BTC 2011 attendance figures up 8.8 percent


BTC 2011, the Italian trade show for the meetings, events, conferences, incentive travel, and business tourism industry, came to a successful close on July 1 at the Fiera di Rimini Exhibition Centre, amid the general satisfaction of those present.

The second BTC to be held in Rimini benefitted from the knowledge of the destination acquired last year, which led to an improved and more fluid organization. The industry in general showed that it has now embraced the summer date and the move to Rimini, which, with its modern exhibition facilities, proved to be an excellent host.

In attendance were 313 exhibiting companies, 278 Italian and international hosted buyers, and 60 representatives of the press, with total attendance figures over the 2 days of the show up 8.82% versus 2010 to 3,732, and 6,417 appointments held between exhibitors and hosted buyers.

Hosted buyers and visitors expressed satisfaction about the diversification of exhibitors, which this year also included suppliers operating in non-conventional marketing, communications, and technology, thanks to the partnerships with Stratego/P5, which organized and managed the special area The MarkEvent and Teknocongress, which ran the Tech&Fun area.

In turn, hosted buyers were judged to be of high quality by exhibitors, thanks to the selection process conducted by BTC’s buyer office with the support of international consultants, Federcongressi&eventi (the main Italian industry association), and Starwood.

“The show was packed with opportunities and was able to offer something to all players of the industry,” said Gabriella Ghigi, BTC Exhibition Manager, “It was precisely this sense that we wanted to give BTC this year: business, first and foremost, but also educational events, networking evenings, an occasion for the industry to meet representatives of institutions, and for associations to bring their members together. BTC is now much more than a simple trade show, because it has become the place for the whole events community to meet and discuss issues of interest. This is evidenced by the increase in visitor numbers this year who were not hosted but came to the show for professional reasons.”

BTC was host to the first public presentations of Italy’s Convention Bureau and the interregional MICE in Italia project, two very important and topical issues for the industry. Paolo Zona, chairman of Federcongressi&eventi, called BTC “a fundamental stop” and Eugenio Magnani from the Ministry for Tourism said that BTC “is once again a ‘warehouse’ where things happen,” both thereby affirming the show’s central role in the life of the industry in Italy.

The 18 seminars held over the 2 days of the show were very well attended. They covered issues in all areas of interest to event operators and professionals. The best attended event was the presentation of the 2011 events market – Investment and Buying Behaviour of Italian and European companies. This survey was commissioned by BTC to provide the industry with a tool for understanding and analyzing market trends. Also presented was the plan for the new Italian conference market survey [Osservatorio Congressuale Italiano], which BTC manages on behalf of Federcongressi&eventi, and which from next year will offer a detailed analysis and economic assessment of the events market in Italy.

Pre- and post-show activities were also very well received: the first was a visit for hosted buyers and the press to the Rimini’s new Palacongressi, already a key venue for the Italian conference industry, rounded off with dinner by Rimini’s port. The second activity, BTC’s Moonlight Party, gave all participants the opportunity to experience Borgo San Giuliano, the old fishing village, where, with live entertainment and projections of Fellini films, they could savor local cuisine in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere ideal for networking.

“This year, BTC has confirmed that it is the key event for the Italian meetings and events industry,” said Paolo Audino, CEO of Exmedia, the company that organizes BTC, “It has delivered important content, and above all, demonstrated that it is capable of aligning itself with operators’ business objectives, providing them with the right opportunities to obtain the results required. We will continue to work on the content, on the quality of hosted buyers, on the diversification of exhibitors, and on tools to understand the market, to make BTC, year after year, the meeting place par excellence for the industry and a fertile ground to cultivate ideas, talent, projects, and contacts.”

So see you at BTC 2012, on June 21 and 22 at the Fiera di Rimini Exhibition Centre.