Events trade show EIBTM has opened in Barcelona with the highest ever number of hosted
buyers - 4,156 - qualified for the show, a three per cent increase on 2010.
EIBTM exhibition director Graeme Barnett said while all
figures were yet to undergo an independent ABC audit, there were 3,127
exhibitors at the show, including 47 new main stand holders, and 7,348
pre-registered visitors, an 11 per cent increase on last year.
Barnett told meetpie.com a ‘handful’ of hosted buyers had
called the hotline set up in light of expected strikes by UK immigration officers
on November 30, but most were trying to reconfirm how they could attend, with
many opting for the option of staying longer to do more business in Barcelona.
“After no-shows and cancellations we still expect to see
3,850-3,900 hosted buyers on the show floor.”
The show itself features a new focus on technology, the ‘Future
Events Experience’, as well as an extensive education programme, new social
networking options to “maximise the asset that is Barcelona”, plus exciting
stand developments, from whisky tasting on the Scotland stand, to human towers
at Catalunya, a sarong party on the Malaysia stand and the attendance of the
newly crowned ‘Mr Holland’.
Barnett added: “It’s set for being a productive week. There’s
a real focus on business and more than 65,000 appointments have been made.”