AIBTM 2014 rolls out welcome mat in Orlando

INTO its fourth edition, the Americas Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) will kick off at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from June 10-12 this year, marking the first time the show is taking place in the Sunshine State after Chicago and Baltimore.

“New destinations means new opportunities,” said Michael Lyons, exhibition director of Reed Travel Exhibitions. “The move and rotation of AIBTM will offer all stakeholders access to new business opportunities in two gateway cities that are themselves major hubs of the meetings industry.”

He added: “Following the lead of many associations in the US that move their events to a different place each year, we will now have the flexibility to maximise the enormous potential delivered to AIBTM by both Chicago and Orlando.”

The three-day show will continue its traditional emphasis on education, with the introduction of Knowledge Program, a series of interactive sessions dedicated to encourage and inform delegates about trends, best practices and issues that focus on giving them tools and techniques to generate greater ROI from their meetings.

At the same time, AIBTM is also partnering online certification specialist RecertTrack, offering MICE professionals to track their industry-related professional development activities, including the credits obtained by attending the AIBTM Knowledge Program.

Asia is set to have a bigger presence at AIBTM, which has been seeing “a steady growth year-on-year” of hosted buyers from Asia since the show’s launch in 2011, according to Lyons, with close to 100 hosted buyers from Asia registered at press time.

Based on post-show evaluation, he also revealed that nearly 30 per cent of AIBTM buyers specifically selected Asia as a key region of interest for placing outbound business, with China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Singapore and Thailand specifically identified as key regions of American buyer interest.

According to Lyons, the most popular cities in the US for Asian business and meetings travel include Orlando, Miami, Washington, Las Vegas, Chicago, California, Dallas and Atlanta.

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