EIBTM, Reed Travel Exhibition's European show for the incentive travel and meeting markets, was down this year, but definitely not out. The May event drew 2,142 hosted buyers to EIBTM's last show in Geneva, before moving the event to Barcelona in 2004.

Tom Nutley, chairman of Reed Travel Exhibitions, said that the economic downturn, competition — meaning the IMEX show launched in Germany in April — and other global issues have “led to exhibitors sending 3,048 stand personnel, a drop of 2,000 compared to previous years.”

David DuBois, CMP, CAE, interim chief operating officer of Meeting Professionals International and executive vice president of the MPI Foundation, Dallas, said the show “did not have record-breaking traffic; however, all the exhibitors I spoke with were happy with the quality.” The United States was noticeably absent, said Dubois. According to the exhibitor list, only Las Vegas and California had booths. “Obviously, the North Americans opted for IMEX. They didn't do both,” said Dubois. “The exhibitors are excited about Barcelona. I'm hearing that it's a good strategic move.”

Big Winner

EIBTM's Awards 2003 saw a hands-down favorite this year, when a Hyundai Dealer Conference swept three categories: the Grand Prix, the Best Event Inside Europe, and the Best Automotive Event. The event's creator, MAX.SENSE Live Marketing, Germany, brought the Hyundai brand to life by taking over the tiny wine-growing village of Trittenheim, Germany. The company logo appeared on the village welcome sign; streets were renamed, houses were decked out with Hyundai flags; demonstration vehicles were parked in the town's parking lots, and attendees stayed in village homes.