Under new management this year, the European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (EIBTM) remained as strong as ever, with upwards of 2,700 exhibitors and more than 3,000 hosted buyers.
Launched by Ray Bloom 13 years ago, EIBTM is now run by Reed Exhibition Companies, headed up by Exhibition Director Debbie Jackson. Jackson has said her goal is to build on EIBTM's past success rather than radically change the event.
Among the announcements at this year's show, held May 23 to 25 at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland:
* Global Alliance--Initiated by Australia's Adelaide Convention Centre and the Congress Centre Hamburg in Germany, the Global Alliance brings together seven leading convention centers in a marketing agreement. In addition to the two founding centers, the group of seven (one per continent) includes the Hynes Convention Center/Boston Convention Center in Boston; the International Convention Centre Durban, South Africa; Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center; Jerusalem International Convention Center, Israel; and the Rio Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brazil. Organizations whose conventions rotate among the centers in the alliance will benefit from the sharing of information about their conventions among the centers.
Frank Seifert, owner of a congress company in Berlin, who also acts as the Adelaide Convention Centre's representative in Europe, will act as the "secretary" for the alliance, and as the "one-stop shop" for clients booking the centers. Francis Joyce, executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, attending EIBTM for the first time this year, said the city of Boston was proud to be chosen as the sole North American partner in the alliance. "We have a legislative mandate to seek out international conventions," he said. "This gives us an opportunity to do that."
* The International Institute for Peace through Tourism--IIPT will hold its fourth global summit meeting in Jordan November 8 to 11. The summit, to be held shortly before the late King Hussein's birthday, will honor the monarch's legacy as a peacemaker in the Middle East. Previous summits were held in Vancouver (1988), MontrEal (1994), and Glasgow (1999). Plans call for regular regional conferences and global summits every four years. The 2000 summit is endorsed by 20 travel organizations that have formed the Coalition of Partners for World Peace through Tourism. These include the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus and the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives. Visit www.iipt.org for more information.