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Orlando Gears Up for AIBTM in June Mike Lyons

Orlando Gears Up for AIBTM in June

AIBTM heads south for its fourth edition.

The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) is heading to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando June 10–12. Now into its fourth year, AIBTM will alternate between Orlando and Chicago (where the 2013 event was held) as Reed Exhibitions’ American showcase for the hosted-buyer trade show. That model invites qualified meeting professionals to attend the show for free in exchange for meeting with 16 suppliers on the expo floor over the course of two days.

AIBTM plans to accommodate 18,000 pre-scheduled appointments, a 20 percent increase over 2013, a result of adding more than 30,000 new association planners, corporate planners, and other meeting planners to AIBTM’s database, says Michael Lyons, exhibition director.

“AIBTM 2013 post-show research indicated that 90 percent of our exhibitors felt that AIBTM delivered the right audience,” says Lyons. “We are meticulous in our process to ensure that the hosted buyers accepted into our program this year have targeted business goals. We are targeting planners specifically from the association and corporate sectors including more pharmaceutical and medical meeting planners, which is apparent through our new partnership with IMMPA, the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association.”

IMMPA will co-locate its annual meeting with AIBTM, which also has a “renewed partnership” with the International Association of Exhibitions and Events. AIBTM will offer a hosted buyer program for IAEE members as well as an education session in the AIBTM Learning Theatre. IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, will be a part of an educational panel that will take place during Education Day on June 10.

Education Day is “fueled by the Professional Convention Management Association,” says Lyons, who adds that education is also offered in conjunction with Meeting Professionals International and Site.

New this year is an Innovation Zone—a spot for new technologies, new perspectives, and “out-of-the-box thinkers who are looking to take their events to the next level,” says Lyons. The area will include the TechCollective, a pod-based exhibition area that allows companies to conduct live demonstrations of their technology products.

AIBTM, in collaboration with The Meeting Pool, will present the Top 10 Innovations at AIBTM 2014. These will be judged and voted on by a panel of experts and industry specialists. The awards ceremony will take place on the Innovation Spotlight stage June 12.

Networking events include a hosted-buyer reception Monday evening under the glass atrium at the exclusive Mall at Millennia. Tuesday night’s opening reception will be held at Pointe Orlando, one of Orlando’s hot spots, which features entertainment and dining at B.B. King’s Blues Club, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, The Pub, and Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar.

The AIBTM Hosted Buyer Program also offers planners a choice of seven post-event tour destinations and one pre-event tour.

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