The city of Madrid once again presented at the IMEX trade fair in Frankfurt this year. Since 2010, the Madrid City Council, through the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau, has had its own stand at this event, with the aim of promoting and reinforcing Madrid’s image as a leading business tourism destination. This event, considered one of the most important international fairs specializing in the convention tourism sector, is held in Frankfurt in May.
The Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau, attached to the Arts, Sports and Tourism Department, was accompanied by 12 of its partner companies. They were able to meet with buyers and representatives from companies and incentive trip agencies, in order to present both their services and the city’s infrastructure for hosting conferences and business events. This was an opportunity to sell specialized services and products, which the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau has given to more than 50 partners in the last four years at this event.
As well as promoting its attractions among professionals at the annual fair, which last year was attended by nearly 4,000 buyers from 60 countries, the city took the opportunity to strengthen its position in Germany, one of its strategic markets. Germany is the third largest source of business tourism to Madrid, according to advance data from the 2012 Statistical Report on Tourism Meetings and Conventions in Madrid, prepared for the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau.
GENERATING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
Promotional work undertaken by the City Council in previous years at IMEX attracted important meetings and events, helping to place Madrid in the top 5 of the ICCA rankings. In the light of this good experience, in order to generate more business opportunities, the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau set up a full schedule of meetings with potential buyers.
During the three days of the event, representatives from the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau held more than 50 work meetings, in addition to all the parallel appointments and meetings made by the 12 partner companies with visitors to the stand. An estimated 230 work meetings were generated.
The members that took part in the event represented Madrid’s excellent range and variety of products and services for convention tourism: Madrid Espacios y Congresos, Ifema, and the Auditorium Madrid Hotel (exhibition centers and buildings); the Emperador and Rafael Atocha hotels (four-star hotels); the Intercontinental Madrid Hotel (five-star hotels); Eventísimo, AIM and Abreu DMC (specialist travel agencies); Las Rozas Village, Tilesa Kenes, and Real Madrid FC (other sectors).
SHOWCASING MADRID’S INFRASTRUCTURES
IMEX is the first trade fair event at which Madrid distributed the new editions of its Meetings Manual and Special Venues Catalogue. These materials, used to promote Madrid’s services and infrastructures and Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau’s partners, are updated each year. The 2013 Special Venues Catalogue has even more contents and more products and services, with 172 venues, including spaces belonging to Madrid’s public universities.
Furthermore, in order to reinforce all this work, Madrid’s presence also included an advertising campaign in the event’s daily newspaper and its official guide, as well as advertising in access areas to the trade fair.
The Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau continued promoting Madrid as a venue for business meetings at the M&I Forum America East 2013 trade fair in Palm Beach, USA, from May 28 to June 1. This was Madrid’s first time at the event, which is of the kind given priority in the current action plan, as it generates many appointments with buyers in work sessions with pre-organized schedules and networking time, thus multiplying opportunities to do business and make new contacts.
In this first half of the year, the Madrid Visitors&Convention Bureau also took part in another of the sector’s major specialist events, the AIBTM fair, held in Chicago from June 11 to 13.