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14Conference+Meetings WorldOctober 2010CIBTM REPORTDeputy Director General of the BTA andthe co-organiser of the event, Gu Xiaoyuan,announced that she expected CIBTM tobecome the leading MICE event in Chinaand the Asia Pacific region in five years. "It is an exciting time for the developmentof the meetings industry in China and weare delighted to be working in partnershipwith CIBTM and RTE to build Beijing'sbrand image in the MICE industry. Ourpartnership with CIBTM is certainly one thatwill grow and develop over the long term,"said Gu. "The meetings industry is astrategic pillar for the Beijing Governmentand in recent years it has instigated a seriesof initiatives to entice associationconferences to come to China. We havealso invested in training initiatives for thelocal industry and invited experts to consultwith regions on how to develop their MICEoffering."RTE claimed the fifth edition of CIBTM asthe "largest ever" in terms of floor space,hosted buyer numbers and exhibitors. According to pre-audited figures, theorganiser said indications were that the totalnumber of hosted buyers and trade visitors(near 5,000 visitors in 2009) increased by16 per cent year-on-year. The show's hostedbuyer programme enlisted 275 buyersincluding 105 Beijing-based professionals,which was a 19 per cent increase on 2009'slevels overall. The total floor space increased year-on-year by 20 per cent, to over7,000sqm and a total of 310 exhibitorsrepresented 26 countries. New to exhibit atthis year's CIBTM was Taiwan, as a countrypavilion, and airline marketing group StarAlliance. The Japanese and South Koreannational tourism organisations bothincreased their stand presence. Star Alliance Co-ordinator Judy Guo saidthe group hosted around five events inChina annually, but this was the first timethey had exhibited as a group. "The buyerswe met with are not our target market, aswe wanted to meet more corporates.However, it was worthwhile to promote ourMICE products to the industry and itdepends on the leads generated as towhether or not we exhibit again," sheadded. "CIBTM takes place in the most prolificallyfast moving market in the world," saidDirector of Sales for Jebel Ali InternationalHotels Dubai, Shane Jameson. "We arehere for the long-term and we will notsurvive without business from China. On the same stand, Head of Sales andConvention Service for the DubaiConvention Bureau, Karina Lance, said:"Exhibiting means we can start arelationship with key players in the marketand China has so much potential."CIBTM is UK tourism body Visit London'ssecond edition as an exhibitor. Its Sales andMarketing Manager for North America andLong Haul, Chris Lynn, said: "The leads wehave generated this year are a vastimprovement on quality to last year, wherewe saw no return on investment. We arecautiously optimistic, but we also know thatthere is a big difference between wanting tohost an event in our city and doing it."It is slightly scary exhibiting here as it isso different to any other market and it is stillat the embryonic stage. So we are in theresearch stage," he added. The Chinese incentive travel sector is thelargest market for Taiwan. NangangInternational Exhibition Center's clientservices executive, Sophia Chou, told CMW.Although the hosted buyers were not onehundred per cent useful in terms of leads,she said, she found exhibiting worthwhile ata brand awareness level. "Chinese buyersare hesitant about bringing groups toTaiwan due to visa issues between the twogovernments. We hope in the near futureregulations will be more flexible."Xu said RTE is "delighted" with theresponse and feedback at this year'sshow. "In 2009, we launched ChinaMeetings Week and this has clearlyincreased the profile of the showdramatically, resulting in larger numbers ofcorporate Chinese buyers, key to thedevelopment of the show and its exhibitors."It looks as though many in theinternational meetings industry want ahealthy share of this futuristic Chinesemeetings pie. Whether simply being therefor the sake of being seen will lead to actualbusiness is yet to be seen, however. As the national meetings industry developsand matures, through education andtraining, it is likely CIBTM will find its placefirmly at the centre of the industry. CIBTM 2011 will be held at the CNCC,Beijing, 30 August-1 September. 'It is a clear signalthat the Governmentrecognises theopportunities toleverage its facilitiesto support themeetings industry.'New exhibitors to this year's exhibition were Taiwan and the Star Alliance marketing groupMeeting Professionals International's President and CEO Bruce MacMillian discusses trends

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