This year’s ibtm arabia event, which marked the ten-year anniversary of ibtm arabia, took place at the 5-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers from February 9-11, and brought buyers and suppliers of MICE products from more than 40 countries together, resulting in over 3,000 meetings over the 3 days.
Feedback from Hosted Buyers and exhibitors who attended ibtm arabia 2016 has indicated that the event was a success, delivering maximum ROI through a combination of networking events, a one-to-one ratio of international and regional buyers to exhibitors, and a mutual match appointment system that allowed both exhibitors and Hosted Buyers to create a diary of up to 30 appointments with the business leads they identified.
Hosted Buyers who attended remarked on the international range and quality of exhibitors, networking and off-site events such as Discovery Day, and the event format. Nola Atallah, Arrival to Departure (Qatar), commented, “As a Hosted Buyer, I feel very satisfied with the service that ibtm arabia offered and with the appointments I had with business partners coming from all over the world.”
Maureen Brennan, Incentive Connect International (Australia), who also attended as a Hosted Buyer commented: “The event was very well organized, the appointment stream matched my business needs, and off-site events gave a good overview of activities, venues, and entertainment available. This event showcases Abu Dhabi as a sophisticated destination for incentive groups. A good cross-section of destinations in this region. A great opportunity to undertake destination research and make local connections with suppliers and operators.”
Hesham Hashad, Asian Heaven Travel and Tours (Saudi Arabia), also a Hosted Buyer commented: “The event allowed me to get in touch with many sources directly, and although it was a business event, it was great fun! It’s a mixture between business and pleasure, where you can meet professional people from different regions. It was a nice opportunity to get to know the suppliers in person, which gave a good touch for business.”
Exhibitors who attended the event remarked on the quality of attending Hosted Buyers, the mutual match appointment system, networking events, and the event format. John Coll, Snoozebox, commented, “Good quality buyers who were interested in our products. ibtm arabia has managed to attract key decision makers, who are key to the development of our business in the region.”
Mohsen Hafez, Golden Tours, commented, “The venue is very well equipped and the area used effectively. ibtm arabia 2016 provided us with an excellent platform to understand the needs of the international market as well as present our services to a selected audience who are capable of valuing our expertise in the field.”
David Escolar Diez, Melia Hotels International, commented, “Well matched appointments, good availability of Hosted Buyers and a variety of ample recreational networking events to build relationships or continue conversations.”
Tamara Davis, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, commented: “Most of the buyers I had meetings with were looking for exactly what my hotel has to offer. Great and professionally organized show. Loved the exploration day. The one-on-one meetings were very useful for future connections.”
Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Manager, ibtm arabia commented: “We are very pleased to have received such positive feedback from our attendees. Each year we strive to provide a platform for the meetings industry in the Middle East to connect with the world, whilst also creating a personalized experience for every Hosted Buyer and exhibitor who walks through the door so that the event is 100% valuable to everyone. This is what makes ibtm arabia stand out from other events. However, even with such great feedback we will continue to work to enhance the experience for our new and existing customers and deliver even more business connections at ibtm arabia 2017.”
ibtm arabia 2017 will take place from February 7-9, 2017. Based on the success of ibtm arabia 2016, ibtm arabia has entered into a two-year partnership with the 5-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, who will again host ibtm arabia 2017.
eTN is a media partner for ibtm.