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Mon 21 Apr 2008 10:40 AM

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Communication paramount

Barnett: everyone involved in an event must be aware of the needs of the client.

Clear communication between senior level decision makers and front-line event professionals is paramount in order to meet the high expectations of the international meetings community, according to GIBTM director Graeme Barnett.

Barnett pointed out some of the challenges he and his team at Reed Travel Exhibitions had faced in planning and executing GIBTM, which took place in Abu Dhabi last month (April 8-10).

"Some of the challenges we have had here are between agreeing an activity or action at a senior level and for that to be translated down through to the people doing the task, and that can be frustrating," he told MIME.

"We all need to ensure that if we plan something, not only is it agreed at strategic level, but that it is followed through at the very basic level."

More than 1600 visitors attended the event earlier this month, including 229 high-profile hosted buyers, many of whom were visiting the region for the first time.

It was therefore crucial to make a good first impression on these decision-makers, Barnett explained.

"The meetings industry is only as good as the trained staff and the customer interaction right at the front end - we are in a very professional industry with very high visibility," he said.

He added that an understanding of the demands of the client was imperative for everyone involved in the industry, whether they were responsible for organising professional exhibitions, planning conferences, or working on the show floor of an event.

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