Graeme Barnett, EIBTM Exhibition Director

Graeme Barnett, EIBTM Exhibition Director, answers TTW focusing on the major aspects of the travel event. Shades of sustainability campaign along with other travel industry events shared in the interview.

TTW – Is there any special reason why EIBTM chose Barcelona, Spain as their venue?

Graeme Barnett : As an international event, welcoming over 15,000 industry professionals from over 150 countries world-wide, it was important to us to find a host city which could not only cope in terms of the infrastructure required to facilitate such an event but which can also be easily accessed by a strong transportation network served by a number of international and low cost airlines as well as rail links, all of which Barcelona offers.

Barcelona also provides a large range of cultural and recreational facilities, which was an important factor for us when looking for a host city as we realize that many of our attendees’ couple time spent at events with the opportunity to experience new locations before, during and after an event. Barcelona has a wide variety of restaurants, bars, shopping centers, arts and sports venues which are attractive for our attendees.

In addition to the infrastructure and facilities available, Barcelona has been voted as the number five destinations in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) league table, which ranks destinations, based on the number of international association conventions hosted.

This year we are delighted that EIBTM will be celebrating our 10th anniversary of being hosted in Barcelona, a contract that we have decided to extend with the Barcelona Convention Bureau until 2016.


TTW – What are the key features/ highlights of EIBTM 2013?

Graeme Barnett : At EIBTM we continuously evolve the show in order to keep it fresh and relevant for our attendees. We will be introducing several new features for EIBTM 2013 including two new Piazza areas, a hologram feature area, an event doctor feature area, and an event shopping feature area. Further details about each of these will be announced on the run up to the show.

As always, the education programme for EIBTM 2013 will be a key feature of the show. This year we will be introducing EIBTM Knowledge, which has been rebrandedto reflect the new and fresh content, which will be delivered over the course of the three-day event. EIBTM Knowledge will include several education streams including Association Knowledge, Business Travel Knowledge, Agency Knowledge and Corporate Knowledge, each of which has been specifically designed to promote in depth learning whilst appealing to professionals of all levels of experience.

Following the success of last year’s EIBTM Forum, we will be running this opening session again, the day before the show opens. Open to everyone attending the show, the EIBTM Forum will provide a thought provoking opening conference on Monday 18th November. The Forum will set the tone for the following three days of business, and will include a cutting edge keynote speaker from the business world, in addition to the presentation of the EIBTM Lifetime Achievement Award, which was also launched in 2012.

This year will also see the return of the Business Travel Pavilion which has been designed to provide a dedicated area for business travel exhibitors as well as bite size education and special features to enhance the experience of buyers and suppliers within this industry sector. Our research following EIBTM 2012 highlighted that 56% of our Hosted Buyers had a direct involvement in business travel, demonstrating the need for the Business Travel Pavilion.

Another feature, which has been added to the show this year, is the additions to the online Exhibitor Portal. This has been updated to provide an area of the website that allows exhibitors to receive leads and contact emails form visitors to the EIBTM website as soon as their directory listing is live. This new feature has been designed to add value for exhibitors, extending the reach of their participation in the show.


TTW: Which country (countries) is the focus-market of EIBTM? Why?

Graeme Barnett : EIBTM is a truly international event, welcoming industry professionals from over 150 countries worldwide and creating a global hub for the industry, making EIBTM the place to conduct international business. This means that all countries are important to the show as it is crucial for us to have representation for all over to the world at EIBTM.


TTW: Can you tell us about your sustainability campaign?

Graeme Barnett : Sustainability is a big issue within the industry, and one that all event organisers should take action on. At EIBTM we work to make the event as sustainable as possible and have third party certification from the Sustainable Event standard (ISO 20121) in order to continue to identify areas in which we can improve and develop our sustainable policy.

On the run up to EIBTM 2013we are supporting exhibitors with a series of tips and advice to ensure that they adopt a sustainable approach to their participation at the show. We also run the Sustainable Stand Award each year and were delighted to announce that Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau was awarded this accolade for EIBTM 2012. Judged by an expert independent panel during the show, the Sustainability Award recognises exhibitors placing the most emphasis on sustainability at EIBTM.

EIBTM provides a dedicated education stream that includes a range of education and advice clinics delivered by industry experts in the Sustainable Events Corner during the three-day event. This section of the show floor provides information on sustainability and how it can be practically implemented into events, venues and the industry supply chain.


TTW: Advanced technologies and new applications are highly popular in these kinds of international forums. How EIBTM would incorporate them in the event?

Graeme Barnett : One of the key objectives of EIBTM is progressing the industry through the introduction of new innovations and technologies. This year we will once again be running the Technology Watch award. Now in its 14th year, the award is the longest running and most high profile technology recognition scheme for the meetings and events industry worldwide. The judging panel, chaired by meetings technology expert Corbin Ball, look for organisations that demonstrate new and innovative technology solutions that will make a significant contribution to shaping the future of the industry. The winner is awarded a stand in the Technology and Events Services Village on the show floor, allowing visitors to experience some of the most advanced technological innovations available on the market.

The Technology and Events Services Village has been increased in size for this year’s edition of the show, following a sell out last year. Technology exhibitors already signed up include Shocklogic Global Ltd., Ungerboeck Systems International, Soft Congres, Goomeo, EventPlatform, Amiando, Meta-fusion, etouches, Conference Compass, Spotme(shockfish), PSAV Presentation Services, Psideo SA, and key4events.



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