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From June 10-12 in Orlando, Fla., Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings (AIBTM), a global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry, will offer a networking-rich environment with the help of Visit Orlando.

Scheduled at the Orange County Convention Center, West Building, AIBTM 2014 will allow meeting professionals to expand their professional education, earn CEU clock hours, discuss industry issues and trends, and forge crucial relationships face to face. To create an optimal networking experience for attendees, AIBTM has worked in tandem with Visit Orlando to offer visitors the best of the Orlando area.

ECN 062014_SE_AIBTM_logo“Orlando is a premier meetings and convention destination, and in the Orange County Convention Center, we have a state-of-the-art convention site,” said George Aguel, president and CEO, Visit Orlando.  “Our team at Visit Orlando is pleased to work with AIBTM to ensure 2014 is a successful show.”

Networking starts June 9, with the Hosted Buyer Reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Mall at Millenia. Hosted Buyers can connect under a glass atrium while soaking in the fashion-forward spirit of a shopping destination.

“Coupled with our Education Series, the opportunities we present for networking are instrumental in helping our attendees leave AIBTM with a renewed insight to plan effective and productive meetings,” said Michael Lyons, exhibition director, AIBTM.

AIBTM’s Knowledge Program, brought by the Mexico Tourism Board, is an integral part of the show, kicking off the morning of June 10. The invitation-only Meetings Leadership Summit, from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. will give senior executives and industry leaders the opportunity to learn how to make their respective organizations more agile and competitive. Jim Austin, principal of consultancy Decision Strategies International, will lead the Summit.

Also on June 10, the AIBTM Welcome Party at Pointe Orlando, hosted by Visit Orlando, will feature a delicious range of casual food as well as haute cuisine from The Pub, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, B.B. King’s Orlando and The Tommy Bahama Bar & Grill.  Live music and entertainment will be provided for party-goers and is open to all AIBTM buyers, visitors, exhibitors and press.

On June 11, Meetings Mean Business @ AIBTM brings together heads of the meetings industry organizations for a panel discussion following an update presentation from the Meetings Mean Business Coalition at the Chapin Theater from 8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The presentation will be moderated by Larry Luteran, senior vice president of group sales and industry relations, Hilton Worldwide and co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition. Panelists include U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow; IAEE President and CEO David DuBois; ASAE President and CEO John Graham; SITE Global Chief Staff Officer Kevin Hinton; PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton; and MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer.

That same day, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Hosted Buyers, exhibitors and visitors can sample foods from restaurants and hotels in Central Florida at the Executive Chef Tasting.  Participating restaurants include Cuba Libre, Tommy Bahama, the Hard Rock Café, Roy’s, and Fleming’s Prime Stakehouse & Wine Bar.

AIBTM 2014 has also brought back the Refresh Zone as well as the Innovation Zone.  Both the Refresh Zone and “I-Zone” are great for networking and are open to all show attendees from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 11, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 12.

The Refresh Zone is a specialty entertainment and refreshment area sponsored by AlliedPRA. Participating vendors include Blue Martini, Bose, Christie’s Photographic Solutions, Hard Rock, Seasons 52, The Event Source, TOTALLY MOD, Vines Grille & Wine Bar, Wildly Different, LTG (Luxury Transportation Group) and World Chocolate Museum & Café. The Innovation Zone, meanwhile, is a new and emerging technology area managed by The Meeting Pool in which show-goers can learn more about how technology is transforming the meetings industry.

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