Meetings Mean Business Coalition Updates Industry
ORLANDO (June 11) – Following AIBTM Knowledge Program, the trade show floor opened this morning at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony presented by AIBTM Exhibition Director Michael Lyons; IBTM Global Events Portfolio Director Sallie Coventry; President and CEO of Visit Orlando George Aguel; Chairman of Visit Orlando Paul Mears, III; and Deputy General Manager of Orange County Convention Center Yulita Osuba.
The day began with an important update from the Meetings Mean Business Coalition at the Chapin Theater. Over 250 attendees listened to leaders in the industry discuss its strategic mission to unify under “one voice” and then participated in a Q&A about where the Meetings Mean Business campaign is headed.
Larry Luteran, the Coalition’s co-chair, opened the panel by reiterating the critical importance of meetings to the economy. “For every dollar spent on meetings there’s a $9.50 return,” he said. “Meetings are the number one marketing vehicle to help generate revenue.”
When asked about the greatest success of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition thus far, Deborah Sexton, President and CEO of PCMA, said, “Staying together as one voice is critical to our industry. We won’t stop because the economy has improved; our message has to resonate globally.”
On the trade show floor, first time exhibitor Hamburg Convention Bureau held a market focus session for U.S. buyers interested in placing business in Germany. Over 40 buyers attended the meeting in which Nele Aumann, Marketing Manager of Hamburg Convention Bureau, discussed how the city can accommodate U.S. meeting planners when hosting large group meetings and conventions.
“Hamburg is the 2nd largest city in Germany and a 1st tier destination. I like to call it the hidden jewel of the country,” said Aumann. “Visitors don’t realize that even though by population it’s a large city, it’s actually small and intimate. Traveling to and from places is just a short ride. Berlin, the country’s capital, is only 1.5 hours away by train. It’s an ideal destination for international meetings with excellent accessibility.”
Attendees also checked out new useful technologies for their professions in the Innovation Zone and heard from leading tech companies and professionals about how to apply these in their day-to-day business lives. When they needed a quick break, they stopped at the Refresh Zone fueled with Orlando’s best eats and a comfy place to recharge before heading back to their booths or appointments.
The afternoon was capped off with the Executive Chef Tasting where Chefs Mac Lynch of Roy’s Restaurant, Russell Skall of Fleming’s Prime Steak House & Wine Bar, Eric Frame of Hard Rock Orlando, Jimmy Frantz of Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar and Jose Gonzalez of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar served signature dishes to attendees eager to taste local specialties.
“The food at the Executive Chef Tasting was great!” said Hosted Buyer Vaibhav Parulkar. “We are looking to expand our meetings to the east coast and would definitely consider these spots. Not only was the food incredibly tasty, but also high quality. I was very impressed.”
The exhibition hall opens tomorrow at 9 a.m.
The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) is a leading global exhibition for the U.S. meetings and events industry. AIBTM delivers individually qualified Hosted Buyers and eligible Trade buyers from the U.S. and around the world. Tailored to the U.S. market, AIBTM serves and guarantees the attendance of top-level decision makers. The exhibitions provide time and business efficient matching services for buyers and sellers through unique Hosted Buyer Programs. For more information, please visit www.aibtm.com. AIBTM takes place from June 10-12, 2014. Join AIBTM on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
AIBTM forms part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions Meetings, Events and Business Travel Portfolio along with AIME (www.aime.com.au), GIBTM (www.gibtm.com), CIBTM (www.cibtm.com) IBTM India (http://www.ibtmevents.com/IBTM-India/), IBTM Africa (www.ibtmevents.com/IBTM-Africa) and EIBTM (www.eibtm.com).
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world¹s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry, with a wide-ranging portfolio of 21 international events in 14 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa. Its market-leading, business-to-business events cover all elements of travel and tourism, including leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, events, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE is part of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world¹s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 39 countries. In 2011 Reed brought together six million active event participants from around the world, generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organized by 33 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc, a world-leading publisher and information provider and a FTSE 100 company. www.reedexpo.com.