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A new initiative launched for the association sector by European Incentives and Business Travel Meeting (EIBTM) garnered support from the industry across the world and attracted a global representation of buyers who are now registered to attend EIBTM 2014.

My Association | My Club was announced in the summer to give a more flexible option to an association planner’s business and networking agenda at this year’s event in Barcelona from Nov. 18-20.

“I can only congratulate the EIBTM team for having launched ‘MY ASSOCIATION / MY CLUB.’ This new initiative is fully answering and definitively taking more care of the association planner’s expectations, and I can only congratulate the team for such a useful and highly appreciated concern,” stated Patrick Debus, permanent secretary. World Federation of Consuls.

Association buyers with average budgets between U.S. $1-5M and some as high as U.S.$20m have joined the program, which will see 20 countries represented including U.S., China, UK, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France. The key elements of My Association | My Club have been designed in consultation with association planners through research and a dedicated focus group meeting.

“It was clear from the Focus Group held to determine and discuss what they wanted from their industry event that we needed to think big and make some fundamental changes. We have, and we hope that EIBTM 2014 will be exactly what they want from their stay with us in Barcelona, and that our suppliers will obviously benefit as well from this more flexible approach,” said Graeme Barnett, EIBTM senior exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Priority has been given to “flexibility” a key request that came out of the research. Each association planner can now control their own itinerary, through choosing what they do, allowing time to explore the show, choose their own meetings and appointments and add to them as they wish in their own Association Hub – a dedicated Club Lounge on the show floor. With dedicated networking, and their own host hotel, the Association Club also means that the attendees get to be together throughout their attendance at EIBTM 2014.

While the association planners will continue to have their own dedicated education sector sessions, they will also have the flexibility to attend any of the EIBTM Knowledge Program, defining which best suit their own business — another request that was made from those who participated in the research.

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