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New place and new date for EIBTM 2004

Barcelona has been chosen as the venue for the 17th EIBTM<.>, the world’s leading meetings and incentive industry event…

Barcelona has been chosen as the venue for the 17th EIBTM<.>, the world’s leading meetings and incentive industry event.

The Spanish city will be the host for the first time in December 2004 for a five-year period.

Barcelona was chosen as the most preferred choice of exhibitors, group co-ordinators, Hosted Buyers and other trade visitors, in independent research carried out on behalf of EIBTM.

Barcelona’s state-of-the-art venue, range and number of four and five-star hotels, transportation network, outstanding gastronomic restaurants, and dynamic and exciting attractions and nightlife were all deciding factors in making the final decision.

EIBTM’s switch from the current venue at Palexpo, Geneva to the Fira de Barcelona also means the event changes from May to December.

The decision follows the latest research findings with international buyers, which demonstrates that April and May is one of their busiest periods of the year.

Late November and early December was thought by buyers to be one of the most convenient times in their annual work programme to schedule a visit to an industry event.

The first event to be held at the new venue will be between 30 November – 2 December, 2004.

Mr. Tom Nutley, Managing Director of Reed Travel Exhibitions, organisers of EIBTM, said the decision to choose Barcelona was an extremely tough one to make.

The standard of presentation and competition from the final short listed cities was very high and the senior management group, responsible for having to make the decision, had an agonising task. The final decision was made by ballot and, in the end, Barcelona won by a clear margin.

The group, led by Mr. Nutley, were: Debbie Jackson, Exhibition Director, Jane Larcombe, PR Director, Alix Blumsom, Customer Relationship Management Director, Jane Brook, Operations Director and John Standley of Reed Travel Services. Initially, the group studied detailed submissions from ten European cities, before coming up with a shortlist of five – Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, Madrid and Vienna.

Barcelona is the world’s top city for scheduled meetings* and EIBTM’s management group were unanimously impressed with Barcelona’s overwhelming enthusiasm, commitment, expertise and drive. This formula is combined with the undoubted charm and excitement of a city that has all the necessary criteria and facilities for helping us to stage an innovative, effective and enjoyable global event at an unprecedented level.

Barcelona won the bid fairly and deservedly, but I do not want to underestimate the quality of the bids made by the other short listed cities. We appreciate their hard work and the time taken to prepare their detailed tenders and to show the management group around their home cities.

The final decision is certainly not a negative reflection of all these other wonderful destinations and we hope they will continue to work with EIBTM, now and in the future.

The move to Barcelona for a five-year period will assist the global industry in its mission to build and improve business, in conjunction with EIBTM and it’s close and flourishing industry partnerships with key associations such as MPI, ICCA and SITE
, said Mr. Nutley.

The decision to move to a new venue every five years allows other potential and emerging European cities the chance to tender for the event and, at the same time, maximise a brilliant opportunity to showcase their meetings and incentive capabilities to the whole world.

This is a great opportunity for the international meetings and incentive industry to unite behind an established global industry event at an exciting, popular and, above all, cutting edge destination.

And at a time of the year that is proven to be the most convenient and most attractive to the majority of buyers
, said Mr. Tom Nutley.

Everyone who has worked on EIBTM is particularly sad to be leaving Geneva. The camaraderie of the team at Palexpo, the helpfulness of the local and national tourism authorities and the warmth and friendship of the people and businesses in Geneva will remain with us for years to come.

We will miss them greatly, but are determined that EIBTM 2003, which is now our final year in Geneva, will be an opportunity to say a fond Goodbye to Geneva in a fitting manner. We want to pay tribute to the invaluable role it has played throughout the years, not only in the escalating success of the event but to the industry as a whole. EIBTM 2003 in Geneva will be efficient, constructive and fun with the focus on improvement and innovation.

Barcelona has greeted the news of their success with enthusiasm and delight.

Mr. Joan Gaspart, President of the local Host Committee, said: Barcelona is an exciting city and I am sure that both exhibitors and buyers will enjoy visiting us every year. I want to offer a warm welcome to everyone. EIBTM in Barcelona will be an unbeatable combination, providing the international industry with strong expertise, heavyweight experience and a location that is second to none.

Airy Garrigosa, Director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, Member of the ICCA Board of Directors and Chairperson of ICCA’s Category D said she was very much looking forward to welcoming the international industry to Barcelona for EIBTM 2004. She said: Winning a bid is always nice, but EIBTM is the best! I feel very proud of my city.

EIBTM 2004 Official Carrier will be Iberia who will offer exhibitors and trade visitors discounted rates.

Mr. Pere Duran, Director of Turisme de Bacelona pledged that his organisation would do everything possible to make sure that EIBTM 2004 would be an outstanding success. I am sure Barcelona will fulfil everybody’s expectations, he said. We will do our utmost to ensure the continued success of EIBTM.

Major Joan Clos, Mayor of Barcelona thanked the many industry professionals who had supported the bid for EIBTM.

He said: The inaugural EIBTM in Barcelona coincides in 2004 with the Universal Forum of Cultures, which is expected to attract thousands of additional visitors from all over the world. This news is further confirmation of the city’s position as a top quality tourism destination, especially for the business and meetings industry .

Barcelona, its exhibition facilities and hotels, its cultural and leisure offer and, especially, its citizens, will welcome the meetings and incentive industry with total professionalism and enthusiasm.

EIBTM has confirmed that ‘Tecnomeeting’, a three-day annual business exhibition catering for the congress, convention and incentive industry and held in June at Fira de Barcelona, will be incorporated into EIBTM 2004. This year, the exhibition had nearly 400 exhibitors, 3,312 visitors and 444 Hosted Buyers.

Mr. Nutley said that that ‘Tecnomeeting’ was an important industry event that has made an effective business contribution to the industry, particularly for the Spanish speaking market. He said: Tecnomeeting has become a significant event and we are anxious that its name should continue to be known as part of EIBTM.