its new home at the Hyatt Regency in the new upscale community of Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. In moving the event the show organizers hoped that all 500 attendees could be housed under one roof and at a substantial cost savings for vendor companies.
"We are thrilled to announce that the Summit has grown beyond our expectations," said Hal Halpin, president of the IEMA. "We have over 700 retail and publisher attendees registered and in the process sold-out the entire Hyatt Lake Las Vegas resort as well as the nearby Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas. In addition, we sold-out all of the suites and meeting rooms due to an increased participation from vendor companies and their respective executives – our new challenge is managing this growth and keeping the event intimate… good problems to have."
Retail participation in the Summit is up, at least in part, due to the growth of the IEMA as an association. While the non-profit’s board of directors did not invite one previous member to return nor renew, it did manage to recruit the few previously missing members of the trade group. New member companies and attendees, among others include GameStop, Hollywood Video, Musicland, and Nebraska Furniture Mart.
The Summit is the invitation-only executive-level event in which the games industry cements sales and marketing plans for the calendar year. An estimated 70% of this year’s holiday sales will be products purchased during the show by the organization’s retail buyers. The IEMA Executive Summit is being held this year at the Hyatt Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada from July 19th – 22nd and Yair Landau, Sony Pictures Vice-Chairman will deliver the keynote speech following the opening night cocktail reception. In attendance will be executives from IEMA members such as Wal-Mart, Target, Electronics Boutique and Circuit City as well as senior management from other vendor companies including Microsoft, Nokia, Electronic Arts, and Take Two Interactive.