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BIG INTERVIEWMay 2012 . www.conference-news.co.uk . 19 education programme for AIBTM 2012, partnering with four key associations. He takes a slightly detached view of the UK meetings exhibition market moves, with UBM's International Confex moving towards a hosted buyer model and the launch of a new Meetings Show UK by Centaur (with Paul Kennedy advising)."Confex and the new event will have an impact on the industry here, but our focus is to offer a more global solution," he says. Charting a forward course, Moyes fl ags "a dramatic increase in exhibitors within technology areas of our shows". And he sees development using iPads and apps and harnessing the power of hybrid as exciting issues fi lling the view from the IBTM bridge. Above: Craig Moyes in line with Chinese partners for CIBTM and in step with the Emirati leadership at ADNEC, venue for GIBTMwe were then told that we had to cancel 2008, as Beijing had to be free of trade shows in that period," he recalls. "We had to keep the awareness of CIBTM going between 2007 and 2009, not an easy job. But, after the Games, there was even more interest in Beijing as a city, its Olympic legacy and the facilities that would now be even more relevant to the international meetings industry." Moyes notes that in the launch year of GIBTM there was only a handful of hotels, despite plans to create a world class city in Abu Dhabi. "We had to trust that this would happen and that the supply of room stock would cope with the demand."The exhibition halls at ADNEC were only partly opened, but Moyes, today, "can hardly believe that such a massive change took place in such a short time".Following in the footsteps of Paul Kennedy at RTE was a diffi cult act to follow. Moyes points out he was already at RTE as the Event Director for World Travel Market at the same time as Kennedy was heading RTE. "We worked together across management teams which did help with the transition. I also had the pleasure of working with Vanessa Cotton, albeit that time was tragically cut short. During those few months I gained a lot of insight and she helped me immensely," he adds. Moyes says he has colleagues who have roles in industry associations such as Meeting Professionals International and incentives association SITE and whose knowledge and experience is, he says, "intrinsic to the success of the portfolio".As for the competition, Moyes says a signifi cant difference between his IBTM portfolio and some other events is its independent audit by ABC. "This provides transparency for all our show statistics, validating the detail so that our clients can effectively prove their ROI," he says. He is sanguine about the launch of IMEX America in Las Vegas last year, following the earlier Baltimore launch of AIBTM. "The launch of an event is always a challenge; it's a new market, a new culture," says Moyes. "AIBTM launched with the strategy that it would apply a qualifi cation to all trade buyers as well as those hosted, focusing on quality as an imperative. We were prepared to say 'No' if the visitor didn't match the criteria. The real signifi cance of success is not just about numbers but about the quality of buyers and the business they place." He claims 85 per cent of exhibitors are returning for 2012 and has doubled the CRAIG, DAVID?The RTE Porftolio Director once met the Everton football manager David Moyes, in what he describes as "possibly one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. "I saw him walking into Euston Station about five years ago. There aren't too many Moyes' in this world, so I strode up to him, in a slightly stalking manner. I introduced myself as Craig Moyes and said I was probably a long lost cousin. "Thankfully, he congratulated me on being one of the Moyes clan and after a significant amount of embarrassment on both sides, he got his train and I got mine. "I always wonder what on earth he must have thought on that journey home."