Reed Travel Exhibitions launches IBTM Industry Research at AIBTM

The second edition of Reed Travel Exhibitions’ (RTE) IBTM Industry Research, released 12 June at the American meetings tradeshow AIBTM in Chicago, shows that the average number of events is on the increase, with incentive travel on the rise and North American meeting planners expecting to seek new meetings destinations in the next 12 months.

Among other significant results of the research, carried out up to 20 May 2013 among a sample of 270 respondents, The Caribbean was identified as offering particularly good value. Technology was expected, also, to play an ever increasing role in event planning in the future.

Average number of events organised by planners had increased to 25, compared to 20 in the previous year’s research, with 44 per cent of American buyers confirming they expect volume of their events to increase in the next 12 months. Half predicted these events would gain an increase in attendance.

The research report, which was conducted by RTE IBTM Event Portfolio and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), in association with The Right Solution, also identified that meeting budgets for the next 12 months were expected to increase on average by 5.2 per cent compared to a 3.7 per cent increase over the past 12 months, which is a positive indicator for the industry going forward.

A further positive indicator identified in the research was identified in the broad range of events types organised by buyers in the Americas. The results also identified a two per cent increase in incentive travel events (rising to 40%, compared to 44% in 2012) and a six per cent increase in exhibition events (rising to 50 per cent, compared to 44 per cent last year).

The research also confirmed that, although the Americas would remain the key destination for US meeting planners over the next 12 months, 50 per cent of buyer respondents who attended AIBTM confirmed a direct interest in placing business in Europe and 40 per cent confirmed an interest in Asia. UK, France and Germany were also identified as attracting significant numbers of events last year.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents also predicted the use of new destinations for their events in the next 12 months with Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Antigua and Barbuda receiving the highest satisfaction ratings in terms of value delivered for money. Florida, California and New York were also identified as top states for volume of events.

The expected rise in the use of technology is featured in the research with 76 per cent of planners predicting an increase in the use of new technology to shape event content and 73 per cent confirming that they use social media to communicate with attendees before and during events. Forty-seven per cent of respondents also confirmed that they use smartphone apps to provide event delegates with information.

Visit to view the full AIBTM Americas Industry Research Report.

Meanwhile, crowdsourcing at AIBTM sessions found that 18 per cent of meeting planners were being inhibited most from being strategic in their jobs by not having enough time; 12 per cent cited not enough staff and just five per cent said money was an issue. Just over a fifth citied short-term lead cycles as an issue.

At a luncheon at AIBTM, the city of Orlando set out its stall as host for AIBTM 2014.

“Orlando has quickly become one of the top meetings and convention destinations in the world,” said Chief Operating Officer and CFO for Visit Orlando Larry Henrichs.

As of this year, the show’s location began a rotation between Chicago and Orlando.

“The Orange County Convention Center is honoured to be chosen as a long-term facility partner for AIBTM,” said the OCCC’s Executive Director Kathie Canning.

The OCC hosts 200 major events a year and over 1.4m delegates and was ranked No.1 convention centre in the US by Business Review USA.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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