After returning from EIBTM in Barcelona, the last IBTM event of a year which has been all about looking forward and tenaciously embracing the challenges the economy has created for the meetings industry recently, it set me thinking about what we would find, if we stopped for a second and looked back –just for a moment or two.
I am overwhelmed at the number of achievements we have set about nurturing to fruition in the last 12 months. The attendance figures and success stories following each of our shows speak for themselves and whilst I am inspired by what 2012 holds for the IBTM portfolio, I am also impressed when I look back and see what a mark we made on the meetings industry in 2011.
One of our biggest achievements this year was the launch of AIBTM, our 5th edition to the portfolio, which was launched in Baltimore in June. Following a great launch, the show then went on to win the best “new industry event” at the 2011 TSNN Event Excellence Awards – what a tremendous achievement. New for next year, AIBTM will partner with SITE and PCMA to deliver new education sessions and 600 Hosted Buyers for 2012.
2011 has also witnessed a drive towards developing the business travel element and this year has seen the formation of a strategic partnership with ACTE, which will deliver corporate/business travel education streams across the portfolio.
AIME 2012 and then GIBTM in March next year will be the first to see the launch of the new partnership and we hope to see you there.
All of these partnerships are dedicated to creating a truly dynamic portfolio comprising unique knowledge, insight and expertise, which we anticipate will carry a long way!
2011 has also seen the 6th edition to our portfolio with the acquisition of Business Travel Market. Strategically, this acquisition gives our portfolio a new spin and we are really looking forward to developing the brand in emerging markets where the synergy between corporate travel and the meetings and events sectors continue to merge.
Whilst on the topic of emerging markets, this year was also one of record-breaking success for CIBTM in Beijing. The show exceeded all expectations and there is no doubt in my mind that China’s meetings industry is one to keep our eye very closely on – the prospects are exponential.
Last but by no means least; we really did finish the year on a high with EIBTM! As the largest show in our portfolio, EIBTM receives a consistent level of positive feedback year-on-year and the impact and consequent responses from those attending this year were in a league of their own. Powerful business, brave innovation and record levels of attendance secured a place in meetings industry history for EIBTM– one we are very proud of.
Our award-winning portfolio saw 5,000 suppliers, 100 countries and 17,000 meeting planners come together to attend five of the worlds’ leading global meetings and events exhibitions and conduct over 100,000 pre-scheduled business appointments – who knows what 2012 holds for us...I’m excited to find out! I would like to personally wish all of our partners, stakeholders, venues, host cities and contractors a successful 2012!