MIDDLE EAST – The Gulf Incentives and Business Travel Meeting exhibition (GIBTM) 2013, which took place 25-27 March at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, gave delegates a glimpse of how technology will shape events in the future with its hybrid event initiative Event Camp Middle East 2013.
The hybrid format included seminar sessions focused on technological advances impacting the meetings industry, broadcast from both the show floor and streamed online from destinations as far afield as the US and Australia. It extended GIBTM’s reach to an online global audience of 16,000 users across 10 countries in just two hours.
“By pioneering this hybrid format we have taken GIBTM out of the four walls of the show floor and to a global audience,” said Reed Travel Exhibitions, GIBTM Exhibition Manager, Lois Hall. “We recognise the importance of technology and social media in shaping content and the way in which meetings’ professionals are connecting now and how they will do so in the future, which is why this year’s show has embraces these trends.”
Josh Dry, Marketing Executive at ShowGizmo, who voluntarily co-organised Event Camp Middle East 2013 with Paul Cook, Principal at Hybrid Event Centre and MD at Planet Planit, said the show proved an industry leader by showing meeting professionals what future events could look like.
“We believe his hybrid model should be at every event in order to extend its reach to global proportions and extend its life year round,” said Cook.
Cook and Dry added that Event Camp Middle East 2013, which is produced with zero budget and eliminates the need to fly and accommodate speakers, also proved the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of hybrid events.
GIBTM’s one-day educational programme included an interactive seminar predicting how meetings and event planners will use social media in the future. ‘The Future of Meetings: The Value of Connection’ presented by Leeds Metropolitan University’s Emma Wood and Michelle Lanham, based on Meeting Professionals International (MPI) research, identified the need for meeting professionals to “use online communications more effectively to understand their audience and extend contact with participants post meeting”.
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