The first day of GIBTM 2011 - the Gulf Incentive, Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition, which is being held in Abu Dhabi this week - was a tremendous success, according to visitors, hosted buyers and exhibitors alike.
Visitor numbers were substantially up on last year’s show and attendees at the Education Sessions, which for the first time were located on the exhibition floor itself, packed in to hear the launch of the Middle East Meetings Industry Research report, presented by Sally Greenhill of The Right Solutions and Rob Nicholas of meetme, followed by a presentation by Rebecca Saunders of Positive Impact on Implementing Sustainability Initiatives and a session with Roger Helms, CEO of the HelmsBriscoe meetings management company.
“We are very happy that the first day was so successful, we received positive feedback from exhibitors and buyers as well as from visitors. Interest especially in the education programme was overwhelming. This shows the thirst for knowledge and education about the MICE industry in the region. Delivering the best professional education is key to the event’s success, our programme this year aims to provide attendees with leading industry insight which will help them pioneer within their industry field", says Lloyd Kenyon, GIBTM’s Exhibition Manager.
Stephen Kwak, Assistant Manager of the Seoul Convention Bureau said the show was busier than he had expected. “I had 20 appointments today and my colleague had 15 – in total I am expecting between 50 – 60 buyers over the three days of the event.”
Mohammed Saif Al Riyami, from Oman’s Ministry of Tourism concurred. “We were busy answering enquires as everyone wanted more information about Oman. We had 30 appointments today and have some 65 appointments already scheduled over the three-day event. We answered a number of questions about travelling to Oman and what the culture is like. We told them that Oman is a country with many destinations – rich in culture, heritage, and natural beauty – and it is a country noted for its hospitality; we always greet guests with a warm traditional welcome!”
Aline Ghanem representing Lebanon’s Ministry of Tourism also had a very successful first day. “Twenty three meetings took place and we ended up with some confirmed business deals. Certainly there was a lot of potential business to be had. The main question we were being asked was what Lebanese food was like. We are optimistic about the next two days and hope they will be as productive as Day 1.”
Nancy Power from BSL Middle East, a leading international sponsorship, events and logistics agency, said they had received a lot of questions and interest from Saudi Arabia and from Russia, while commenting on the participation, Omer Kaddouri, COO for Rotana Hotel Management Corporation, said, "We are very pleased with Abu Dhabi hosting an important exhibition such as GIBTM, which will hugely assist in developing the MICE tourism. We have always been very active with the promotion of our MICE properties all over the Middle East through our local and International sales offices and our participation at GIBTM has assisted us in further developing this sector and in showcasing our products and offerings."
GIBTM 2011 runs until Wednesday 30th March and is being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Registration onsite is free of charge for businesses professionals.
For further information please contact:
Tel: +971 (4) 390 2974