The 26th BTC, the Italian trade show for the meetings, events, conferences, incentive travel, and business tourism industry, opens this morning at the Fiera di Rimini Exhibition Centre, for two days of business, education and professional networking.
The Minister for Tourism, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, will cut the ribbon to
officially open the show at 11:00 am. After the ceremony, the opening press conference will be held, with speakers managing director of Exmedia, Paolo Audino; chairman of the Rimini Fiera Group, Lorenzo Cagnoni; chairman of Federcongressi Paolo Zona, regional councillor for tourism for Emilia Romagna, Maurizio Melucc;, and finally, Minister Brambilla.
Three-hundred-twenty Italian and international exhibitors representing the whole conference supply chain are attending BTC. Italy’s regions are well represented by those that have identified the meetings industry as a driving force in destination marketing and easing seasonality in tourism: they have their own stands bringing together the local operators of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Sardinia, Calabria, and Molise.
Numerous exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at BTC again this year.
These include international destinations Abu Dhabi, Spain, Egypt, Jordan, Serbia, and Cuba, as well as 45 hotel chains, including Hilton, Fairmont Raffles Swisshotel, Worldhotels, Atahotels, AC Hotels, Best Western, Concerto, and Zacchera Hotels. Many tourism consortia, conference hotels, agencies, and service companies are also returning.
First-time exhibitors at BTC number the convention bureaus of Basel, Krakow,
Ascoli Piceno, and Versilia Costa Apuana; the hotel chains Orient Express,
Steigenberger Hotel Group, Selects Hotel Collection, and Standard Hotels; and the
hotels Medina Mediterranea in Hammamet, Four Seasons Hotel in Florence,
Duomo Hotel in Rimini, Hotel Jafferau in Bardonecchia, Poggio dell’Agnello
Country & Beach Residential Resort in Piombino, Radisson Blu Hotel in Milan,
Grand Hotel Terme Trieste & Victoria in Abano Terme, and Savhotel in Bologna.
Valtur, Eden Incentive, Humanitas Conference Centre, the Lecce Chamber of
Commerce, the Import & Export tourism union of Iraq – Kurdistan Region, and press agency Ansa are also new to BTC.
Through the system of pre-scheduled appointments based on their specific
professional interests, operators attending the show will meet 300 buyers
(65 percent Italian and 35 percent international) from 19 countries: Germany, the UK, France and Russia are the best represented, followed by other countries in western and eastern Europe, as well as the United States.
Fourteen seminars are scheduled for the first day of BTC, most of which will be
streamed live on the BTC website ( www.btc.it ) through technology provided by
Tecnoconference-TC Group. These include: the first of the day, How to acquire
international business, the round table on mergers and partnerships in the
meetings industry, the presentation of the Italian conference market survey
Osservatorio Congressuale Italiano (sponsored by Meeting e Congressi magazine
and the Rimini Convention Bureau), the Federcongressi open Q&A session on the
new regulations on Continuous Medical Education, and the workshops on 3D in
events organized by AllEvents Group.
With the new summer date and Rimini making its debut as host city, BTC’s
business objective is to bring together supply and demand on a European scale
in an effective and productive manner, using an innovative format, with
various occasions designed to facilitate personal relations between buyers
and exhibitors, which are key to developing business together. In this regard, the networking workshop, Join the islands – The value of meeting, organized by
corporate training and coaching company ioè and held yesterday afternoon, was a
success. Around 40 participants, equally divided between buyers and suppliers,
worked on getting to know themselves, each other and the added value of coming
together, with experiential exercises designed to stimulate personal interaction.
Yesterday evening, buyers enjoyed a highly atmospheric medieval banquet
held in the historic center of San Marino. Organized by San Marino Convention
& Visitors Bureau, the event included a welcome speech from chairman Riccardo
Vannucci, director Catia Manduchi, and Fabio Berardi, San Marino’s secretary of
state for tourism.