This year´s 22nd EIBTM has attracted 3,125 exhibiting companies from over 90 countries and created three days packed with non-stop meetings and activities. Having launched many new features, created a record 59 professional education sessions and held over 100 events in and around the show, the objective for organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions has been to drive business and deliver value for all those attending the event.
Elling Hamso of the European Event ROI Institute commented that he actually found it “annoying” that it had taken him 45 minutes to get from one end of the hall to the other for a meeting because there were so many people on the show floor. “I reckon that Wednesday was a record day for EIBTM, congratulations”, he said.
Whilst EIBTM took place in a week that saw some of the worst weather conditions to hit Northern Europe in many years, all stands were open for business from the first day of the event. However, some Hosted Buyers from the UK were stranded when Gatwick closed and remained closed for 48 hours. As a result, this year´s unaudited figures will reflect a small drop in Hosted Buyers – currently 3,582, 45 less than 2009. However the number of trade visitors was 4,010, reflecting a 5% increase on last year. Total attendance at the show reached 8,395, a 1% increase on 2009. “We tried to do everything in our power to get these Buyers out of the UK but sadly, the conditions prevented them leaving. However, we are obviously delighted that those who did get to the event - some having travelled via alternative routes, and many taking up to 12 hours to arrive - proved that this was where they needed to be for their business”, said Graeme Barnett, Event Director for EIBTM. Barnett added that RTE is in the process of contacting every Buyer who didn´t make it to the show to help them make contact with the exhibitors they had planned to meet. “Yesterday (Thursday 2nd December), we chartered a plane to get 224 of our Hosted Buyers and Exhibitors back to the UK and we organised coach travel on arrival back in the UK”, commented Barnett.
One of the new initiatives this year was the introduction of EIBTM TV – a live news channel broadcast on screens around the show floor. Also online at www.eibtm.com, the content means that those Buyers who didn´t attend have been able to view three days worth of event news and will be able to see the education sessions and presentations as well at a later date.
“Whilst we realise this doesn´t replace the face-to-face at EIBTM, it is perfect timing, as we hope that those who didn´t make it to the show will be able to follow and catch up with all of the latest news, interviews, and features”, added Barnett.
This year´s new format CEO Summit attracted 60 industry leaders from around the world who listened to three speakers including UK Economist Professor Dominic Swords who spoke of the “huge business potential for the industry in post recession growth with signs that the global economy is improving and CEOs are signing off discretionary spend, as people become cautiously optimistic”. When he asked the audience for their opinions of this statement 75% of CEO leaders confirmed that they too believed that their businesses had seen a shift in optimism over the past year.
In confirming these views, Nik Racic, Director Croatian Convention and Incentive Bureau said “Multinational companies are starting to spend money once again on meetings, so things are slowly recovering”.
The Professional Education Programme, a highlight of EIBTM, and delivering a record 59 seminars, workshops and conferences, reported positive feedback from delegates reaffirming that the event is meeting the needs of the global industry . “The Educational Programme and lectures are formidable. And all this is held under one roof and in one of the most exciting cities in Europe and that for me is what we sell, education and romanticism!” commented Audrey Scher, Turbo Travel Pty Ltd.
Hosted Buyers undertook more than 55,000 PSA´s a 1.35% increase on 2009 (subject to final confirmation). Thomas Morano, VP Meetings & Conferences American Financial Services Association commented, “I can attest there is no other experience better in connecting with the industry. It is probably the largest gathering of peers anywhere”. Jeffrey Adam, Director of Global Accounts, HelmsBriscoe also commented on their successful week; “The benefits of attending EIBTM are immense. The sum total of the experience has made me a more valuable asset to my clients. Knowledge equals effectiveness”.
EIBTM is ABC Audited every year to guarantee that the number of visitors promoted is completely accurate and are unique attendees only.