The Reed Travel Exhibitions’ trade show ibtm america is to move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for its 2017 edition, event director Jaime McAuley told CN during the ibtm world show in Barcelona, 19 November. The hosting venue will be the Hilton Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood, Florida.
McAuley said RTE had gone out to the market to ask whether buyers and exhibitors preferred a permanent home, a resort location or for the show to move around to different destinations.
“The 100% answer was to take it to different destinations,” she said.
The 2016 edition of ibtm america, meanwhile, takes place 15-17 June at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. The show will feature a Discovery Day of activities for buyers and exhibitors throughout the city, as well as a networking lunch. McAuley expects 500 buyers and exhibitors to attend the day and the city’s welcome reception.
She said a 100% mutual matching system would be used at the Nashville show for the first time.
The system, used already at ibtm Arabia this year means that both exhibitor and buyer have to request to meet each other before an appointment can be made, albeit after more than one round of picks and reconciliation. McAuley expects the system to deliver up to 30 appointments over the two days for each buyer.
“With some 5,200 appointments that took place during ibtm america 2015, we are aware of the need to perfect the system even further and have been working on helping our attendees eliminate non-relevant meetings. As a result we are now able to deliver a 100% mutual match, which we believe is the first event of its kind in the US,” she said.
McAuley also expects 20% of the buyers to the Nashville show to be non-US, mostly from Europe and South America.
The show in Nashville will adopt a pod system of desk top booths.
McAuley underlines the key to the show making money will be “cost management and control”.