Chicago (June 13) — AIBTM 2013 took place in Chicago as part of Americas Meetings Week with the theme this year of “Defining the Future of Meetings… Together.” It kicked off record attendance at Education Day with a keynote from J. Walker Smith, one of the leading US analysts on consumer trends, who addressed nearly 1,000 attendees in a packed auditorium on the value of face-to-face meetings in the kinship economy.
There were 35 sessions and workshops on trends and topics for industry education that included the art of social networking for your career, the role that colorful nutrient-dense food plays in helping the body and brain thrive, ways to set up successful partnerships and technology. Over 3,700 attended Education Day, which offered sessions supported by the industry’s leading global associations and provided attendees with the opportunity to earn over 30 CEU accreditation hours.
This year, AIBTM attracted close to 1,000 regional and international Hosted Buyers (subject to an independent ABC audit) with a high percentage of first time attendees, a 31% increase over 2012. With over 50 new exhibitors included in a total of 707 main stand holders and exhibiting partners, the show was the largest to date. The pre-scheduled appointment system also hit new highs and it is anticipated that some 15,000 business meetings took place with Hosted Buyers who had budgets of more than $10.7 billion.
At this year’s Market Focus on Europe session, Robert Hatfield, of Origin Event Planning, said, “At AIBTM I get an idea of what’s going on in Europe without travelling there. I am seeking new locations and opportunities.”
Patrick S. Madden, of High Line Planning, returned this year as a buyer saying, “I am looking for new DMC partners in new countries – this Market Focus is a great networking opportunity for me to get all the information I need.” Two other Market Focus sessions also took place for Asia and Latin America.
Hosted Buyers came from not only the local Chicago area but from across the Americas and beyond representing agencies, corporates, association, government and business travel. This year saw an exponential 165% increase in Corporate Buyers over 2012 and a 15% increase in Incentive Buyers. At the same time, trade visitors also increased (subject to audit) by close to 40%, adding to the business opportunities on the trade show floor. In total more than 3,000 industry professionals took part in the first AIBTM Chicago.
Hosted Buyer, Catherine Hunter of SmithBucklin, Chicago, was delighted with her visit. “This is my first AIBTM show. It is a good opportunity to meet people and plan business in a foreign country. The face-to-face aspect of meeting at the show helps later when I am planning my meetings.”
Praising this year’s show, exhibitors talked about the many business opportunities they had received. Bryan Churchill, VP of Hotel Sales for the Los Angeles Tourism Convention Bureau said, “The appointments-based component is always great. It’s been very dynamic with truly interested meeting planners and buyers. And with the destination presentations, we are able to touch those who aren’t as familiar with our destination. It’s been dynamite. The traffic has been incredible.”
Daniel Schwartz, Dubai Tourism Office, North America, added, “We’ve been with AIBTM from the beginning. It has been a positive experience and the appointments have been valuable. We’ve had a range of people with a new interest in Dubai to people who have visited 50 times.”
Verena Jandak, Marketing Manager, Vienna Convention Bureau, talked about the value of the Hosted Buyer program on opening day. “We have been here for just 45 minutes and already made three strong business leads. It is amazing how much critical information you can exchange with buyers in a matter of minutes.”
Michael Lyons, AIBTM Exhibition Director, reflected on this year’s show. “AIBTM has combined business with a whole range of new industry talking points that affect us, from brain food to neuro-marketing, future events experiences to meeting design, social engagement and content marketing, to the collision of the generation gap. The interaction of our debates, education sessions and crowd sourcing has given us insight into how we will build on the theme of ‘Defining the Future of Meetings… Together’ when we take AIBTM to Orlando next year. We have some solid blocks from which to start the building process in a few week’s time!”
“We also want Americas Meetings Week to provide content for everyone in the industry, not just here in the US, but globally,” Lyons continued, “something that is not just available for a few days but creates a valuable knowledge base that the industry can tap into anytime, anywhere – so we have brought the show to the world online. Almost every aspect of AIBTM – from education to interviews with key industry figureheads, exhibitor views, buyer opinions, and the thoughts of the experts – is now all on www.aibtm.com.”
The Americas Incentive, Business Travel Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) is a leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world. Tailored to the U.S. market, AIBTM serves and guarantees the attendance of top-level decision makers. The exhibitions provide time and business efficient matching services for buyers and sellers through unique Hosted Buyer Programs. For more information, please visit www.aibtm.com. AIBTM takes place from June 11-13, 2013. Join AIBTM on Linked in, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
AIBTM forms part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions Meetings, Events and Business Travel Portfolio along with AIME (www.aime.com.au), GIBTM (www.gibtm.com), CIBTM (www.cibtm.com) IBTM India (http://www.ibtmevents.com/IBTM-India/) EIBTM (www.eibtm.com) and Business Travel Market (www.businesstravelmarket.co.uk).
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
The 19 events are; World Travel Market (WTM), World Travel Market Latin America (WTM Latin America), Arabian Travel Market (ATM), International French Travel Market Top Resa (IFTM), International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), International Ski Travel Market (ISTM), International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), International Luxury Travel Market Asia (ILTM Asia), International Luxury Travel Market Americas (ILTM Americas), International Luxury Travel Market Africa (ILTM Africa), International Luxury Travel Market Japan (ILTM Japan), International Luxury Travel Market Spa (ILTM Spa), Asia-Pacific Incentives Meetings Expo (AIME) (owned by Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau), Global Exhibition for Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (EIBTM), Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (GIBTM), Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (AIBTM), China Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (CIBTM), India Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings (IBTM India) and Business Travel Market.
September 2013 will see the launch of IBTM India in Mumbai, India, and another exciting launch in the ski travel sector, with International Ski Travel Market in March 2014.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company. www.reedexpo.com