As the doors open to the 21st EIBTM next week in Barcelona – December 1-3 – the event is set to provide the meetings industry with a dynamic combination of best business, best professional education, best networking, and return on investment.
The key performance indicators for EIBTM all point to yet another successful event. Over 3,100 exhibitors representing over 90+ countries worldwide are confirmed. Visitor pre-registration numbers are up on last year with more buyers and planners pre-registering every day online at www.eibtm.com . Hosted Buyer numbers are set to top the 4,000 mark with over 53,000 pre-scheduled appointments already made between exhibitors and Hosted Buyers.
Adding to the line-up of exhibitors, EIBTM has attracted 28 new organizations for 2009 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.
Additionally, countries and destinations that have increased their stand space include Barcelona Convention Bureau, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Beijing, Jordan New Zealand, Croatia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Canadian Tourism Commission, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Madrid CVB.
This year’s professional education program, featuring 40 sessions, with separate streams targeted at corporates, associations, agencies, and suppliers, is led by some of the most influential industry experts covering topics as diverse Generation Y and creativity to ROI; and meetings architecture, trends, and business and market development. Additionally, the daily Technology Hour will provide advice and tips to get the most out of social media and the most innovative products on the market.
With an expected increase in the number of Spanish trade visitors, the event has expanded its Spanish educational program with ten dedicated sessions organized over the three days with speakers from APCE, MPI, Malaga Convention Bureau, Viajes Iberia Congresos, Oviedo Congress Palace, and Le Meridien Barcelona.
Other highlights include a keynote session with trend guru and marketing expert Daniel Levine, executive director of the Avant Guide Institute; the presentation of EIBTM’s annual Industry Trends and Market Share Report by EIBTM’s Industry analyst Rob Davidson and, for the second year, the CSR Symposium tackling key issues on green, sustainable, and environmental issues. Additionally, Vanessa Cotton, chair of RTE Meetings and Incentives Events, will be announcing the winners of this year’s EIBTM Awards recognizing creativity, imagination, innovation, and excellence across all types of events and marketing campaigns. A complete program schedule can be found at www.eibtm.com .
EIBTM’s Technology Village, now in its seventh year, will feature some of the newest, most effective technology solutions for event and meeting planners including WorldWide Technology Watch Winner, Pathable, while the Event Services Village showcases the best in support services for events, meetings, and incentive travel.
NETWORKING HOUR – NEW INITIATIVE
The networking program, one of the cornerstones of EIBTM, welcomes a new initiative this year, evolved from post research undertaken after last year’s event when 50 percent of exhibitors requested additional networking opportunities to maximize return on investment. This has led to the exhibition remaining open for “Networking hour” on Wednesday, December 2, 1800–1900 hours, to give exhibitors the chance to hold affordable, business, and networking functions for Hosted Buyers and visitors on their stands.
The program also includes the ever-popular EIBTM Welcome Party on December 1 from 1800–2000 hours in Hall 2.2 and the EIBTM Club Night at Club Catwalk in Barcelona, open to all with an EIBTM badge.
For Hosted Buyers, there is a networking event at W Barcelona from 1930-2300 hours on Monday, November 30 and an Association event on Wednesday, December 2 at the Neri Restaurant in Barcelona.
Finally, the extended post event program with 15 tours to Spanish and European destinations – Leon, Madrid, Valencia, Costa del Sol, Costa Daurada, Huelva, Bilbao, Barcelona Province, Sitges, Cordoba, Seville, Palma de Mallorca, Venice, London, and Amsterdam – has received tremendous interest with buyers from all over the world looking to maximize their return on investment while at EIBTM.
Mandy Torrens, EIBTM’s exhibition director commented: “EIBTM is truly representative of what is happening in the meetings industry. We are championing the future of technology, of innovation, and creativity within the industry while our professional education program, covering such a diverse range of topics and issues, gives attendees the knowledge to develop their professional and personal careers. What EIBTM delivers is an environment to grow business, gain valuable educational insights, and the opportunity to build new business networks.”
Visitor pre-registration for the event, to include entrance to the exhibition, seminars, and networking, is still open, so simply log onto www.eibtm.com . Those registering online will save the 20 Euro entrance fee on the day.