New Meeting Travel Shows Pick Up Steam

AIBTM increases Hosted Buyers to 2,000, matching IMEX America’s earlier expansion

steve knight

Successful Meetings recently interviewed Steve Knight, Reed Travel Exhibitions’ project manager for AIBTM: The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition, which premieres June 21-23, 2011, in Baltimore. The interview took place at the MPI World Education Congress show in Vancouver on July 26, 2010. Click here to see a podcast of highlights from that interview.


ray bloom
Successful Meetings recently interviewed Ray Bloom, Chairman of IMEX Group, about IMEX America: The Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings, and Events, which premieres Oct. 11-13, 2011 in Las Vegas. The interview took place at the MPI World Education Congress in Vancouver on July 25, 2010. Click here to see a podcast of highlights from that interview.

Reed Travel Exhibitions has announced it is quadrupling the number of hosted buyers at AIBTM, a new meeting, convention, and incentive travel show it is debuting next year.

The number of hosted buyers has increased from the initially announced 500 to 2,000, says Steve Knight, Project Manager for AIBTM—The Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition. He adds that he expects an additional 1,000 non-hosted buyers to attend the premiere show, which takes place on June 21-23, 2011, in Baltimore.

“It has been going really well since we announced the co-location of [the Professional Convention Management Association] PCMA’s annual Education Conference and CIC’s Hall of Leaders Gala,” says Knight. “That rejuvenated everything. Demand has been huge. Interest from potential hosted buyers has been coming in daily. We’re talking to Baltimore [Convention Center] about adding more room. It was getting to the point where, unless we increased the size of the show floor, we were going to be selling out.”

AIBTM isn’t alone in looking ahead to a very strong 2011. Increasing its target to 2,000 hosted buyers puts the show on par with the number announced by IMEX America, which launches the premiere of its Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Travel, Meetings, and Events on October 11-13 in Las Vegas. IMEX American increased it planned hosted buyer contingent from 1,500 to 2,000 in February.

“The response to the show has been stronger than I envisaged,” says Ray Bloom, IMEX Group chairman. “There’s been a great demand to participate, both from destinations around the world, hotel groups, and certainly in the hosted buyer program. There is a need for a major international show in America with our model: The foundation is hosted buyers. It’s a guaranteed opportunity to meet high quality buyers. We’ve been doing it for years in Europe.”

IMEX America is sister show to IMEX Frankfurt. In addition to AIBTM, Reed runs EIBTM in Barcelona, GIBTM in Abu Dhabi, UAE, CIBTM in Beijing and AIME in Melbourne, Australia. 

IMEX America has entered into a strategic partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) to be its major educational provider. And in late May, Maritz Travel, one of the largest U.S. meeting, event and incentive companies, announced it would integrate its annual top-level customer event into IMEX America. IMEX America has also announced a partnership with the PCMA to provide educational content

AIBTM’s educational content takes two forms, a show day—Tuesday, October 11, before two exhibition days— and America Meetings Week, which will include the PCMA and CIC events, as well as the release of a study MPI is doing in partnership with AIBTM on the value of meetings.