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AIBTM 2014

Early data, meetings growth point to hosted buyer increase for AIBTM 2014

Pre-scheduled appointments estimated at 18,000 aid US meetings surge.

Pre-show data combined with newly released economic research bodes well for a substantial increase in pre-scheduled appointments between exhibitors and Hosted Buyers at the Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meeting Exhibition (AIBTM) June 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Nearly 18,000 pre-scheduled appointments are expected to take place at AIBTM 2014—a rise of 20% from last year. Meanwhile, a recently published study charting meetings in America revealed the industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, adding $115 billion to the GDP and emerging as a leading source of job growth.      

The data, published by the Convention Industry Council, comes at the same time as AIBTM added 4,000 new association planners, corporate planners and other meeting planners to its database, which is a contributor to the anticipated 18,000 pre-scheduled appointments. According to Exhibition Director Michael Lyons, AIBTM is also predicting more than 200 Associated Buyers for this year.   

“Post-show research last year indicated that 90% of our exhibitors felt that AIBTM delivered the right audience,” said Lyons. “We are meticulous in our process to ensure that the international Hosted Buyers accepted into our program come to AIBTM with the intent to do business with exhibitors and suppliers from around the globe.”

The rigorous vetting resulted in AIBTM 2013 buyers placing $250 million in business worldwide. The show also saw a 182% increase in the number of corporate buyers and a 24% increase in the total number of Hosted Buyers whose total combined meeting spend exceeded $9 billion.

In addition, AIBTM 2013 delivered 70% more new Buyers last year as well as the largest concentration of North American Hosted Buyers of any other MICE exhibition in the U.S.

“There has been growing interest and demand from our Canadian groups to break out of North America recently and more willingness to go a little further for something special,” said Sean Hoff, MD of MICE & Corporate Travel for Handa Travel Group, who attended AIBTM last year.

“Europe offers a unique mix of rich history and culture and diverse culinary options to host incentives and meetings. It is a great option for North Americans, as there are plenty of convenient transportation links, and the total travel time and time-shift is not as much of an obstacle.

“Europe offers a certain degree of reliability in terms of expectations of service and standards that may not be as consistent in other parts of the world.”

Among association and corporate buyers in attendance last year were also the American Bar Association, Starbucks, American Hospital Association, Verizon, Texas Instruments, Student and Youth Travel Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, and National Newspaper Association, among others.

AIBTM takes place from June 10-12, 2014 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

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