ibtm america, now in its seventh year, is an innovative ‘pod’ format event in North America for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events (MICE) industry providing qualified Hosted Buyers with a personalised itinerary of 1:1 meetings with pre-selected exhibitors.
Meetings for the elite group of 370+ industry professionals are paired through ibtm events’ custom-made ‘matchmaking’ software which creates a bespoke diary of mutually matched pre-scheduled appointments for each Hosted Buyer and exhibitor to ensure the best possible return on investment. As a result, ibtm america provides one of the most effective environments for successful meetings and business negotiations to take place. Testament to this is the fact that last years’ event in Nashville achieved a 97% satisfaction rate from Hosted Buyers and a 96% satisfaction rate from exhibitors.
Attending 30 appointments over three days, the select group of Hosted Buyers who qualify through the application process will also have as access to a full itinerary of networking and immersive events curated specifically with the aim of making valuable business connections.
Jaime McAuley, Event Director - ibtm america, commented, “Taking place in a new location each year to showcase a different destination for events within North America and to attract a new pool of Hosted Buyers, ibtm america consistently attracts first-class global exhibitors and high profile Hosted Buyers with an average annual budget of almost $17million.
“The show’s pod format means our exhibitors and buyers can meet on a 1:1 level and our sophisticated matchmaking service ensures the best possible connections are made. Time therefore at the event is focused entirely on meeting with people with whom there is a very high chance of doing business and it’s a formula that works, with over 4,000 meetings held on average during the event and almost $10millon of business placed as a result of our 2016 show.”
With knowledge, networking and connections front of mind, the three day programme kicks off with a ‘Discovery Day’ designed to bring Hosted Buyers and exhibitors together in an informal and relaxed social environment to explore the local destination ahead of the 1:1 meetings taking place. Taking in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, the Discovery Day begins with lunch at the host venue, the Diplomat Beach Resort, followed by either a water taxi tour of the City or a tour of the Florida Everglades before culminating in a sunset cruise on the Atlantic.
On the event floor, the format allows for meetings to take place around the event’s ‘Central Hub’ where attendees can take part in multiple breakout sessions with industry experts invited to share knowledge and best practice. In addition, a full educational programme will include a host of speakers from across the industry delivering sessions designed specifically to support business success.
Kerry Prince, Portfolio Director - ibtm events added, “Building valuable business connections for our Hosted Buyers and exhibitors and continuing to inspire with insightful programmes and engaging networking events is central to our strategy across the portfolio. Building upon the success of last year’s event, ibtm america 2017 will once again combine a carefully curated programme of valuable content and pre-matched and pre-qualified meetings in a great destination so I am looking forward to welcoming our new and returning customers and showcasing the very best platform to do great business.”
Lan Yiu a Hosted Buyer from AECOM Meetings and Events commented on last year’s event: “I really enjoyed the feel of the meetings as the first day was planned perfectly with events that allowed us to network and get to know one another. I entered booths feeling as I was reconnecting with an old colleague rather than a new business associate for the first time.”
Ilia Tomlinson, exhibiting last year with Half Moon, Jamaica, added: “We have attended ibtm america for many years for the simple fact - it works! I am very impressed at the level of technology utilised in this event and love the fact that the appointments are with quality buyers in a timeline that does not feel rushed. Everyone wants to invest in a tradeshow that brings value to the table and ibtm america delivers.”
Hosted Buyers at ibtm america will be accommodated at the luxury Diplomat Beach Resort, and have flights and transfers arranged as part of the hosted package. Applicants will need to demonstrate proven responsibility for budget and spend on events in North America and internationally.