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April 16, 2008

It’s official! Global meetings and events show attendance grows by 20%

The ABC audit for global meetings, conference and incentive travel show EIBTM 2007, held in Barcelona late last year revealed that it attracted 20% more visitors than the previous year, with an overall official attendance figure of 7,218, including hosted buyers.

Confirming its status as a truly international event, EIBTM 2007 welcomed an increased number of visitors from a host of destinations, which included Argentina, Australia, China, Croatia, India, and South Africa, alongside those from the key European markets. Demonstrating the show’s worldwide appeal, a wide range of new buyer markets, comprising of Ecuador, Korea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Vietnam, were also represented for the first time.

EIBTM has gained in excess of 400 new exhibiting companies since 2006, and 40,094 pre-scheduled appointments took place during the show, a 17% rise from 2006.

Visit London and its stand partners at EIBTM expect to receive more than £10 million worth of enquiries, following a highly successful show. “EIBTM is one of the highlights in the industry calendar and has proved year on year to be a key driver for events in the UK capital,” said Barbara Jamison, sales manager, Europe at Visit London. “Our target for the show was £10 million and following a very busy few days of appointments and stand activity we expect to significantly exceed this amount in confirmed business.”

Meanwhile, Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA) reported a very productive time at EIBTM, having received three requests for proposals issued by an association, a professional conference organisation in Europe and a multinational company operating from Australia. These major events are scheduled to take place between next year and 2012, and are projected to attract a total of 12,000 inbound delegates.

Hosted buyers were also impressed with the show. Audrey-Anne Scher, managing director Turbo Travel of South Africa, for example, said: “I already have a full tour departing late April courtesy of EIBTM. And to top it, was able to solve a problem in a couple of hours with a Paris Hotel.”

EIBTM’s investment in education and training also proved popular, with more than 2,000 attendees benefitting from the extensive range of seminars, which included the well established association, agency and corporate programmes for hosted buyers, and the introduction of the new Daily Technology Hour.

“The feedback from both exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors has been overwhelmingly positive – it is a great sign for 2008 and reflective of the current pace of growth within the meetings industry,” said Paul Kennedy MBE, group exhibition director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, which organises the event. “We have had a flood of re-bookings and many exhibitors already requesting more floor space. Our efforts will continue to focus on hosting a forum to meet the needs of the industry providing return on investment for all our participants.”

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