New features promise to make the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) 2008 bigger and better than last year's show.
Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has promised that this year's event will feature more Gulf and Middle East exhibitors and a raft of new features.
Part of the rationale for launching GIBTM was to assist with the personal development of the meetings community in the Gulf and the Middle East region.
RTE expects to receive some 1500 visitors in total this year, including around 275 hosted-buyers from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, when it takes place from April 8-10 in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre (ADNEC).
The second instalment of GIBTM, which was inaugurated last year to cater to the growing demand from the meetings and incentives industry in the region, will be some 30% bigger than the first instalment, according to Graeme Barnett, exhibition director, GIBTM & CIBTM, Meetings & Incentive Events, RTE.
New features of the show include a dedicated ‘Abu Dhabi Day' fam trip for hosted buyers; a Technology and Events Services Village; a European Pavilion and the Meetings Professionals International (MPI) Gulf Meetings and Events Conference, which will take place on April 5-6, at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.
The latter will provide delegates with a two-day educational programme designed to assist with the professional development of anyone involved in the meetings industry in the region.
"Part of the rationale for launching GIBTM was to assist in the development of the meetings community within the Gulf and Middle East region," said Barnett.
"What we are trying to do with MPI is building up the whole notion of development - in terms of both education and personal development - of the meetings industry in the region."
GIBTM will have its own seminar programme running throughout the show, which RTE hopes to distinguish from the MPI conference before the event.
"Our programme will look at how to provide an educational content for mature meeting planners but also by the same token give a basic level of education about the meetings industry to the local community, and they are two very different things," said Barnet.
"We are also keen to give non-Middle East based people in the industry a cultural overview of doing business in the Gulf region. We need to help people understand the nuances of culture."
The Technology and Events Services Village will provide a dedicated space for the growing number of companies that provide event support services.
"Tech is always important in any event and it will have a greater focus this year," said Barnett. "We are starting to find that the supplier and event services side is putting roots down in the region, but there is still a shortage of professional event management or production companies who understand the specific requirements of incentives programmes or meetings."
The second set of results from the GIBTM Industry Research survey will also be launched, on Tuesday April 8.
"The results will provide us with trend data and insight into the growth and development of the outbound meetings industry but also the view of the international planner on the Middle East as a destination," Barnett explained.
"International participants need proof that there is outbound business coming from the Middle East."
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