As the 6th CIBTM drew to a close in China, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development (BTD) told the MICE industry via presentations to the media, Hosted Buyers, Exhibitors and trade visitors that they had not only signed another 3 year MOU with Reed Travel Exhibitions (organizers of the event) to continue their support of the growing meetings industry in China, but that they would also provide additional resources to encourage inbound business to support RFP’s from international MICE buyers and planners.
Mr Lu Yong General Director of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development said; “To help continue to build Beijing as a high level MICE destination we will be supporting our key meeting and incentive travel enterprises, associations and intermediary organizations to help integrate all our resources to promote the city and, at the same time, we will step up our support for CIBTM with the aim of making it the premier event across China and Asia Pacific within the next five years.”
With interest in the meetings industry at an all time high in China, this year’s CIBTM closed once again with more Hosted Buyers, Exhibitors and trade visitors (pre-independent audited numbers) over the three days of the event. Some 4,400 Hosted Buyers and Trade Visitors took part and over 7,500 Pre-Scheduled appointments were made prior to the event opening.
Exposing the industry to a wider audience, the key Chinese media also reflected on the economic impact of the MICE industry inbound and the importance of CIBTM as an event to lead the sector into the future.
The largest number of international exhibitors mixed with suppliers from China and Asia Pacific, with 391 main stand holders and exhibiting partners in total. The views from the floor showed that the presence of CIBTM has clearly helped in delivering business specific to the MICE sector.
Tobia Salvadori of Sicilia Convention Bureau said “This is our third time at CITBM. In the first year they wanted to know where Italy and Sicily were located in the world, but now they are really experienced - its incredible how the knowledge of the Chinese buyers has grown. Initially the MICE market here was similar to leisure tourism, now its focused on the industry and specifically incentives and business. We feel we have to be here at this event as its clearly the strongest outbound market in the world. For the past two years of CIBTM we have definitely created an inbound wave of business for Sicily”.
John Toomey, VP Global Sales North Asia for Marriott International added; “CIBTM is a must for Marriott. This is a great platform for our hotels to get in front of some of China’s largest event, incentive and meeting planners in one go. The attendance has been strong and the rewards for participating have been great.”
CIBTM’s Education Programme included a mix of international and Chinese sessions. Following the success of last this, additional new subjects and topics wereintroduced. One of the key highlights was the first industry panel debate session – that had standing room only. Entitled “How to Improve the core competence as a service provider” over 100 Chinese and Asian visitors and Hosted Buyers packed the conference room.
“Every year we have added to the speakers and sessions as it is clear that the China market wants education, knowledge and facts about the industry. We have had a real variety of topics and features including CMP exams – the first ever in mainland China – the annual China Meetings Industry Report, and a seminar on how to understand the local MICE market from a Chinese perspective. Speakers for this included the Head of International Co-operation Department, China National Biotec Group and the Chief Event Planner from Taikang Life Insurance – such high profile people clearly attract the local market.” said Erica Keogan, Associations and Education Manager for the IBTM global Meetings and Events Portfolio.
Summing up CIBTM 2011 the Project Manager Jeffrey Xu said “The response from the local, regional and international meetings industry to CIBTM this year has driven this event to yet another important stage in its strategic development. There is no doubt that China’s meetings industry, led by CIBTM, will help to support the predictions by HelmsBriscoe (April 2011) that its value of $150billion will also have annual growth of 20%. This week we have had very interesting feedback from buyers and suppliers who feel that there is significant business being discussed. Plus the competition on the show floor from destinations, products and services really does give our Hosted Buyers and Trade Visitors a huge choice for their future plans for incentives, events, conventions and meetings”.