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Positive feedback for EIBTM 2004

Travel News Asia 30 July 2003

Quality feedback, positive research and new partnerships bode well for the success of EIBTM 2004, the annual global exhibition organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) for the incentive, business travel and meetings industry, to be held 30 November 2 December 2004 in Barcelona, Spain.

RTE received highly positive feedback on the quality of business at EIBTM 2003 in Geneva, and current research positions Barcelona as a top destination backed by a strong domestic market. EIBTM has also recently partnered with Meeting Professionals International (MPI), to grow MPIs European presence.

EIBTM appointments more productive

Feedback from exhibitors and buyers at EIBTM 2003, held in Geneva in late May, has shown that the quality of business conducted is the most important criteria for the industry. This confirms EIBTMs research, that buyers want more valuable individual meetings.

Some 14,000 appointments targeted for buyers at EIBTM, together with selective matching, were acknowledged as far more productive than group meetings.

EIBTM figures, which are ABC audited, reflect a strong showing of total visitors at 4132, Hosted Buyers at 2142, Trade visitors at 1817 and Press attendance at 172. The figures back up better quality buyers attending this years event with a higher proportion of corporate and association buyers. Hosted Buyers had bigger budgets especially in the $5m-$10m bracket, with as many as two-thirds of Hosted Buyers and half of association buyers new to the event. A higher proportion of visitors had final decision on buying incentives and meetings.

Against what seemed a difficult backdrop of economic climate, conflict and SARS, we were very pleased with the quality of business at this years event, said Debbie Jackson, EIBTM Exhibition Director. Exhibitors welcomed the strong international buyer contingent, as it was not something they had experienced at other industry events. The trend we set was towards higher quality oneto-one meetings, in response to research showing this is what business demands.

Amy Sullivan, Manager of Industry Development of the Australian Tourist Commission, said: Australia was well received at this years EIBTM event held in Geneva with a reasonable number of serious enquiries resulting from active pre show marketing initiatives, stand design and position, coupled with onsite hospitality events held throughout the show. Our attendance at EIBTM has reconfirmed Australias position as an achievable destination that can deliver on clients corporate objectives.

Thorsten D Meier, Director of Leading Group Sales Europe, of the Leading Hotels of the World. stated: Actually it is quite simple: the quality was extremely good and from this point of view I would even say it was one of the best shows so far. Together with my staff we generated 37 brand new requests (nearly 10,000 room nights.) All in all the show was a great success for The Leading Hotels of the World and we will be definitely back in 2004 even bigger.

Eric Bakermans, of Netherlands Convention Bureau, said: The Hosted Buyer programme has improved and in general all our group and individual Hosted Buyers showed up. The quality was very good. I know that for a fact our sharers has some good leads and the same goes for us. Well be in Barcelona.

We see these comments as strong endorsements for our approach to put exhibitors needs for quality business before numbers, and in the end they validate the general theme of the show, that quality prevailed and good business was carried out, said Jackson.

Major highlights this year included an historic international meeting at EIBTM of the first ever European Incentive Associations Forum. This was in addition to the EIBTM Association programme offering seminars, a dedicated pavilion of resources and an informal cruise on Lake Geneva attended by 350 Association buyers and exhibitors.

2003 saw the industry debut of the MPI Technology Village at EIBTM to showcase the latest available technology. This was well received and MPI is already working with EIBTM in the planning process for Barcelona.

At the heart of the show was a packed programme of stage events including the EIBTM Awards, the Forum for Young Professionals Awards, and the first Journalist of the Year Award, won by Hans-Jrgen Heinrich of Convention International.

There was also a huge response to the much sought-after EIBTM 2003 Industry Trends & Market Share Report by Rob Davidson, University of Westminster.

The interest in EIBTMs industry research report was overwhelming. My stand was soon cleared out of all copies of the report and many people said that whilst they knew how their own business was doing, they needed to see the bigger picture. The report provided the context and the roadmap for the industry for the future, Rob Davidson said.

Barcelona leads, backed by latest research findings

Barcelona, the new home of EIBTM, is now a top world destination in its own right backed by a strong Spanish market, according to latest research findings.

In the latest Trends & Spends survey of the UK outbound market this June, Barcelona is the top destination for number of groups and delegate nights, with Spain in first place for short haul from the UK in terms of groups and total delegate nights, taking over from Germany.

ICCA DATA's latest statistics show Barcelona at the head of the charts as the most popular city in 2002.

Independent research commissioned by EIBTM confirmed Barcelona as by far the favourite choice of exhibitors, group co-ordinators, Hosted Buyers and other trade professionals in the industry.

We are also very encouraged by the number of exhibitors who have said so enthusiastically that they want to come to Barcelona, said Debbie Jackson.

Our focus now is to forge EIBTMs exciting future in Barcelona and to produce what is right for the industry to help it develop substantial new business, said Jackson.

MPI and EIBTM partner to grow MPI European membership

In an effort to strengthen its presence in Europe, Meeting Professionals International (MPI), has partnered with EIBTM to attract 30 new members to MPIs nine European chapters.

According to the partnership agreement, EIBTM will pay for 30 planner memberships per year for two consecutive years (three members per European chapter for a total of 27, plus three at-large members). Tom Nutley, managing director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, organizers of EIBTM, also revealed that EIBTM will renew its commitment to the MPI European Partner Program for 2003-2004.

"MPI welcomes the opportunity to grow our membership in Europe and look forward to expanding our partnership with EIBTM, said Didier Scaillet, director of European operations and global development for MPI. By encouraging new planner members to join MPI, there will be additional opportunities for suppliers seeking to conduct business with members of MPIs $10.9 billion annual buying power network.

Over the last year, EIBTM and MPI have joined forces on a number of projects such as the MPI Technology Village @ EIBTM, a unique event featuring leading technology companies with expert presentations to educate meeting professionals about new business technology. Additionally, MPI has helped EIBTM to develop its premier education program and Association Program in Geneva at EIBTM 2003 last month. Tom Nutley also introduced the Opening General Session keynote speaker during MPIs 2003 Professional Education Conference-Europe, 4-6 April in Berlin, and will play the same role during MPIs 2004 Professional Education Conference-Europe, 28-30 March in Edinburgh, Scotland.

We are delighted to help MPI enhance their presence in Europe and define the value of meetings to the European business community, said Debbie Jackson, exhibition director for EIBTM. EIBTM is proud to be a partner of MPI, the worlds leading association for meeting professionals, and we will continue to look at new ways of working together.

Since the April 1991 inception of its first European chapter, MPI Italia, MPI has been committed to enhancing the professional development and networking opportunities critical to the career advancement of European meeting professionals. Today, MPI has 1,200 members in its Germany, France, Denmark, Italia, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and United Kingdom chapters.

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