TTW – AIBTM every year promises something big and something new – What is it this year that business travelers should look forward to?
Craig Moyes : At last year’s AIBTM, $44 m of business was conducted and this year is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever! AIBTM 2012, which is taking place in Baltimore from June 19th- June 21st will deliver a fantastic range of education, exciting networking opportunities and offer powerful business connections to attendees of the show. AIBTM’s collaboration with industry partners such as PCMA(Professional Convention Management Association), SITE (Society of Incentive Travel Executives), ACTE(Association of Corporate Travel Executives), ICCA(International Congress and Convention Association) and MPI (Meeting Professionals International) will offer unparalleled and thought provoking educationfocusing on a range of cutting-edge topics from the industry. Another of the many great features of AIBTM 2012 is the enhanced partnership with ACTE, which will deliver a dedicated educational track focusing on how industry professionals can make the most of face time while using developing technology to best enhance the corporate travel experience.
TTW – Why is Baltimore the host destination for the Show?
Craig Moyes : Baltimore is a convenient destination with access to three airports and fast rail connections throughout Northeast US. Over 13,000 planners are located within a 3 hour drive of Baltimore which makes it an ideal destination for meetings and events within the US.
TTW: CEU-Accredited Education: An Integral Component to AIBTM — Can you brief us on this programme for 2012?
Craig Moyes : AIBTM 2012 is dedicated to delivering insight, knowledge and education through our carefully crafted programme, which is free to all attendees. Through attending AIBTM’s education day (the day before the exhibition starts) attendees can earn themselves CEU Credits and reap the benefits from trend driven, cutting edge conferences, round table discussions, forums and workshops that have been specifically designed for their needs.
Working in conjunction with PCMA, SITE, ACTE, ICCA and MPI, attendees will benefit from various Education sessions such as SITE’s Young leaders programme which is designed to build the next generation of motivational leaders through education and networking opportunities as well as ICCA’s roundtable sessions and one hour clinic which will provide planners with the opportunity to obtain personalized advice from ICCA members. MPI will also deliver a series of education tracks, which will include the final installment of the BVOM (Business Value of Meetings) study, which launched in 2011 and supported by AIBTM.
TTW: What does AIBTM aim to achieve through the special event ‘The CEO Summit’?
Craig Moyes : The CEO Summit is a global forum that brings together senior level executives from across the meetings and incentive industry to learn and debate insights and trends that affect their respective industries in the present and in the future. This ‘meeting of great minds’ will include a lively facilitated debated as well as a forum with specialist speakers focusing on topics to develop knowledge of the industry as well as predict the future. The AIBTM CEO Summit will take place from 10:00am-2:00pm on Wednesday 20th June.
TTW: The strategic partnership with PCMA has been the talk of the town for this year’s show – How will this partnership help the meetings industry through this event?
Craig Moyes : AIBTM’s collaboration with PCMA makes AIBTM unique as a meetings and incentives exhibition within the US. As a strategic partner of PCMA, AIBTM will benefit from a variety of education opportunities provided by the premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. Attendees of AIBTM will benefit from the partnership through a variety of the education sessions being provided by PCMA. These include Executive Edge in which PCMA is partnering with leading business schools to provide industry-relevant MBA educational opportunities. These programmes are designed to develop knowledge and skills for participants to formulate clear, comprehensive strategies for their organisations. PCMA’s Bite-Sized Learning Sessions will cover a variety of useful topics such as IPAD for Specs, which will enlighten the audience on how to maximize their use of their IPAD for their meetings as well as exchanging ideas on helpful APP’s for the busy meetings industry professional. Attendees will also benefit from Education Powered by PCMA which includes: “Delivering meetings that meet Yourorganisations strategic plan” and “SMMP Beyond Theory: Foundational Elements of Partnerships and Policy.”
TTW: If not as a Hosted Buyer, what are the advantages of participating in the event as a trade buyer?
Craig Moyes : Visiting AIBTM in Baltimore as a Trade Buyer enables visitors to conduct their business with flexibility as well as benefit from the range of opportunities that AIBTM provides. These include attending the professional education day taking place on 19th June 2012 where participants can expect to attend a series of dynamic conferences, forums and workshops that are designed to specifically meet the needs of planners. There are also fantastic networking opportunities available to all attendees of AIBTM 2012 such as the Street Party at Power Plant Live where trade buyers can develop and make great new connections. Another benefit of attending AIBTM as a Trade Buyer is the networking contingent of the show, which is focused on strengthening and creating business relationships and connections. And finally, the opportunity to conduct business with over 1,000 global exhibitors and the opportunity to meet with a diverse group of suppliers who will be on hand to answer queries and produce great opportunities.
Last year’s research confirmed that 1 in 4 Trade Buyers were directly involved in Business Travel decisions. Combine this with the fact that the US Business Travel market is worth $255 billion and it is clear that AIBTM delivers great business opportunities for all attending.
TTW: What differentiates AIBTM from other such American events?
Craig Moyes : AIBTM 2011’s success was confirmed by winning first prize for the ‘Best of Show’ at the 2011 TSNN Excellence Awards. As part of the Reed Travel Exhibitions IBTM Portfolio which also includes AIME, GIBTM, CIBTM, EIBTM and Business Travel Market, AIBTM has formed an exclusive strategic partnership with PCMA. AIBTM will be the only event in the US to deliver this collaboration for 2012. Attendees can expect inspiring education as well as an increased Hosted Buyer programme and fantastic networking events, including a Street Party for all attendees to enjoy Baltimore.
TTW: How successful has the platform of AIBTM been over the past years?
Craig Moyes : 2011 was the inaugural event for AIBTM and was voted “Best of Show” in the US. There was great response from attendees of last years show and Mark Theis of Starwood Hotels & Resorts commented: “This first US event was certainly appropriate. It was an exceptional, productive opportunity for us to meet first hand with potential business to business buyers.”
Every year, Reed Travel Exhibitions seeks new ways to guarantee powerful business opportunities, thought provoking education sessions as well as successful networking events for all attendees of AIBTM and 2012 is looking more promising than ever.
TTW: How you feel online media can promote and aware travel trade professionals?
Craig Moyes : Online media is utilised across the IBTM Portfolio as it serves as an excellent platform to provide instant updates for the attendees of all of the shows. Online media enables Reed Travel Exhibitions to stream live education webinars as well as posting testimonials from exhibitors and attendees about how fantastic AIBTM 2011 was on the AIBTM Youtube channel. Online media enables all participants of AIBTM to keep up to date on the run up to, during and after the show with all the latest news. Follow AIBTM on Linked in, Facebook, TwitterYoutube and Pinterest.