AIBTM, the Americas Meetings & Events Exhibition will feature American innovator and entrepreneur Alexander Blass as the keynote speaker on June 19, the full day of education preceding the two-day trade show taking place at the Baltimore Convention Center, June 19-21. Blass will focus on how the global economic climate is affecting leadership in the meetings industry.

The next morning will feature a anel discussion moderated by Roger Rickard, partner and chief advocate, Revent, entitled, “Meetings Significance Forum: Government and Industry Leaders Discuss the Positive Impact of Meetings,” which will tackle the repercussions of the recent, highly publicized meeting management abuses by the General Services Administration, among other scandals that have rocked the event industry. It will feature Geoff Freeman, COO, U.S. Travel Association.

Both sessions were organized by the Professional Convention Management Association, one of the many meeting industry associations AIBTM partners with on the education for the show, says Graeme Barnett, Reed Travel Exhibitions, AIBTM and EIBTM event director. “We expect to exceed where we were last year,” in terms of the number of hosted buyers coming to the show, he said. “We broadened the hosted-buyer profile to include more North American buyers.”

Qualified meeting professionals can apply to attend the trade show as hosted buyers, who are eligible to receive complimentary airfare and a two- or three-night hotel stay. AIBTM is working with PCMA; the Society of Incentive Travel Executives; the Association of Corporate Travel Executives; Meeting Professionals International, which will deliver the final installment of the Business Value of Meetings study; and the International Congress and Convention Association to organize more than 30 education sessions over the three-day period.

The general session speaker on day three is “Dr Q,” Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a motivational speaker who talks about his remarkable journey from U.S. immigrant to director of the Brain Tumor Surgery Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Craig Moyes, portfolio director, IBTM Global Events Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions, said back in March, “We’re tracking ahead of schedule on applications for AIBTM 2012. We expect to have 20,000 pre-scheduled, on-site appointments, with a mix of new and returning buyers.” He added that 85 percent of exhibitors were returning from last year and Barnett said 54 new exhibitors were on tap to be at this year’s show.

Also on the trade show floor will be a new specialty area called the Future Events Experience, which was launched successfully at Reed’s EIBTM, the European meetings show that takes place in Barcelona every December. The new area, co-sponsored by Newtonstrand and SyncPartners, will feature presentations on the future of meetings as well as tabletop demonstrations of products from meetings technology companies. This hands-on, interactive demonstration area includes several innovative elements:

  • Chance2Speak: The Chance2Speak portion of the Future Events Experience allows selected exhibitors to give a 10 to 15 minute demonstration or presentation of their choice.
  • Ask the Experts Panel: Technology experts will be available throughout the day to discuss topics and answer questions from the audience. These education sessions will be streamed on social media platforms and AIBTM’s Web site.
  • e-Posters: Delegates will be able to download promotional materials using QR codes or links on interactive screens located in the Future Events Experience.
  • Chance2Meet: Visitors can meet face-to-face with other attendees who are interested in technology. Chance2Meet is a networking area at the Future Event Experience where exhibitors will demonstrate their products or services.

The area will use the Twitter hash tag #AIBTMfuture.

The CEO Summit, which is an invitation-only event and welcomes roughly 50 CEOs, mostly from North America, takes place Wednesday afternoon and evening.

For more information about attending the show, visit www.aibtm.com/visiting.