Bigger size, better opportunities at EIBTM
THE 26th edition of EIBTM, the leading global meetings and events expo, to take place in Barcelona, Spain, from November 19 to 21, is forecast to be one of the biggest shows with enhanced features, programmes and a new floor layout. The EIBTM Forum will take place the day before the exhibition on November 18.
Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions senior exhibition director, EIBTM, says: “We have got really big expectations for this year. We expect around 15,000 industry participants including buyers, exhibitors, trade visitors and media. The meetings industry is at a much more positive place than it was 12 months ago.”
Barnett explains that much work has been done on the look and feel of the event with the floor layout offering a new and different experience for visitors this year. “Firstly, we have made amendments to the floor plan which is usually split across regionally. The exhibition hall has been changed around slightly to accommodate the growth witnessed by certain exhibitors. Another feature is the large welcome area where visitors can enjoy a little space and room to plan their visit as they arrive at the hall, which covers a total area of 40,000 sq m in terms of overall footprint.”
The new welcome area will contain upgraded information points, seating, digital signage and access to the EIBTM Ask Me Crew. There will two additional horizontal straight aisles and two central piazzas for networking to ensure a steady movement of traffic through the aisles on the show floor.
Other features include the Hologram Genius Zone, the Shopping Genius Zone and the Event Genius Zone (new this year). Another special feature is a convenient catering and meeting facility right in the centre of the exhibition hall. Visitors can enjoy two kiosks, one each offering tapas fiesta and seafood fiesta.
EIBTM will launch a new Innovation Zone for the 2013 show. The Innovation Zone will provide a unique and interactive showcase of the latest innovations impacting the meetings and events industry today and into the future.
Sponsored by Slovenian Tourist Board, this new area on the show floor, formerly known as the Future Events Experience, has been redesigned to feature a number of new initiatives including a stage for Spotlight Sessions (45 second elevator pitches for exhibitors), the Genius Hub, a showcase zone and play area for the Top-Ten Innovations and Wall of Fame.
Barnett says: “This is one area of the meetings industry that has progressed immeasurably and we see our focus becoming more and more visible and interactive each year. We have teamed up with a number of new partners and we are confident that the Innovation Zone will help take our meeting industry professionals and their implementation of technology to the next level.
“From the Future Events Experience that we ran for two years previously, we found that it has not only been of interest to trade visitors, but also to a number of our suppliers. The new zone will be a laboratory of ideas where people can experiment with different opportunities and techniques on how they can change their event concept and design to make their participation more enjoyable and memorable.”
The event is set to run a series of spotlight sessions over the course of the three-day show, which will provide technology suppliers with the opportunity to present 45-second ‘Elevator Pitches’ to attendees. The theme for the 45-second presentation will change each day, challenging innovators to find new and interesting ways in which to demonstrate their product and its application.
The Innovation Zone will also comprise the Genius Hub where meetings industry professionals can receive one-to-one advice from technology “geniuses” from event mobile applications to social media.
A key feature within the Innovation Zone will be a showcase of the Top-Ten Latest Innovations and a play area where meetings industry professionals will have the opportunity to discover and experience the top 10 innovations identified to impact and revolutionise the industry.
The Wall of Fame will feature a number of venues that offer something unique, whether it’s through a specially designed meeting facilities or a bespoke integrated technology that optimises the meeting and events experience. The feature will provide attendees with inspiration when selecting an innovative venue for their next event.
Sustainability at EIBTM
EIBTM strives to educate the industry regarding sustainability and invites all attendees to take advantage of the Sustainable Events Corner at the show where they can learn more about sustainability and how it can be practically implemented into events, venues and the industry supply chain. The Sustainable Events Corner features an open advice clinic and bite-sized interactive presentations delivered by leading industry experts.
ISO20121 – EIBTM has achieved third party certification for the Sustainable Event standard BS8901 (future ISO 20121) and is committed to continually improving and developing processes to ensure that the show becomes as sustainable as possible at the new international 2013 standard. The EIBTM Sustainability Award recognises and highlights the best and most effective sustainable exhibitor. Exhibitors have the opportunity to submit their award entry prior to EIBTM and judging takes place on the show floor by an independent expert.
Barnett explains: “There are two things that we look at – one is what exhibitors physically do at the exhibition floor, their approach to sustainability in their event participation as well as their sustainability and corporate social responsibilities (CSR) policies related to their business and meetings industry overall. We have recruited a specialist company, Positive Impact, who work with our own CSR and sustainability projects for EIBTM to ensure the show is as sustainable in its approach as it can be.”
EIBTM’s Technology & Services Zone is a specialist exhibiting area of EIBTM where over 15,000 suppliers, buyers and planners can find the latest and most innovative technology products for their next conference or event.
The EIBTM Technology Watch is now the most high profile and longest running recognition scheme for technology innovation in the industry. The award looks to recognise companies who demonstrate new and innovative technology solutions that can make a significant difference in the industry.
EIBTM will once again provide a fully-integrated IBTM multi-event App for the show, which is available now and is supplied by GenieConnect. The IBTM multi event APP is available for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android platform.
Barnett says: “Face-to-face is as important as they have always been but technology complements these meetings. Looking at the range of hybrid and online meetings available now, there is a much more array of products that enable people to virtually conduct meetings. But I think relationships matter in meetings and that is where face-face is so powerful. Technology will certainly impact this industry, more and more as the years go by. It is up to us organisers of events to embrace technology and not be afraid of it; to utilise the opportunities that technology provides – to engage with communities better and also deliver increased awareness on events that we run.”
Hosted Buyer Programme
EIBTM has confirmed that they have 75 new Hosted Buyer groups signed up to attend the show.
Joanna Warr, Reed Travel Exhibitions hosted buyer manager, EIBTM, says: “We have seen a huge increase in new groups coming on board from Europe, with 53 signed up to date. Our team has also recruited an additional 22 long haul groups for the show this year.
“In terms of long haul buyer groups, we are delighted to confirm that we have our first group attending from Japan – Marriott Japan. We have also recruited a further four groups from Brazil and we have welcomed three new groups in from Russia, who will attend in addition to the 26 groups whom we already accommodate.”
EIBTM have also established relationships with a number of new groups participating from the UK, including those attending buying on behalf of Angela Griffin Associates, Corinthia UK Liverpool, Hilton UK, Hunt & Palmer and Morgans Hotel Group.
Warr continues: “The increase in buyer interest we have witnessed this year is a huge testament to the success of the programme and the value it provides for each of the buyers attending and the coordinators who bring them. A lot of the new groups we have attending this year are extensions on groups brought in previous years. We are working with each of our group-coordinators to help them extend their global buyer network and to build stronger relationships.”
For the 2013 show, Dolce Hotels have confirmed that they will be bringing an additional five European groups to the show. Kuoni have also confirmed they will be bringing additional groups from Europe and Brazil and Marriot will extend their reach to Japan.
Barnett adds: “We hope to deliver our largest hosted buyer programme with just over 4,200 hosted buyers. Trade visitors remain fairly constant at EIBTM and this year we hope to deliver a figure of around 4,500.”
EIBTM has announced the launch of a dedicated Africa Pavilion at the 2013 edition of the event. The pavilion has been introduced following an increased demand from international buyers seeking to place outbound MICE business with African suppliers.
The Africa Pavilion will provide an area on the show floor for suppliers to showcase their products to over 15,000 meetings industry professionals including 4,200 high level hosted buyers who are expected to attend the event. Suppliers exhibiting in the pavilion will also be provided with a pre-scheduled diary of appointments with hosted buyers who have expressed interest in placing business in Africa.
Rob Davidson, senior lecturer, Event Management, Greenwich University comments in the EIBTM 2012 Trends Watch Report, “In the past ten years, six of the world’s fastest‐growing economies have been in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to The Economist. Angola, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, Mozambique and Rwanda – all showed annual growth rates of around eight per cent or more in that period. Moreover, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana, Zambia and Nigeria are all expected to be among the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies in the years leading up to 2015, with annual growth rates of between 6.8 per cent and 8.1 per cent”.
Barnett comments: “The decision has been made due to the increased demand for African exhibitors that we have witnessed from our hosted buyers in recent years, with many specifying an interest in Africa as a destination for meetings and incentive trips. We also have a number of additional business and networking opportunities available at this year’s EIBTM which will further facilitate the business links between Africa and the rest of the world. Exhibitors will also receive additional support in terms of marketing and exposure, increasing value and return on investment.”
He added that the Middle East market is also one of the most active participants at the show. “Since the time I have been in this industry, which is almost 10 years now, the Middle East has had an increase in the global meeting market place. They have always been the most active participants at the event and this certainly will be evident at the EIBTM this year too. From the region, many of the normal exhibitors are taking a large presence at the show including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt.”
The show has continued to prove year-on-year that it drives high levels of business opportunities. “Lots of the mature market like Europe and north America have continued to invest in EIBTM but the likes of Latin America and China where we have our own events locally – have seen not just an increase in foot print in exhibitors but also their participation becoming much more active in becoming more aware – utilising all the opportunities of a trade show in terms of sponsorship, branding and messaging. These emerging and fast-developing markets are now becoming much more aware on how to utilise the opportunities at the trade show.”