AMERICAS – Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is to move its ibtm america pod show to Nashville for 2016. The move was announced by show director Jaime McAuley in Chicago, 10 June
The 2015 show, taking place this week in McCormick Place, Chicago until 11 June, will relocate to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville next year.
Portfolio director for ibtm, Sallie Coventry, said that RTE had taken the advice of focus groups of US suppliers and buyers which had put forward the Tennessee destination, which now ranks in the top 10 of Cvent’s 2014 Top 50 meeting destinations in the United States.
“As part of our strategy to experience the most dynamic business destinations, we are delighted to be not only taking ibtm to Nashville, but to be using the spectacular facilities of this world class resort,” McAuley added.
Coventry said the move signalled the new pod format show becoming officially peripatetic.
This year’s ibtm america attracted 200 exhibitors and a similar number of buyers and agents, a deliberate 1:1 ratio created by the RTE teams, said show director Jaime McAuley.
This year’s appointment system had filled diaries for exhibitors 96%, with each exhibitor undertaking 29 appointments on average, McAuley claimed.
Other statistics released by the organisers include 20% of the buyers to this year’s show being international and of those, most coming from South America and Europe.
Fifty-seven per cent of buyers were from the agency and incentives sector, 27% corporate, 15% association and 10% government and research.
“ibtm america is part of the ibtm events portfolio and follows in the footsteps of our sister event, ibtm Arabia, which took place earlier this year,” said McAuley.
“Both are all-inclusive solutions with an innovative meeting pod design customized stand for each exhibitor. Providing touch points for exhibitiors and buyers, that not only include pre-scheduled appointments but also networking and education, the intention is for all attendees to be given as many business opportunities as possible, maximizing return on investment, and creating an industry community that can exploit all these connections,” McAuley added.
In its short five-year life, ibtm america and its earlier incarnation AIBTM have been held in Baltimore, Chicago (twice) and Orlando.