Launch Report: Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events

Rob Davidson describes the launch, in Barcelona, of the new edition of Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events which he co-authored with Tony Rogers.

One of the world’s largest trade shows for the business events industry is ibtm world (ibtmworld.com), held in Barcelona towards the end of each year. The event attracts over 15,000 meetings professionals to the city, with an estimated economic impact of some €60 million. This is a business event with a clear focus on business: even before this year’s event opened its doors to visitors, more than 80,000 appointments between buyers (conference organisers, principally) and exhibiting suppliers (convention bureaus and venues) had already been scheduled.

But in addition to the valuable business and networking opportunities that ibtm world provides for exhibitors and visitors alike, there is a strong emphasis on education for the business events industry. Each year, the ibtm Knowledge Programme provides a range of innovative, creative and cutting-edge sessions delivered by leading industry experts, and all of this is completely free to attendees.

The trade show’s focus on education made it the ideal place for Tony Rogers and myself to launch the new edition of Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events, asour book is as relevant to business events practitioners as it is to those studying events, hospitality and tourism in higher education. So, towards the end of the second day of the show, we held the official launch of our book in the largest of the conference rooms set aside for educational sessions during ibtm world. We were somewhat worried that attendance might be low, because the end of the day is when there are many cocktail receptions on the stands at the show, and we thought that the prospect of abundant free ‘cava’ might keep people away from our launch. In the event, we needn’t have worried at all, because the room was full to capacity, with every seat in the room was taken, and there were a number of people standing at the back, to follow the proceedings.

We both made speeches, explaining the rationale for writing a second edition (Tony Rogers, pictured) and going through the chapter-by-chapter content. But what made the event memorable were the short presentations made by representatives of three of the organisations that had kindly provided us with material for case-studies: Barbra Steuri-Albrecht of the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau; Ryszard Strojnowski of the ICE Krakow Congress Centre; and Kursha Woodgate of Mexia Communications. Each explained very well how their particular case-study demonstrated important educational value for the students, lecturers and practitioners who are the readership of Marketing Destinations and Venues for Conferences, Conventions and Business Events.

By Tony Rogers & Rob Davidson