Middle East: IBTM India second edition pulls in the crowds
The second edition of the Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Expo (IBTM) India saw 100 top international and Indian exhibitors converge at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in Chennai to present their services to an exclusive list of invited and pre-qualified international and Indian Hosted Buyers.
In the two-and-a-half days from September 3 to 5, some 3,600 pre-scheduled appointments were conducted at the show, a huge increase from the 2,500 conducted at the previous edition in Mumbai last year. With growing interest from India in Far Eastern destinations, The Venetian Macao, a five-star luxury integrated resort, was the show’s major partner this year.
Twelve new major exhibitors joined the event this year. Notable organisations in this group from the Gulf region included Dubai Convention and Events Bureau, Dubai World Trade Centre and Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, which participated in the inaugural show, also returned this year as the event moved to Chennai. Organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), IBTM India is held in a different city in India each year.
Shinu Pillai, Exhibition Manager, IBTM India and Africa, RTE, said: “Exhibiting at IBTM India is a time-efficient and cost-effective way for MICE and business travel suppliers to achieve their company objectives. This year’s show enabled them to generate new sales leads, entered new markets, increase brand awareness and save time and money by receiving up to 36 pre-scheduled appointments each through a mutual matching system with top level buyers in 2.5 days of focused business, networking and education.”
Apart from pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings and networking events, the IBTM India Hosted Buyer Programme this year also included post-show familiarisation trips in the region. Hosted Buyers included pre-qualified Indian and international associations, agencies and corporates, all with proven purchasing power and guaranteed business to place in both India and internationally. While Hosted Buyers at IBTM 2013 commanded an average annual events and meetings budget of US$2.3 million, this figure is expected to be exceeded when the statistics for the 2014 show are tabulated later this year, Pillai said.