Questex Media Group LLC announced last week at its fifth Incentive Travel Exchange in Las Vegas that it will launch a new event in Europe, the Europe Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (EMITE), for European buyers and global suppliers, October 17-19, 2011, at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge in London.

ITE, in partnership with Site, permits a maximum of 100 global suppliers to meet with a select audience of pre-qualified, hosted, North American meeting and incentive buyers for a unique one-to-one appointment-based format each June, says Alicia Evanko, event director. “All of the appointments take place in suites at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Buyers go from suite to suite for 15-minute appointments, and we limit sponsorship opportunities due to its format. This year we had 100 suppliers and 100 buyers, and most of the networking/food functions were sponsored. Our event is also unique because we close out supplier regions/categories when the appropriate ratios are met to ensure no over-representation.”

Evanko says the U.S. event has been so successful, having sold out for the third year in a row, that launching a European event for European buyers “was the perfect next step. It will be the most exclusive event in the MICE market, with an extremely select group of hosted buyers in attendance.”

Evanko adds that ITE’s distinction is that “we are able to qualify our buyers based on a diverse portfolio of business that will allow them to sustain 33 appointments. If a buyer just has business for Europe, he or she would not be accepted into the event. We reject 50 percent of the applications that come in.”

“Our expectation for EMITE is 70 buyers and 70 suppliers,” adds Evanko, which will replicate ITE’s format. (Site, however, is not partnering on the event.) “Both AIBTM and IMEX are [European] trade shows with an appointment-based component that also allow visitors who are not part of the hosted-buyer program to attend. Our event model is completely different and will deliver the top buyers in the European market. We will continue to limit supplier representation in the various regions of the world to ensure ROI is maximized for both the buyer and supplier.”

Asked if the new event would be competing with IMEX, held in Frankfurt in May, and EIBTM, held in Barcelona in December, for buyers and suppliers, Evanko says, “I do believe there is a market for both types of events. I can tell you the response to EMITE has been overwhelming. Both buyers and suppliers love the format. Buyers love it because they can do business behind closed doors. It’s very different than trying to negotiate a contract in a big booth at a trade show. Also, it can be awkward for a buyer to talk to competitors in an open space at a trade show. At this year’s ITE, business was signed on site and buyers came armed with RFPs. Suppliers love the show for the same reasons.”