The twelfth edition of IBTM Arabia, which took place from 5 – 7 February at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, has been hailed a success with 2,700 business meetings taking place between the elite group of event planners and exhibitors. Delegates also attended 12 networking events and a series of inspiring education sessions during the event.
Several changes were made to this year’s event, including enhancements to the Hosted Buyer programme, which saw the IBTM team pre-selecting and qualifying Hosted Buyers, ensuring that a select group of event planners, tailored toward the exhibitor mix, were present. This meant that time was focused on meeting people with whom there was already a very high chance of doing business.
A one-day attendance option for buyers from the United Arab Emirates was introduced, allowing them to consolidate meetings and gain maximum value from the event; something that was very well received by regional event planners.
Exhibitor Rajesh Pereira, Matrix Audio Visual & Entertainment LLC, said: “We’ve been associated with IBTM Arabia over many years. Last year we were very successful at IBTM Arabia, for example, as a direct result of one of the meetings, we subsequently took a group booking for almost 800 people. Generally, January is a very quiet month, but this January has been the best month so far since we started our business, all because of the leads we got at IBTM Arabia.”
Hosted Buyer Izabela Stajkowska, L’Oreal Polska, said: “This region has fantastic potential and amazing opportunities to explore, with a lot of dynamic development taking place. IBTM Arabia has been one of my favourite exhibitions to attend, because of the quality of the exhibitors, the organisation, and the networking opportunities are fantastic.”
Shinu Pillai, Event Director, IBTM Arabia, said: “We’re delighted with the immediate feedback from our customers on the success of this year’s event, in terms of the quality of meetings, the networking opportunities and the results of the enhancements we’ve made.
“IBTM Arabia is all about connections. We know that our attendees value the opportunity to build meaningful, long-term business relationships and the formula of this event is a clear conduit for this. But we won’t rest on our laurels; we will be seeking detailed feedback from this year’s attendees and looking at any enhancements we can make for next year’s show to ensure we continue to be at the head of our game.”
IBTM Arabia is an exclusive one-to-one format event, which this year featured leading international suppliers including the Azerbaijan Convention Bureau, Czech Tourism Authority, Interprefy, Norwegian Cruise Line, Singapore Tourism Board and the United Nations Conference Centre. Regional suppliers include Atlantis The Palm, Fairmont Ajman, Fujairah, Jumeirah Group, Matrix Audio Visual Entertainment, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, Rotana Hotels and Resorts and The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.
They were joined by Hosted Buyers from organisations including AIM Group International, ALJ – Toyota, American Express Travel Services, Continental AG, Danone, Firmenich, GSK, Saudi Telecom Company and United Spirits Ltd, from countries including Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
As well as featuring a highly regarded keynote speaker, Rohit Talwar, global futurist, author and CEO of foresight firm, Fast Future, this year the Knowledge Programme was boosted with additional presentations and a panel session. IBTM’s networking programme was extended with an extra two events, and Discovery Day – run in partnership with The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, was consolidated to allow more time together as a group.
IBTM Arabia is run with the support of The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and Etihad Airways. Matrix Audio Visual & Entertainment LLC supplied the event’s AV.