Following research among association meeting planners and a focus group to determine the ideal experience for association planners, European Incentives and Business Travel Meeting (EIBTM) launched “My Association | My Club.”
Initial feedback from the EIBTM Advisory Board along with the findings from the focus group highlighted the need for an association planner to be able create their own agenda, to have time to network with their peers and association community and to choose education sessions that suit their business and career needs.
Designed to facilitate this flexibility, My Association | My Club will have its own identity for EIBTM 2014 and will be the first roll out of the concept across the IBTM portfolio.
“Having engaged with meeting planners across the sector and asked for their involvement in helping shape a new way to attend our events, we have listened and acted on what they have told us they want from their time at EIBTM,” said Graeme Barnett, EIBTM senior exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions. “Association meeting planners have very specific needs, and this new offer includes flexibility at its core. From freedom to explore the show floor and discover new suppliers, building an education program of their choice and having the time to meet with members of their community. It’s all about creating their own personalized program, and that is what the launch of My Association | My Club aims to deliver.”
Among the benefits will be a dedicated business-style lounge, a facility where planners can connect with other association colleagues, hold their own meetings as well as enjoy refreshments and lunch. They will also be able to choose the education they want to attend during the course of EIBTM rather than be given a set program.
“We understand that networking is a very important aspect of an association planner’s time at EIBTM, and we are planning networking events in the Club lounge including the ICCA Personal Connections event Tuesday evening. We are looking to introduce a schedule of ‘Huddles’ within the Club Lounge where subjects and topics on the minds of our association planners can be discussed in small informal groups to help solve problems and challenges.”
“In addition, we have created an exclusive ‘Hub’ hotel for all association attendees, so they can build their community away from the show floor and extend their networks. We are also offering an option to extend their stay in Barcelona and choose their own travel times and length of stay. We have created a range of opportunities based around the key elements of doing business, networking and learning but with a freedom of choice that hasn’t existed previously. By creating this flexible approach, we hope the balance of a pre-scheduled appointment diary will also add value to our exhibitors, many of whom are keen to meet with these highly sought after buyers. Building a stronger more flexible offer for our association customers should be a win-win for all,” added Barnett.
“The refreshed model is definitively taking more care of the associations’ expectations, and I can only congratulate the EIBTM team for such a useful and highly appreciated concern,” said Patrick Debus, permanent secretary, World Federation of Consuls, and member, EIBTM Association Planners Focus Group.
My Association | My Club benefits will include:
- My Time, My Schedule: A flexible schedule with the time and freedom to explore and discover new suppliers and innovations
- My Meetings, My Choice: A personalized diary of pre-scheduled appointments of the Association Hosted Buyers’ choice from a selection of over 3,000 international exhibitors
- My Networking: Opportunity to connect with contacts and meet other international association peers at exclusive networking events, including networking breakfasts, luncheons, dinner and cocktail parties
- My Knowledge: Own selection of education sessions, to hear from industry visionaries and attend the seminars and workshops that suit association Hosted Buyers’ needs
- My Hub: Exclusive access to the dedicated business style Club Lounge on the show floor with complimentary refreshments and lunch, Wi-Fi and space to meet with contacts and peers along with daily ‘Huddles’ to share knowledge and expertise
- My Support: A simple registration process with dedicated ‘Hub Helper’ to make association Hosted Buyers’ participation as simple and effective as possible
- My Travel: Complimentary flights, rail travel and transfers
- My Hotel: 4/5-star dedicated association accommodation
All Hosted Buyer applications remain individually reviewed and accepted based on a set of strict qualifying criteria.
For further information about My Association | My Club, visit www.eibtm.com/myclub.