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February 4, 2014
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WATCH: Taking Stock of EIBTM with Graeme Barnett




While at EIBTM in Barcelona late last year, International Meetings Review talked regularly with Exhibition Director Graeme Barnett about the show and its role in the meetings industry

For 2013, EIBTM expanded into a more formal four-day event as the education and networking content prior to the opening of the trade show floor evolved to include multiple streams and forums for specialist suppliers, buyers and a range of leaders from within (and outside of) the industry to share their insights.

In addition to an expanded format, this year the expo had a redesigned floor that was engineered to encourage better traffic flows through the event. "One of the things we want to do is give people a clearer route around the exhibition," Barnett said at the time. "We’ve spent a lot of time this year looking at the dynamics, the layout of the show, so that the routes around the whole trade show are smoother and the site lines are clearer." The feedback from the redesign earned positive feedback: "You often wonder, as an event designer, whether people actually notice some of the things that you do, but the feedback was really positive," he said. "The redesign has completely changed the mood."

RELATED: EIBTM Launches New Business Initiatives

Another new feature for 2013 included pre-reserved Innovation Zone guided tours for hosted buyers and trade visitors, designed to let attendees experience some of the latest technology products in the meeting industry. These tours, which were capped at 500 for the three days, were overbooked, indicating a strong interest in technology education and new insights into the latest trends.

The first day of the show included the first-ever Meetings Leadership Summit, a spinoff of the original CEO Summit. The Summit focused on ways leaders can make their organisations more competitive, more profitable and better able to respond to an ever-changing business dynamics. 

This year’s EIBTM Market Focus sessions for Cataluyna, Slovenia, U.S. and Andalucía attracted over 600 buyers, all of whom said that they wanted to specifically place outbound business into these countries. In addition, more than 7,700 destination presentation places were booked by Hosted Buyers, with 138 exhibitors in advance of the show.

RELATED: EIBTM Sees Increase in Attendees; Booking for 2014 Underway

As Barnett explained, planning for EIBTM 2014 began the moment the 2013 show closed--with the needs of international hosted buyers always central to the planning process and core to the IBTM group brand value proposition put before its exhibitor supply chain. "By the end of the show we had already re-booked more than 35 percent of the floor for 2014,” he said at the time.

Take a look at what EIBTM 2013 had to offer in this video recap, with insights from Barnett on what made this conference memorable:


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About the Author: James Latham

James Latham

About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

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