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EIBTM 2003 on track for major improvements and new initiatives

EIBTM 2003 (20-22 May, Palexpo, Geneva) will be the most innovative and dynamic event the industry has ever seen…

EIBTM 2003 (20-22 May, Palexpo, Geneva) will be the most innovative and dynamic event the industry has ever seen – that is the claim of Debbie Jackson, the event’s Director.

There were new features at EIBTM 2002 and Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) plans to build on these to make the 2003 event not only a fond farewell to Geneva but also the best event in the meetings and incentive travel industry.

Both exhibitors and visitors alike will notice many new and innovative additions to EIBTM 2003. Current plans will see EIBTM lead the industry to new levels of environmental awareness and greater understanding of technology and business issues.

There will be improvements to almost every aspect of the exhibition. The main stage will be a key feature of the event. The area will host many educating and interesting discussions on key industry issues chaired by leading experts in their fields including members of EIBTM’s association partners including MPI, ICCA and SITE.

New look and feel for website

After conducting in-depth research with all exhibitors and visitors to find which aspects of EIBTM they would like to be developed, EIBTM has carried out extensive redevelopment of the website to provide an even better and more user friendly service to all. It has been revamped with a new look. Information is easier to find as it provides a one-stop shop for all visitors and exhibitors needs, with more efficient on-line registration processes and a more effective on-line diary.

In addition, the Exhibitor Zone has been enhanced to provide a dedicated section for exhibitors. On-line registration of sharing companies has been made even more simple and user friendly while functions such as the free page for all exhibitors are available.

The Hosted Buyer Zone will contain all information Hosted Buyers may need to attend EIBTM including their personal itinerary, shuttle bus timetables and flight and accommodation details.

A Group Co-Ordinator Zone will also be available to allow Group Co-Ordinators to monitor and manage all the members within their Groups.

Hosted Buyer programme improvements

Major on-line improvements for 2003 include enabling Hosted Buyers to register for EIBTM on-line through the website. This will make it easier and more user-friendly for them to apply and registrations will be received and processed much faster.

Hosted Buyers will also be able to select their appointment preferences on-line. The on-line diary is being made even easier to use, and in-depth testing will be carried out from January 2003 to see that it provides the best service yet.

Hosted Buyer appointments will now run from 11am – 3pm to make EIBTM more productive for them and to make it easier to fit in around their travel arrangements.

EIBTM is also working with independent qualification agents to ensure that it is the key decision makers who attend EIBTM as part of the Hosted Buyer Programme. This will ensure that all exhibitors are guaranteed appointments with top level Buyers and that Buyers experience the best Hosted Buyer Programme.

New faces at EIBTM 2003 will include Hosted Buyer Groups from destinations such as the US, Germany, Russia, UK, Portugal and Hungary and new Group Co-Ordinators who wish to work with us.

The Hosted Buyer Team is working very closely with all Group Co-Ordinators to ensure that their needs are met and more groups are attending on individual appointments.

Association Programme

Building on the successful launch of last year’s EIBTM Association Programme providing a full package of education and networking for association buyers, we are developing it in 2003 to provide programmes for CEO level buyers and meeting planners.

Run in association with ESAE, EIBTM is working with Terrance Barkan, Director of European Association Services to target the highest quality association buyers to personally invite onto this unique educational programme. Other associations on board include MPI, ICCA and ASAE.

An Association Pavilion, under the banner Associations make a better world, will be available for association buyers to network as well as provide an information source with library and many other features.

More social events, like the Association Networking Evening held in conjunction with ICCA, on Tuesday, 20 May 2003, will be a feature of 2003.

ICCA members view the international association buyers as one of the most important market segments attracted to EIBTM, and we are determined to offer them the strongest possible networking and business-to-business environment in which to meet with these clients said Martin Sirk, ICCA’s Chief Executive Officer. We are pleased that RTE has identified this segment for particular attention, and that they are investing in this excellent new

networking initiative.

New MPI Technology Village

Technology has been consistently identified as being the number 1 challenge that MPI members face in their daily work yet no trade show until now, has embraced this topic or developed a concept that addresses this issue.

EIBTM has always sought to promote future technology which may have the greatest impact on the industry to help streamline business processes and enhance profit margins of our exhibitors and visitors through WorldWide Watch. Each year a panel of industry experts identify the technology product or service they see as having the most potential for the industry. 2003 will see the introduction of the MPI Technology Village @ EIBTM.

This unique concept will have 40 technology companies addressing different aspects of technology from on-line venue finding to virtual meetings, e-marketing to audience polling. Technology experts will also be on hand to offer advice and there will be various presentations on how technology can impact on the meetings and incentives industry.

The MPI Technology Village @ EIBTM is being developed with Corbin Ball and MPI to provide a cutting edge concept that will focus on addressing the needs of the market place, in terms of information and knowledge.

Didier Scaillet, Director for European Operations and Global Development for MPI, said: MPI would like to thank EIBTM for its continuous support over the years. We are also extremely pleased to have developed a significant multi-faceted partnership with EIBTM. Our support of the 16th edition led to the development of a new innovative concept: the technology village, which will greatly enhance the visitors’ experience by providing them with unique knowledge and expertise needed for the changing work environment.

He continued: EIBTM has been extremely supportive of our organisation, as the leading event in the industry ever since we started in Europe in the 1990s. No other exhibition will have the technology programme we are offering in 2003, it is a unique selling point. Surveys of our membership have shown technology is the number one issue as far as they are concerned.

Other initiatives

In addition to the initiatives already outlined, there will be improvements to almost every aspect of the exhibition. Pre-event, EIBTM is providing exhibitors with step by step information on how to get the most from EIBTM as well as regular e-newsletters and pre event information. We also hold an Open Day to help exhibitors and Group Co-Ordinators with all aspects of their participation.

EIBTM is also leading the way with a major new industry media initiative which will be announced shortly.

Latest on attendance

Exhibitor bookings are already up compared to this time last year with some exhibitors increasing the size of their stands. A comprehensive marketing campaign designed to attract the industry’s key buyers and decision makers is in place to support the events sales team.

Predicted figures for the event are buoyant – over 100 countries exhibiting, 51% of 2002 clients rebooked and space projected at 12,000 square metres in total. 46% of the total space has already been contracted 7 months prior to the exhibition.

Increases in stand space have come in from Hungary, Dubai, Morocco, Canary Islands and Russia amongst others.

Mohammad Khamis Bin Hareb, Director Operations and Marketing Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, confirmed: We will be increasing the size and scale of our participation at EIBTM 2003 even further because 300 square metres is just not enough space for the kind of business visitors we have been attracting onto our stand. From our experience over the many years we have been exhibiting at the event, EIBTM has, is and will continue to be the most important meetings and incentives exhibition for Dubai.

EIBTM aims to attract 3,500 Hosted Buyers to EIBTM 2003, which means that the total visitor numbers are expected to be over 6,000.

Hosted Buyers will be attending from countries worldwide with groups arriving from destinations such as US, Asia Pacific, Brazil and Hungary, as well as all the main European countries including France, UK, Italy, Germany, Benelux, Spain and Scandinavia.

In addition, visitors are coming independently from places such as Japan, US, Argentina, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Egypt amongst others, supporting the view EIBTM is the global forum for the meetings and incentive industry where the world does business.

Exhibitors cover all aspects of the industry from hotels and national tourist organisations to DMCs and ground handlers to luxury travel and specialist venues.