ibtm events portfolio director speaks

KERRY Prince, portfolio director ibtm events, shares some insights into the upcoming event:


Will you have the ibtm world industry report this year as well?

We are looking forward to releasing the much anticipated annual ibtm world Trends Watch report at this year’s show in Barcelona from November 28 to 30, 2017. Dr Rob Davidson, managing director, Mice Knowledge and Alistair Turner, past-president of ILEA UK, will present findings as part of our Knowledge Programme. Rob’s presentation of the report is very popular with attendees, as not only does it present a concise forecast for global industry trends for the year ahead, in this case for 2018, but it also offers insights and analysis of some of the major trends emerging and maturing in 2017.


Can you share any market trends of interest in the Middle East/Gulf countries in particular, both inbound and outbound?

The Middle East remains an incredibly dynamic market, both in terms of inbound and outbound business. It is definitely a region where the Mice market is firmly in the ascendant. Growth is being seen across the region, with Oman continuing to increase in popularity, destinations such as Iran starting to emerge on to the Mice scene and hotel stock also growing, with new properties opening across the region - not only in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but also in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Testament to the growing market is the fact that this year we have an incredibly strong roster both of exhibitors and of hosted buyers from the region. From exhibitors including Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and our first Iranian exhibitor, Iran Doostan Tours Co., to hosted buyers from brands including Nestlé Middle East, Al-Jazeera Media Network and AstraZeneca, the event continues to prove very attractive to a Middle East audience.


With the opening of La Perle by Dragone and Dubai Parks & Resorts to the opening of OCEC in Oman, do you think the region is moving in the right direction to attract more Mice business?

Overall over the past 10 years the region has already established itself as a major Mice destination due to the vast amount of product, five-star customer service and incentive possibilities as well as its central location. In order to keep growing, it just needs to keep differentiating its offering from what else is out there in the market as well as providing value.

Since 2007, when ibtm events held its first exhibition in the region, we have been experiencing first-hand the huge level of ongoing development and new venues launching each year in the Middle East.

The region continues to be extremely popular with planners who remain keen to see its evolution with their own eyes - no other destination on earth has been built from scratch in 50 years – with 80 per cent of the region’s infrastructure less than two decades old.

The economics of organising events in the Middle East compared to some of the leading and established destinations around the world is very attractive which in turn makes the region increasingly popular with planners. It is a very competitive market, with new venues and hotels opening every year which of course leads to more choice and more competitive rates.