EIBTM closed Nov. 20 with over 15,500 industry professionals onsite for the three days of the show, an 8 percent increase from 2013. With over 80 percent of attendees coming from Europe, the trend underlines the American Express Meetings & Events 2015 Global Forecast. Presented to over 200 global industry thought leaders on the eve of the first day of the event, the report predicted the number of meetings in Europe to increase.
Trade visitor numbers were also up by nearly 8 percent. EIBTM attracted nearly 70 percent of trade visitors from Spain supporting the country’s positive economic recovery, which was highlighted in the same report. Some 78,436 pre-scheduled appointments and, for the first time, self-select were made between Hosted Buyers and exhibitors, a 20 percent increase over last year.
“You really couldn’t miss the buzz on the show floor this year, which I hope was a result of not only economic confidence, but also from new initiatives such as the fact that this year exhibitors could top up their diaries with appointments they had requested with buyers – the first time we have trialed this,” commented Graeme Barnett, senior exhibition director, EIBTM.
Association planners are also forecasting an increase in their meetings activity, and this year’s show has seen the highest number of independent Association planners attending with 67 percent of the 271 planners coming from individual associations and societies. Overall the event saw an increase of 12 percent in attendance by Association Hosted Buyers helped by the launch of a more flexible approach to this year’s Buyer program with the introduction of My Association | My Club.
Business optimism across the show floor was reported by exhibitors, many of whom rated EIBTM as their best tradeshow of the year.
“EIBTM is the strongest and busiest show in our tradeshow calendar. We´ve had more appointments each day here than we have had in entire tradeshows,” stated Jim Hensley, CEO, Global DMC Partners. “The buyers we have seen have been good quality and most importantly ready to do business with proposals in place, rather than general enquiries. We are very optimistic about the future business we will place thanks to EIBTM.”
In Rob Davidson’s annual Industry Trends Report, he highlighted the optimism of the mood in the U.S. meetings market as “very positive according to various studies.” Deanne Boynton Grupp, vice president, tourism, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, supported this trend for business.
“It’s been the best EIBTM for many years in terms of number of appointments, quality and the diverse nationalities of buyers wanting to do business with us,” Grupp commented.
This year’s new EIBTM concierge service was also recognized as an important initiative.
At the close of this year’s show, EIBTM announced it is to be rebranded as ibtm world – where connections mean everything. Ibtm world will join its sister events ibtm arabia, ibtm Africa, ibtm america, ibtm china and ibtm india under the ibtm events umbrella along with AIME in Melbourne and the recently announced ICOMEX in Mexico.
“We’ve emphasized the fact that it’s a global show,” said Barnett. “Whatever markets our clients are looking to connect with, we’ve got most of the globe covered.”
Together the events in the newly branded ibtm portfolio annually provide access to more than 5,000 suppliers from 100 countries, 19,000 event organizers and more than 110,000 pre-scheduled meetings take place.
ibtm world will take place in Barcelona from Nov. 17-19, 2015.