Initial unaudited figures of the 4th annual Gulf Incentive Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition (GIBTM) saw record numbers of hosted buyers in the Gulf region. Preliminary figures show that there were over 260 exhibitors from 40 countries, up 10 percent on 2009, with a total of around 7,500 meetings that took place with the 220 exhibitors – up from 6,390 last year.
Commenting on the show, Graeme Barnett, GIBTM exhibition director said: “In what has been a particularly challenging time for the industry in the last year, the event has proven there are clear, optimistic signs that meeting and event planners are recognizing the enormous potential the region has to do business. One only has to see the new hotel and venue developments opening or being planned for Abu Dhabi alone.
“In what was my last year as exhibition director of GIBTM, before taking the reins of EIBTM, the show is in excellent shape to grow and expand from both a regional and international exhibitors’ perspective and attract even more regional trade visitors.”
GIBTM’s three-day education program attracted over 200 regional and international attendees. GIBTM’s association and education manager said: “We were delighted with the attendance and the quality of the sessions this year at GIBTM. The content of the program reinforces the need for professional education at the show. One of the highlights was the presentation of the fourth GIBTM Middle East Meetings Research Report 2010, which gave a valuable insight into the spending patterns and the mood of the market in the region.
“We have already commenced the planning and development of the education program for 2011 in partnership with ICCA, MPI, and Site.”
Industry optimism from this year’s GIBTM was echoed in some of the comments from exhibitors and hosted buyers.