CIBTM, organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions and held in Beijing last week, enhanced its position as the only domestic and international event for the MICE industry in China welcoming the largest participation from exhibitors and a surge in the quality of regional Hosted Buyers.
“CIBTM part of China Meetings Week, has grown into the most mature meetings, incentive and events event in Asia, and as the only national one (supported by China National Tourism Administration) for the MICE industry in 2012, I am confident it will continue to expand in the future,” said Mr Sun Weijia, Vice Chairman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development during a speech he made at the opening conference. Mr Sun outlined how the value for the industry from Chinese buyers alone could top 7.8billion RMB.
CIBTM 2012 focused this year on encouraging more domestic Hosted Buyers to attend, all of whom had to achieve the strict qualification process before entering the programme. Reed Travel Exhibitions embarked on a year round tour of 2nd and 3rd tier cities to explain the MICE sector and find new association and corporate buyers. More than 500 media attended these events further helping to promote the sector, whilst urging those who work professionally as planners and buyers to be part of China Meetings Week. As a result, this year’s event welcomed over 413 Hosted Buyers, of which 147 represented associations and corporates which is an increase of 15% on 2011.
Other statistics from the show included increases in pre-scheduled appointments to 8,459 up 15% on last year, the net space of the event was up 20%, total exhibitors up 6% to 398 with an 18% increase in the number of exhibitors from China, and Hosted Buyers came from 18 countries - up 36% with the largest increase coming from China. Some 5000 industry professionals (subject to an independent post-show audit by BPA) were expected to attend over the 3 days of the event.
Barbara Steuri-Albrecht, Director for the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau said: “We have had a great show, and the Chinese buyers are very interested in doing business. We are getting more and more incentive groups from the pharma, automotive, insurance and finance sectors. We held a dinner in Beijing with selected Hosted Buyers and had an excellent attendance. We will certainly be back at CIBTM in 2013”.
Annie Chang, Market Development Manager, China McArthurGlen Group was a first time exhibitor. “China’s incentive buyers have shown great interest in us at the show. On the first day alone we had 15 appointments and four resulting in contracts one of which has developed into an incentive booking for 5000 Chinese delegates”.
Airaj Isaacs, Ovation Arabia who took part as an exhibiting partner on the Abu Dhabi stand said: “This is our first time at CIBTM, and its part of our China strategy and we are the only destination partner for Abu Dhabi who is attending. So we are here because of the huge increase in outbound business from Asia to the middle east, specifically Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I have been amazed by the number of mainland buyers who want to come to the Middle East for incentives. I have received genuine interest in Abu Dhabi for incentive travel from Hong Kong, Singapore and main land China. Ovation will definitely be back in 2013.”
This year’s Professional Education programme featured a number of diverse speakers through partnerships with some of the world’s leading industry associations many of whom were in China for the first time. For example ACTE (Association of Corporate Travel Executives) provided topics on tailored for corporate and business travel, a sector that was new to the show this year and supported the business travel element of the MICE sector.
There was also a strong focus on local and regional industry experts in the education programme. One particular session attracted a full auditorium and featured academic perspectives of the China meetings industry with an insight from a number of University Professors on the future growth and aspirations of the MICE industry.
The China Meetings Industry Blue Paper, presented by Mr Liu Haiying, CEO China National Convention Centre, was another highlight where for the first time attendees were given statistical analysis and research data for the future growth trends of the meetings industry.
The results of the 2012 CIBTM Global Meetings Industry Research China and Asia was also launched confirming that the region continues to offer huge potential for growth with an increase in volume of events, budgets and new destinations predicted. These research results are available in full on www.cibtm.com.
“We have been treated to some of the most spectacular networking events including a night on the Great Wall, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and an impressive entertainment experience from the CNCC staff in their own venue. This year’s event has been one of several great achievements for us as we welcomed so many new up and coming cities to the show including Chengdu, Zhangjiakou and Wuzhen who all exhibited for the first time. We have achieved our objectives of building understanding and awareness of the MICE industry into the regions and with the foundations for new professional buyers who have attended this year we will build on this again for 2013.” Said Jeffrey Xu, CIBTM Exhibition Manager.
CIBTM 2013 takes place on the 2nd - 4th September 2013.