The Americas, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, the newest addition to Reed Travel Exhibitions’ stable of worldwide travel trade shows, has announced an America Meetings Week program to run concurrently with the exhibition, launching June 21–23, 2011, at the Baltimore Convention Center.
According to organizers, America Meetings Week will include a high-profile conference and several industry events that would normally take place in North America at other times of the year but will now run alongside AIBTM in Baltimore. The names of the conference and the industry events have not been announced. America Meetings Week will also include a CEO Summit, bringing together the heads of large buyer and supplier organizations, including domestic and international hotel chains and airlines, to discuss future trends and issues. Two additional components of America Meetings Week will be an awards program, recognizing innovative people and practices in the U.S. meetings industry, and the announcement of the findings of a new research study. Further details on the awards program and research have not been released.
While AIBTM organizers are expecting more than 300 North American and international exhibitors, 500 hosted buyers (100 of whom will come from outside North America), and 2,500 trade visitors (primarily North American meeting planners), they will face a crowded market with three major MICE shows—AIBTM, The Motivation Show, and the new IMEX America—competing for attendance within a five-month period in 2011. Vanessa Cotton, chairwoman of Reed Travel Exhibitions Meetings and Incentive Events, says the America Meetings Week, with many industry events happening in the same time frame at the same place, will be a significant incentive for prospective attendees. Another factor is AIBTM’s strong education program that will be provided by industry associations and Reed. “It’s about delivering value to the buyers and suppliers,” Cotton said.
Along with the program, AIBTM is betting that its location will give it a boost. The show is booked into the Baltimore Convention Center for the next five years, and organizers claim that 13,000 meeting buyers are located within a three-hour drive. The center, in the heart of downtown Baltimore by the Inner Harbor, is close to public transportation and Baltimore's light-rail trains to Washington, D.C.