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May 11, 2009

Key players re-sign for European meetings and events show 2009

On the back of audited attendance figures confirming EIBTM 2008 as the ‘biggest ever’, early signs illustrate how well the meetings industry is holding up in the current economic climate, with key exhibitors rebooking for 2009 and taking extra stand space, while the event has attracted a number of ‘first timers’.

The confidence in the meetings market is further highlighted by record pre-audited visitor numbers at recent Reed Travel Exhibitions events AIME in Melbourne, Australia (+9%) and GIBTM in Abu Dhabi (+15%).

Exhibitors who have already rebooked their stands for EIBTM 2009, include Accor Hospitality, Czech Tourist Authority, Dolce International Conference Destinations, Egyptian Tourist Authority, Monaco Government Tourist & Convention Authority, Munich Convention Bureau, Norway Convention Bureau and Switzerland Tourism.

A significant number have also chosen to increase their stand space. Barcelona Convention Bureau, for example, is taking an extra 100sqm, almost doubling its stand from 2008, while the Dominican Republic Tourist Board has confirmed a 57% increase.

Exhibitors also increasing their stand size include Prestige Hotels of the World, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Tourism Australia, Korea Tourism Organisation, New Zealand Convention Bureau, Moscow Exhibition and Convention Agency (MECA), Croatia National Tourism Board, World of DMC's, Madrid Convention Bureau, Landry and Kling Cruise Event Services, Ultramar Event Management and Switzerland Tourism.

Three new exhibitors have signed up to EIBTM in the first quarter of 2009: Bonn Conference Partners, Germany; Event Makers, USA; and Tiara Hotels and Resorts, Portugal. Meanwhile, Norwegian Cruise Lines are returning to the event.

“All the indicators from the first quarter of 2009 show that the meetings industry is holding its own in tough and challenging market conditions,” said Mandy Torrens, EIBTM’s exhibition director.

“We have been delighted with the level of interest so far following such a successful show last year as those within the meetings, incentives, conferences and events industry recognise the value of events like EIBTM in developing and growing their businesses. Visit London alone reported that EIBTM 2008 attracted 2,000 clients with £54 million worth of enquiries taken.

“Our focus this year will be on providing added value to all our exhibitors and showing the benefits to top level decision makers of attending EIBTM on the global Hosted Buyer Programme.”

EIBTM’s 2008 official ABC audit confirmed a record number of hosted buyers  (3,725 up 12% on 2008), whilst total attendance reached  8,131 (up 6% on 2007). Additionally, 51,000 pre-scheduled meetings were organised, up over 11,000 on the previous year.

EIBTM 2009 takes place from 1-3 December at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona.

For more information, visit www.eibtm.com

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