Published on : Monday, October 23, 2017
With the Middle East’s MICE sector continuing its dynamic growth, ibtm arabia, part of ibtm events’ global portfolio of meetings and events industry trade shows, has announced the first exhibitors and Hosted Buyers signed up for its twelfth edition, taking place at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, from 5-7 February 2018.
Exhibitors already confirmed to attend include Rotana, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, UNECA and Alpha Tours. They will be joined by Hosted Buyers from organisations including Live Group, Ashfield Healthcare, Reed&Mackay and Saudi Telecom Company, from countries including the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Italy, The United States of America, Spain and Saudi Arabia.
Shinu Pillai, Event Director, ibtm arabia, commented: “We’re delighted with the strong start on both exhibitor sales and Hosted Buyer recruitment. The Middle East remains an incredibly dynamic market, both in terms of inbound and outbound business. It is definitely a region where the MICE market is firmly in the ascendant. Testament to this is the fact that ibtm arabia continues to be such a popular and successful event.
“Growth is being seen across the region, especially in the UAE where experts predict the MICE industry will experience a growth rate of 7 per cent yearly by 2020*. Oman continues to increase in popularity, destinations such as Iran are starting to emerge on to the international MICE scene and hotel stock is also growing, with new properties opening across the region – not only in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. Its vast amount of product, 5 Star customer service and incentive possibilities, as well as its central location means that the region is well positioned to continue this growth; it just needs to keep differentiating its offering from what else is out there in the market as well as providing value.”
ibtm arabia is an exclusive one-to-one format event, which for 2018 introduces ibtm events’ enhanced Hosted Buyer programme. Hosted Buyers are pre-selected and qualified, allowing them to be fast-tracked through the process. This means that the show can be even more targeted in delivering the highest calibre Hosted Buyers to meet with exhibitors. The programme also has been designed to deliver added value for exhibitors, by targeting buyers matched according to exhibitor needs.
For the first time this year, domestic Hosted Buyers have the opportunity to attend only the final day of the event, rather than for the entire duration allowing them to consolidate their meetings and focus on forging connections and doing business with international exhibitors.
Meetings for the 250+ industry professionals are scheduled by mutually-matching exhibitors and Hosted Buyers using ibtm events’ bespoke ‘matchmaking’ software, ensuring the best possible return on investment. As a result, attendees can leave the event knowing they’ve met with the most relevant industry professionals for their business’ needs.
The format of the event has been designed to embrace the importance of networking and relationship building ahead of doing business, with 12 networking events held over the three-day-long show. Discovery Day, which takes place on the first day of the event, gives Hosted Buyers the chance to network in a more relaxed environment, whilst also seeing the sites and experiencing the local culture of Abu Dhabi.