After VIP programs at events morphed into hosted buyer programs at meetings over the years, unique hosted buyer formats rapidly began populating major shows, including the Reed Travel Exhibitions-organized European Incentives and Business Travel Meeting (EIBTM).
“The hosted buyer format has been around for many years and is a proven formula for providing exhibitors with a quality audience as well as value for money,” said Jo Warr, hosted buyer manager for EIBTM, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Much of what comprises the hosted buyer formula is similar, such as free flights, hotel stays and education as well as buyers having to qualify for the program, but chances are for each hosted buyer program these features are not exact. Service standards vary, and decision-makers applying to hosted buyer programs face different application requirements.
When qualifying hosted buyers for its program, EIBTM developed its own standards.
“We have a highly qualified team in place to check each of the 5,000 applications we receive for EIBTM each year. We also use independent qualifiers who have a deep understanding of particular market sectors and regions,” explained Warr. “Lastly, we use a great deal of intelligence generated from exhibitor research and feedback when it comes to determining the number of hosted buyers we invite from each country. It is vital that we provide our exhibitors with exposure to the key markets they wish to do business with.”
Once in the program, hosted buyers receive VIP treatment, including being fully accommodated in Barcelona, Spain, where the show takes place each year.
“They receive a personalized diary of pre-scheduled appointments with international exhibitors of their choice, complimentary return flights from an extensive choice of airports, complimentary accommodation in one of Barcelona’s 4- or 5-star hotels, flexible attendance options, an invitation to the EIBTM Forum, access to a number of networking events and access to VIP lounges situated on the show floor,” added Warr.
To help buyers create new and further existing business relationships within the industry, EIBTM hosts a welcome reception and networking hours on the exhibition floor. An educational offering for buyers that launched in 2013, EIBTM Knowledge provides tailored education streams dedicated to corporate, agency and association knowledge.
“Other highlights of the education program include dedicated sessions in Spanish, a program specifically for the business travel sector and three days of education designed to meet the educational needs of everyone attending the show,” said Warr.
Because the hosted buyer program plays a pivotal role in the success of the show, according to Warr, EIBTM keeps up with an industry progressing at an exponential rate by continually working to provide its suppliers with quality buyers and staying apprised of market trends and emerging technology.
The next edition of EIBTM is scheduled Nov. 17-19, 2015, in Barcelona, Spain. To learn more about its hosted buyer program, visit www.eibtm.com/hosted.
See related article: The perks of being an IMEX hosted buyer throughout the years