The 21st EIBTM opened today in Barcelona, Tuesday, December 1, the international meetings event where the world meets for best business, networking, and professional education.
This year´s event has attracted over 3,300 suppliers representing 80 countries. There are 3,800 international hosted buyers from 71 countries who have registered to attend the show and a record-breaking 54,255 appointments have been pre-scheduled between exhibitors and hosted buyer – 4 percent up on last year. Numbers of pre-registered trade visitors have topped the 6,300 mark.
Additionally, the event has seen a 70 percent increase in those registering to attend the Association Program and a 43 percent increase in registrations to the corporate program.
First-time exhibitors this year come from hotel groups, technology companies, tourist boards, CVBs, and venues. These include Tiara Hotels, Zaragoza CVB, Essence of Bali, Oberoi Hotels, Mozambique, Venezuela – INATUR, Seoul Convention Bureau, Senegal, Poznan, and Centre de Congressos de Andorra.
While New Zealand, Croatia, Switzerland, Ecuador, Jordan, Costa Rica, Canadian Tourism Commission, Las Vegas, Taiwan, Shanghai, Beijing, Trinidad and Tobago and Madrid CVB, Barcelona Convention Bureau, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Jordan have all increased their stand space.
This year´s education program targeted at corporates, associations, agencies, and suppliers features 43 sessions, which includes the event´s largest ever bespoke Spanish program.
As in previous years, the program has received the support of leading industry associations such as ICCA, MPI, SITE, PCMA, and ASAE.
Key educational highlights will be Rob Davidson, senior lecturer in business travel and tourism, University of Westminster, facilitating a seminar entitled, “Motivating Generation Y – how you can design meetings and use technology to involve them.” This forms part of the daily dedicated Technology Hour program. He will also be presenting the annual EIBTM Industry Trends and Market Share Report.
Other highlights include sessions during the Technology Hour on social media and the hottest technology products; CSR Symposium tackling key developments relating to making the industry more sustainable and seminars covering creativity, ROI, meetings architecture, trends, and business and market development.
Additionally, for the first time, The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has chosen the event as an additional CMP exam location for international candidates and are awarding CMP accredited points for all educational sessions.
NEW NETWORKING HOUR
A new initiative has evolved from post event research undertaken after last year’s event when over 50 percent of exhibitors requested additional networking opportunities to maximize return on investment. This has led to the exhibition remaining open for an extra hour on Wednesday to give exhibitors the chance to hold affordable, business, and networking functions for hosted buyers and visitors on their stands.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EIBTM TO THE INDUSTRY
Summing up the importance of EIBTM to the international meetings industry, exhibition director Mandy Torrens, commented: “EIBTM delivers what it has always done – best business, best education, and best networking. It is truly representative of what is happening internationally in the meetings industry on future trends, opportunities, and developments.
“Our role is to act as a business, education, and networking catalyst – to provide an environment and forum for the industry to end 2009 optimistically and uplifted; having come away with new and firm business leads, established new relationships, and gained valuable insights into how to develop their businesses in the future.”