AIBTM 2013 opens in Chicago with a day of education

Reed Travel Exhibitions’ 2013 edition of its Americas incentives, business travel and meetings tradeshow (AIBTM) opened at McCormick Place in Chicago, 11 June, with a day devoted to education.
Show Director Mike Lyons said Hosted Buyer acceptances were up a third this year, following the move from Baltimore for the show’s third edition. He also said pre-scheduled meetings were at 14,441 and could hit 15,000, representing a 20 per cent increase over last year’s edition.

Over half (51%) of the Hosted Buyers, said Lyons, were first time show visitors this year.

Lyons said the theme of the show this year was ’Defining the future of meetings’. “We are keen to harness the industry’s brain power and have set ourselves clear objectives including: Best Business, Best Education and Best Experience’,” he added.

The keynote speaker on Day One was futurist J. Walker Smith who spoke on the Kinship Economy. He provided data and insights demonstrating the continued value of face-to-face relationships, even in a digital age.

“Business is more than ever about building relationships that will never change despite social media, online meetings software and streaming media. It’s about ’state of the heart’ not ’state of the art’,” said AIBTM Marketing Director, Jaime Rosov.

The Education Day finished with a Crowdsourcing session: The Great Association Debate, moderated by Christine Duffy, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International. A panel of association CEOs from MPI, IAEE, ICCA, PCMA, ASAE and Site discussed the future of meetings.

RTE Portfolio Director IBTM Meetings and Events, Craig Moyes told journalists that 2013 had been “a great year for the portfolio” and said that RTE’s new launch in September, IBTM India, coupled with a new IBTM Africa in Cape Town in April 2014 as part of an African Meetings Week, were more evidence of growth.

The AIBTM exhibition opens 12 June and runs for two days at McCormick Place.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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