BTC came to an end in Florence, Italy, marking its 30th anniversary with some significant results.
“This edition,” commented Paolo Audino, the CEO of Exmedia, the Rimini Fiera company that organizes the event, “will be remembered for having marked a significant strengthening in terms of quality: In addition to the success of the Politicians’ Forum and the attention that we received from the political arena and institutions, the public really liked the content of the show, proof that education is always rewarding when it is centered on operators’ needs.
The vast and cross-sector exhibition area provided a true representation of the best of Italy’s offer, both as regards destinations, as well as spaces and services; and we are also happy with the numerous foreign countries that chose BTC to promote themselves to Italian demand. This is an indisputable sign of the quality of our increasingly selected and profiled buyers. This success is based on teamwork, the efforts of an extraordinary and close-knit team, and our partners, who supported us with their enthusiasm”.
From a quantitative viewpoint, BTC’s attendance figure of 6,858 (+2 percent) was in line with the previous year: this should be considered a success, because it comes against a problematic backdrop, in which we have seen sporadic positive signs, such as from the medium-sized corporate events market, but where, with a few exceptions, large national venues continue to find it difficult to create synergies with their regions and attract large international events.
Note the sharp growth in international buyers: 70 percent of buyers were foreign, from 30 countries.
BTC’s program this year was a record-breaking one: 29 seminars, in addition to presentations, and a full day dedicated to hotel marketing, with a total of 40 sessions over two days, which were almost all fully attended.
Finally, the supplementary events dedicated to buyers, designed to offer them an experience of the region and its leading structures, also proved a success: the welcome ceremony in Serre Torrigiani, the 1970s night Florence Night Fever hosted in YAB nightclub after a dinner at the restaurants Rubaconte and Boccanegra, right in the historic center, and the four post-show educational tours.
Never before has the attention of institutions been reflected so positively on BTC, to the extent that the show’s role has now been extended to that of a true, effective and recognized “political forum” for the industry.
The Politicians’ Forum, now in its second year, was attended by figures such as the Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella and the Mayor of Turin and Chairman of ANCI (national association of Italian municipalities) Piero Fassino. It also saw the presentation of the first white paper on the Italian Conference Industry, a unique publication in terms of type and purpose, produced by Meeting Consultants on behalf of Federcongressi&eventi and BTC, which marks a “point of no return” in the literature produced on the sector.
Henceforth, institutions and operators have the foundations on which to base constructive discussions, with the common objective of making our meetings industry more competitive, stronger, richer in terms of infrastructure and structures, with a strategic plan that can meet the challenges posed by globalization. And these foundations have been laid at BTC.
Rimini Fiera, which has organized and managed the show for many years through its company Exmedia, was therefore equal to the praise heaped on it 10 years ago, in 2004, by Chairman of Federalberghi Bernabò Bocca, when he awarded it the BTC mandate in the name of the Tuscan hotel groups that created it and gave it such a central role. He repeated this judgment this year at the opening ceremony: “a strong group, capable of achieving important objectives on a global scale.”
Of the many opinions gathered in the last few days on the exhibition floor, BTC reported the views of two companies that represent supply and demand.
“BTC was backed by excellent organization on all levels, in the contact phase, in logistics and in every other aspect. It is an important show because it is aimed at a market of great potential,” said Francesca Versace, location manager, Cinnecittà Studios.
“It is important to talk about events – and BTC provides a great opportunity to do so – because every event enables us to tell a story, or to share one or more stories and experiences: this is the best foundation on which to build anything new, to enable real development in all sectors. Also for this reason, I am pleased to have found the show in good health, very well organized and with an exhibition area that crosses sector boundaries. Events are vital for economic growth,” stated Lucio Vesentini, digital marketing manager, Pirelli.