More than 70 main stand-holders at the first AIBTM show in Baltimore this year have already signed up for next year’s event, according to organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE).
There were 183 booths at the meetings and travel show, which took place in June, and 789 exhibitors in total.
A flurry of regional convention bureaux, international tourism bureaux, hotel groups and consortiums, destination marketing companies and other suppliers have already booked their place for 2012.
RTE, which runs IBTM events in Europe, China, and the Gulf, said it had never known so many exhibitors to rebook so early for any of its other meetings industry event launches.
Mark Theis of Starwood Hotels & Resorts was one of the first to re-sign. He said: “This first US event was certainly appropriate. It was an exceptional, productive opportunity for us to meet first-hand with potential business to business buyers.”
Dozens more first-time exhibitors have signed up to next year’s show, which will take place from 19-21 June, in a further sign, perhaps, that recovery in the US meetings market is gaining momentum.
AIBTM project director Steve Knight said: “Our event this year marked a new era for the meetings industry in the US. The feedback from both suppliers and buyers was amazing and proved that the business environment was right. Early bookings show that our exhibitors want to come back for more. We intend to build on the first success to ensure that 2012 delivers new opportunities to maintain our poll position as the premier event in the US to deliver for all those involved.”
Pictured: Steve Knight