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Successful AIBTM shows increase in attendance, business meetings


A brisk business pace among a growing base of attendees made the Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) 2013 a rousing success.


Education day kicks off a highly successful AIBTM in Chicago.

The AIBTM 2013 took place in Chicago with the theme of “Defining the Future of Meetings … Together.” It kicked off with record attendance at Education Day with a keynote address on the value of face-to-face meetings from J. Walker Smith, one of the leading U.S. analysts on consumer trends.

There were 35 sessions and workshops on trends and topics for industry education that included the art of social networking, the role colorful nutrient-dense food plays in helping the body and brain thrive, ways to set up successful partnerships and technology. More than 3,700 attended Education Day, which offered sessions supported by the industry’s leading global associations.

“The AIBTM has combined business with a whole range of new industry talking points that affect us, from brain food to neuro-marketing, future events experiences to meeting design, social engagement and content marketing, to the collision of the generation gap,” said Michael Lyons, exhibition director, AIBTM. “The interaction of our debates, educational sessions and crowd sourcing has given us insight into how we will build on the theme of ‘Defining the Future of Meetings … Together’ when we take AIBTM to Orlando next year.”

This year, the AIBTM attracted close to 1,000 regional and international hosted buyers with a high percentage of first-time attendees – a 31 percent increase over 2012. With more than 50 new exhibitors included among a total of 707 main-stand holders and exhibiting partners, the show was the largest to date. The pre-scheduled appointment system also hit new highs, and it is anticipated that some 15,000 business meetings took place with hosted buyers, who had budgets of more than $10.7 billion.

Hosted buyers came from not only the local Chicago area but from across the Americas and beyond, representing agencies, corporations, associations, government and business travel.  This year saw an exponential increase of 165 percent in corporate buyers over 2012 and a 15 percent increase in incentives buyers. At the same time, trade visitors also increased by close to 40 percent, adding to the business opportunities on the tradeshow floor. In total, more than 3,000 industry professionals took part in the first AIBTM Chicago.

Almost every aspect of the AIBTM, from education to interviews with key industry figureheads, exhibitor views, buyer opinions and the thoughts of the experts, is available online at www.aibtm.com.

The AIBTM is a leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world.  Tailored to the U.S. market, AIBTM serves and guarantees the attendance of top-level decision makers.  The exhibitions provide time and business efficient matching services for buyers and sellers through unique Hosted Buyer Programs.

Reed Exhibitions is a global events-organizer with more than 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011, Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices.


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