The inaugural America Meetings & Events Exhibition, or AIBTM, which takes over Baltimore in June, will attract 2,000 hosted buyers—the “stars of the show,” according to AIBTM organizers.

Scheduling one-on-one appointments with those buyers will be more than 700 exhibitors, including U.S. and international destinations and other suppliers to the meetings industry. Hosted buyer registration is now open at the AIBTM Web site, where you can find all the qualification requirements and terms and conditions for being a hosted buyer at the show, which runs June 21–23 at the The Baltimore Convention Center. To qualify, you must plan meetings in the U.S., show the history of three meetings you planned, and give general information about three future meetings you are planning.

In exchange for free transportation and lodging, hosted buyers attend eight pre-scheduled appointments and one destination presentation per day of attendance at the show.

Education

In addition to the two days of action on the exhibit floor, June 22 and 23, AIBTM will present its Day of Education in conjunction with the Professional Convention Management Association on June 21, which is also the launch of both the PCMA Annual Education Conference and AIBTM’s America Meetings Week.

Highlights of the Day of Education are the Association Leadership Conference, a series focused on strategies for association meeting planners; the Women in Business Conference, which was launched at AIBTM’s sister meeting EIBTM in December 2010; a series of hands-on workshops and expert debates on technology and meetings, including such topics as social media and meeting apps; and a supplier-focused master class on branding, also brought to the U.S. from EIBTM. And ICCA, the International Congress & Convention Association, will hold its Forum for Young Professionals at AIBTM.

That evening, the Convention Industry Council holds its 17th Hall of Leaders Gala, honoring this year’s four inductees: Sandy Angus, chairman, Montgomery Worldwide; Fay Beauchine, president, Engagement & Events, Carlson Marketing; Christian Mutschlechner, director, Vienna Convention Bureau; and Cliff Wallace, managing director, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

U2 Rocks the Meetings Industry

And in case you haven’t heard, AIBTM has begun distributing more than 1,000 tickets to see rock band U2 at Baltimore’s downtown M&T Bank Stadium June 22. The concert is part of the band’s global 360-degree tour, and will feature opening band Florence and The Machine. (The tour is named after the 360-degree staging and audience configuration U2 is using for all shows.)

Two rounds of U2 ticket exhibitor sweepstakes have already been completed. The winners are: Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas; Canadian Tourism Commission; Condor Travel; Hyatt Hotels & Resorts; Freeman; Peppermill Reno; Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau; Scandinavian Pavilion; Unique Vacations for Sandals & Beaches Resorts; IHG - InterContinental Hotels Group; and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau.

With more than 1,000 tickets up for grabs, nine exhibitors will be selected at random by an official third-party organization every other Friday up to April 29. To qualify, exhibitors must have contracts signed and returned by noon on the Wednesday prior to each draw. The next draw takes place April 1.

AIBTM is organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions, which has built a portfolio of annual “IBTM” events. The others are EIBTM, held in December in Barcelona, Spain; AIME, held in February in Melbourne; GIBTM, held in March in Abu Dhabi, UAE; and CIBTM, held in August in Beijing.