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ibtm america hits high note with new format

Music the theme as Nashville hosts tradeshow, facilitating 5,000 appointments in two and a half days

Pictured: ibtm america attendees get into the swing of things during the trade show in Nashville last week

More than 5,000 mutually-matched appointments and almost 20 hours of networking took place during ibtm america last week.

The tradeshow, which took place on 15-17 June at Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort, welcomed back two-thirds of its exhibitors from last year, while 14 per cent of the hosted buyers arrived from outside the United States.

The two-and-a-half-day show had a music theme throughout to reflect Nashville's reputation as Music City, which started off with a song-writing workshop with local song-writers and carried on with visits to downtown Honky Tonks. The show culminated in a evening reception, which took place at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel's Tennessee ballroom, where country music icon Phil Vassar performed.

Organiser Reed Exhibitions adopted the one-on-one 'mutual match' format alongside a rebrand for the first time at the 2015 edition of ibtm america.

Event director Jaime McAuley said: “Building a community for this industry is a key ingredient to the success of ibtm america and this year Nashville bought everyone together for a southern style US meetings experience. 

"The mutual match system of appointments was refined still further to produce the highest quality of real business prospects, resulting in some great praise from our exhibitors and buyers. Designing a system that allows both buyers and suppliers to choose who they want to meet with from the outset of their journey with us, and then making this happen has produced some remarkable results and 100 per cent of appointments that each party wanted to have for their diary – nearly 30 over the 1.5 business days."

Ishrat Alam, the tourist information officer at India Tourism, said the one-on-one meeting pod system worked well. "We know that MICE business leads can take up to 2-3 years to make happen, but this has always proved to be a great ROI and it has given us the opportunity to really explain our experiential high-end incentive meetings product face to face. The mutual appointment system is very good indeed."

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